I recently came across an article titled “8 Things Interior Decorators Don’t Want You To Know,” and as I was reading it, my only thought was “But I DO want my clients to know all of these things! Why wouldn’t I?!”
The article clearly had a “buyer beware” tone to it, implying that the majority of interior designers are simply trying to upcharge and impose their own design style on every client. So, to set the record straight, here are-
8 Things this Interior Design DOES Want You To Know:
What the Author Says We Don’t Want You To Know: Professionals Have Connections Here the author implies that interior designers may try to hide the fact that our livelihood depends on our industry connections, and I couldn’t disagree more! One of the first things I tell potential clients about my business is how important it is for me to stay well-connected with others in the industry. Whether it’s builders, architects, textile suppliers, flooring reps, trade contractors, or anyone else, I want my clients to know that I’m putting my professional network to work FOR THEM.
What the Author Says We Don’t Want You To Know: Discuss Budgets First Out of all 8 points the author makes, this is the one that couldn’t be further from the truth. She implies that if you (the client) aren’t crystal-clear about your budget at the beginning, then your designer is going to move forward assuming you can afford any and all of their top product lines.
No No No. Designers are people, too. I understand that not everybody has an unlimited budget, and I ALWAYS focus on value as well as quality in my recommendations. The author implies that as designers, we are willing to sacrifice your financial well-being for a more impressive photo in our portfolio.
Side note: We have worked with clients with unlimited budgets but price points were still very clearly communicated throughout the entire process. Even clients who theoretically _could_ afford to furnish their home with ONLY top of the line selections, still set monetary limits - limits that we we’re happy to stay within. A responsible designer won’t proceed with a project if they don’t have a solid understanding of your economic constraints — whether you have a budget or not.
What the Author Says We Don’t Want You To Know: Don’t Bypass Your Preferences The author seems to think that all designers are hell-bent on converting the world to fit their own aesthetic taste, one home at a time. She writes that if you’re not careful, your designer will simply design your home the way _they_ like it, rather than the way you do.
Similar to my response to #2, this “tip” implies that the designer really doesn’t care about the client for anything other than a nice photo in the portfolio. But again, she misses the mark. You will realize quickly with talking to me that my passion is not “filling the world with high end draperies and contemporary pillow coverings.” My passion is helping my client form a connection with their home through creative design.
This is why you will (almost) never see pink in my portfolio, despite my obvious personal preference for the color. My recommendations for clients are based on what I interpret THEIR style to be, combined with my ability to pull elements together into a beautiful design. That being said - if you love pink, please contact me. I would love to work with you! ;-)
Yes, that means I’ve designed spaces that do not fit my personal style. In fact, I’ve even disliked the results of some of my projects. But what I think about a finished space doesn’t matter in the slightest as long as the client is happy, and my clients have always been nothing short of thrilled. Will I push you to think beyond your comfort zone and open your mind to aesthetics you may not have thought of? Absolutely! If you knew exactly what you wanted and exactly how to pull it together, you wouldn’t need me!
What The Author Says We Don’t Want You To Know: The best for less The author writes that despite what designers will tell you, you can get decent services from companies or students who will charge far less. Depending on what the scope of your project is, this could be true. Are you refreshing your living room or refurnishing your bedroom? If so, I realize that my services are not in everyone’s price range. Clients who’s design budget is well invested in the Fuchsia Design price point are the clients who benefit from our expertise in construction, interior architecture, and design. If you’re looking to have something simple done in your home, there are certainly decorators that will likely charge less due to less experience or education. However, if you’re looking for an interior designer to manage all the details of your home (including electrical plans, plumbing diagrams, custom cabinetry, trim work, all the way through bedding on the beds), make sure you invest in a certified and educated interior designer (like Fuchsia Design!).
But again, I WANT you to know about this! I am very up front with all potential clients about my pricing, and I gladly make recommendations of more budget-friendly designers when I feel someone else would be a better fit for their needs.
What the Author Says We Don’t Want You To Know: It’s OK to say No Here, the author implies that designers are trying to keep it a secret that you, as a paying client, are allowed to dislike or even reject the recommendations we make. This ties back to my same recurring theme — my top priority is to make you happy with the design of your home. If I suggest something you don’t like, I WANT you to give me your honest feedback. Again, nobody wins if you aren’t happy with the results of my work. There is always more than one solution that will work, and if you don’t love the solution I propose, then it’s my job to find one you do!
What the Author Says We Don’t Want You To Know: It’s All or Nothing It seems as though the author may have been taken advantage of by some very irresponsible designers in the past. She implies that we, as designers, want you to believe that once you hire us, you’re stuck with us. And once again, I WANT my clients to know and understand the exact opposite. I want to work with clients in as much of a capacity as possible _that makes sense for the project_. If my skillset only matches a portion of the project, that’s what I’ll pitch.
Side note: My firm’s specialty is beginning-to-end design of new construction homes, so this is a slightly different beast. We provide project management and design services that pull together all other aspects of building a home. So typically when we take a project, it’s because the client would benefit from having us for the entire duration of their project.
What the Author Says We Don’t Want You To Know: Your Home Might Not Be Their Top PriorityThe author points out the obvious fact that your interior designer will have other clients, but that they might not want you to know.
On the contrary, if your designer is NOT busy with other clients, that could be a red flag. At our firm, we don’t take projects that exceed our resource “bandwidth”. While we typically have a number of projects running at the same time, we are careful not to overbook ourselves so that each of our projects gets an ample amount of our attention and commitment.
The author’s point is valid — make sure you don’t get neglected by your designer.
What the Author Says We Don’t Want You To Know: There’s No Need For It All To Be New “Let’s take down that photo of your family so I can place this custom painting of a sunset in its place” - Said no designer ever. During the planning phases of our projects, we work with our clients to understand what they have, and what they want to keep. Then, we fill the gaps with new items. Again, we’re not trying to turn your home into a picturesque magazine cover, with no remnants of your life or your personal flair. Your home is your home, and a good designer will encourage you to approach the project that way.
The author of the original article was clearly burned in the past and really put the interior design industry in a bad light. It’s true that if you don’t do your homework and interview your interior designer before hiring them, you could end up with someone who agrees with some of the original points in the article. That being said, at Fuchsia Design we value open communication – whether that be in regards to your style, ideas, budget, or timeline; we’re here for YOU. When you’re happy, we’re happy.