2 Weeks in the Life of a SMALL Interior Design Job (Part 3)

So, it's now been a few days since I have seen my new client. Yesterday was my shopping day. I found many pieces that I can incorporate into my design.

My biggest dilemma has been selecting the accent color for her space. She loves all colors, happy colors. I typically ask my clients what colors they dislike, then create a palette from what's left. Why do I ask what colors you dislike? So often you ask a client what colors they like. They don't often know. They will list two or three colors but neglect to mention others because they just don't realize how much they like them. Usually they own several articles of clothing in these other colors but have never considered them for their walls of home decor. It's often difficult to expand a personal view of something you feel you just "know". This usually requires expanding that perception by seeing a color scheme with those colors to agree. One thing you always know, however, is the one or two colors you hate! You have strong feelings about them and can recite them quickly. Think about it... You can see a cute pair of shoes in the store but pass them over because you don't like red. You can look through your whole closet and not find one green outfit. You can proclaim to the mountains that you can't stand yellow. Your likes may be a bit wishy washy, but your dislikes are FIRM!

Now, one of the most important aspects of this design plan is scale. It's one of the most important parts of any design plan but even more so with a smaller space. It's also the most under planned concept by homeowners and the one they get wrong the most. I would say that seventy percent of all homes I see have furniture that's way too large for the space and another twenty percent has furniture that's just too small. That only leaves ten percent who actually get it right. It's not entirely your fault. There is a bit of math and science to it all. That's part of why people hire professionals. You may love a piece of furniture but that doesn't mean it's the right sized piece to live in your home. 

In my client's case, she needs smaller pieces, narrower in depth. I have found a great dining table that is a narrow oval and will be a great fit for her smaller width dining area. I have found a click clack that doesn't scream dorm room and a nice bookcase that I can either place on the wall or use as a room dividing knee wall to visually break up the space. I just haven't figured out which I am doing yet...

I'll keep you posted. Today, I put it all together and meet with my client at 5 to present my ideas.

 

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!