“What IS the point of hiring an interior designer? All we need are a few pieces of furniture. We’ve got this.” Be honest, many of you have actually thought the same thing, haven’t you? It’s okay to admit it…we know already. We meet people who feel this way all the time in our showroom and in our day to day interior design work (no disrespect to the husbands!).
One such skeptic, we’ll call him “Ben”, vocalized, these very ideas…almost verbatim. The thought process goes something like, “We can do it by ourselves”, “I just really don’t see the value in hiring an interior designer”, or “We know what we like and have a pretty good eye when we see it”. Oh, and the best one, “Why would I pay someone to validate my own ideas?” So we thought, wow, okay, there’s an opportunity here. We know Ben is not the only one who feels this way, and that’s okay. Some of our best clients started out feeling this way. Of course, hiring an interior designer is not right for every person or situation. Interior design is certainly not a one size fits all proposition. But, we can say that, due to the sentiments above, we are hired quite a bit to “fix” or “finish” a space. Our skeptic, Ben, experienced the design process through both his own efforts and then ours, and here are some things he learned:
Yes, you can. You can do anything you set your mind to. That’s what my mother used to say. And that’s what Ben set out to do. He and his wife went to the big box retail stores and shopped the online stores for the pieces they liked. Those stores made it pretty easy. Just bring in pictures, or email them, a few measurements, and have your furniture delivered in a few days, or even the next day…FREE. Cool. Ben was all in…easy and fast. That’s the way to solve a problem, he thought. We can do this… easy. But was it? (Hint: No, because he called us!) They reached that point where almost everything they ordered looked better online or in the ginormous showroom than it did in their home. Things can look different on a 15″ computer screen, and under a 20 foot ceiling versus a 9 foot ceiling. Oh, and not to mention, there were a few instances when their friends ended up with the same pieces!
There’s a time and a place to throw in the towel, or ask for directions. Sometimes, you have to stop the hemorrhaging and call in the professionals! Know when to say when. (That’s enough cliches so you get the point, right?) Enter Cynthia Porche Interiors. We did our own measurements, talked to them about their likes and dislikes, and how they wanted to feel when they walked into the room. We knew Ben was reluctant, but he knew they were doing the right thing. They soon discovered that there are so many more options when an interior designer is involved…options that could make a custom look that they would love. What he hadn’t thought about was the benefit of a professional putting the entire room together with a larger picture in mind. Designers visualize with their clients AND vendors in mind. We purchase items specifically for the project/room, and create a one of a kind space according the scale of the project.
Only one thing left…window treatments. We knew Ben was not sold on window treatments. He was happy to live with bare windows, but his wife insisted that modesty was the best policy with their neighbors! We went with custom panels that were simple, beautiful and functional. Of course, when the panels were installed, Ben had to admit that window treatments brought warmth and finish to their space.
Ben and his wife experienced design from a DIY and Designer perspective, and Ben says he’s learned his lesson! Sometimes, it makes sense to stop and ask directions!
Wait, there’s more!
A few more quotes from Ben:
1. “There are SO many more options for fabrics, furniture, floors, wallpaper and accessories than I could have ever imagined.”
2. “Custom doesn’t mean it’s expensive. It usually just means that you get many more options than just big box retailers. You get to choose what YOU like depending on the investment you want to make.”
3. “If you like unique items, then getting them from a designer is one way to ensure your best friend won’t have the same couch when you visit.”
4. “They (ie. interior designers like Cynthia Porche!) do an amazing job seeing the big picture – window treatments, plus rugs, plus art, plus furniture…and pulling it all together.”
5. “I don’t like ‘shopping’. Period. In order to truly complete a project totally it involves a lot of hours searching for just the right thing. No thanks. I’m done. Let the professionals handle it.”
6. “You can have as much input as you want in the selection process or just show up to say “yes” or “no” to what has been presented.”
7. “If any sort of construction is part of the equation then going with a team that does both, like Porche HOME, is a no-brainer. They manage the construction and design with their team of people. It is a weight off your shoulders not to have to micro-manage the construction and then find time to shop for what goes inside.”
8. “I’m a changed man. Yes, we can change. Don’t tell my wife I said that!”
And there you have it!