If I had a Design Show on HGTV/ DIY- 5 things home improvement shows should tell you! (Part 4)

4. One of my favorite designers on TV is Candice Olson, for her beautiful work and dramatic flair. She is a well admired designer and rightfully so, but the lavish designs and high end fits and finishes she uses in her designs all come with a very large price tag. Many homeowners crave this look but just don't realize the massive expense of an entirely mosaic tiled mother of pearl wall or the $2,000 chandelier she placed in the center of that latest basement remodel! A majority of the furnishings she uses in her homes happen to be from her own line of furniture and accessories and, while excellent in quality, they are not cheap. I can tell you easily that most of her room designs begin at $40,000 and that does not include whatever she is making to design them, nor her crew. I am purely speaking of the wallpapers, lighting, wood flooring, cabinets, tile, windows, furniture and her great accessories. She designs well done spaces, but homeowners have NO idea what they cost... and they DO cost! 

Consider, again, that the interiors designed for television are meant to pack a punch on your senses, but that luxurious products have a luxurious price tag. A designer can help you balance out those costs to accommodate your budget, by selecting the right mix of higher and lower end fixtures and finishes to create the drama in your space without the drama in your wallet! It's what we do...

A Homeowner's costly furniture mistakes-Why you should hire an interior designer!

I couldn't help myself... I was trolling on two of my favorite sites- etsy.com and craigslist, looking for a wingback chair for a client, when I came across this sad, little ad. I had to take a screen shot of it because this is such a common occurance, and yet seems to be so unreal to homeowners.

This poor homeowner custom ordered a sofa and wingback chair that they thought would be perfect for their space. They probably loved the style, planned for it, even matched the colors for other accessories in the space; hopefully they didn't paint! They waited for their pieces to come in, maybe told friends about the wonderful set, they no doubt spent a nice amount of money on. They had their eagerly anticipated pieces delivered and then carried into their space by the delivery guys...only to find out that they just don't fit in the room! ALL OF THAT TIME AND MONEY WASTED to only have to make another purchase or leave their living room empty.

Judging from the post and the size of the first picture (the sofa, showing a corner at the far left), this was to go into an Arizona formal living room space, which is normally a smaller room at the entry of the home, rarely used for more than decoration. I'm sure this homeowner never considered hiring an interior designer for this space. After all, they found a great sofa and chair they loved all on their own. What would they possibly need me for? This!... This is the exact reason you hire a professional to help you plan your home.

Scale is the number one, most misunderstood concept when homeowners try to design their own spaces. Don't be offended by this, no one should expect you to know how to properly interpret it. It's a skill that is taught to us, not just something the average person knows or understands. There are rules to perfecting it, there's some math involved with planning it and a good eye involved with implementing it to the best benefit of a floorplan.

Long and short of it, I could have saved this homeowner thousands of dollars. The average amount of hours required to plan a space this size, as a full service interior designer would have been less than the cost that she is selling this pair for on craigslist right now (it's cut off on the top, but they are listed for $1,800 ((less than half of what she paid)). Had she called me for just a DIY Design Consultation in Gilbert, AZ (where this ad was placed), she could have still made the purchase on her own, with the correct measurements and information to do it all herself for just $350.00. I would truly love to tell her this, but I don't think she'd appreciate this information after the fact. :-( 

Thank you, unhappy homeowner, for helping me show how valuable an interior designer can be when it comes to creating the perfect space. I'm sorry for what you have gone through and really hope you do sell your set to help you recover from your loss. In the meantime, I am hoping that your misfortune will help others to understand that hiring an interior designer can truly be a money saving tool. Our jobs are not as easy as one may think!