“Come over and see the renovation we just completed. I want your opinion. I am sure you’ll love it!”
“Maybe you can just stop in for a second and see my kitchen. I want to redo the entire thing, break down the walls where the balcony is, dig up the plumbing system etc. etc. and I just want to know what you think. It’ll just be for a second, okay? When you have a chance…”
These are the types of questions and comments I encounter regularly when I tell people that I am an interior designer. The first comment usually comes from a person who has already gone through the entire renovation process. They have some last minute things that need fixing up but otherwise, they are done! Finished!
In order to respond to this scenario I have to be as realistic as I can. It is like a case of someone who already had a haircut and asks you what you think. The hair is gone. There is no point in dwelling on the past. Just say you like it and that they look great and move on.
Eventually when I go over to see their renovation, I try not to focus on the work that was done. I like to comment on the nice feeling that I know people have from completing a renovation on their home. I will say things like, “I am so happy for you that you have more space,” or, “It must feel so great to come into your kitchen every day and feel that feeling of happiness from it being so new and open.” They are happy and I am happy for them.
The second comment means that the person wants you to come and give them lots of advice for free and then leave. They will handle the rest on their own (or so they think), they just need an initial push. Even if I do spend an hour offering my opinion, I know that there is so much involved in the renovation road ahead of them that the advice is really only useful if they follow through properly.
On the other hand, there is a response that I get, when I tell people that I am an interior designer, that I feel gives me the strength to continue to create and design. It is usually after someone has seen the work I have done. For example, if someone enters my home, looks around and then looks at me waiting for me to offer an explanation. I tell them that I am a designer and their response is usually, “Well, that explains it.”
I then go on to explain to them everything that goes into creating and designing. There are the planning stages: making sure to satisfy the needs and preferences a client wants in a home, using the right suppliers and trades people. Then the renovating stage which includes meeting deadlines, overseeing workers, adjusting to unexpected events and problems, being flexible! And finally, the finishing touches: color palettes, lighting, finishing the punch list, fabrics, furniture placement and one last look. We’re done!
Here is an example of a kitchen that was in desperate need of a makeover:
This kitchen was lacking everything! There was no style, no storage, the space was not used properly and the lighting left a lot to be desired. This was a designers dream…or nightmare! Depending on how you look at it.
I would never try to be my own dentist. I would not attempt to cut my own hair. I wouldn’t spend the years and years learning how to be my own lawyer. And I know, that when I do a job, my interior design experience and style are what make the final outcome look complete and truly beautiful.
Paying a professional is the first step to getting what you want done and to reaching your renovating goals. Properly. Professionally. With Style.