‘What Do You Call An Interior Designer Who Doesn’t Finish On Time…?’

‘What Do You Call An Interior Designer Who Doesn’t Finish On Time…?’

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‘What do you call an interior designer who doesn’t finish on time, doesn’t do what you ask, and overcharges? Common.’

Jokes about interior designers may not be quite as common as those mocking lawyers or priests, but the cliches targeting our industry endure. We have to fight the mis-perception that we’re money pits- making clients buy things they don’t need, spending too much on what they do, and overcharging for the work. While I wish my industry only attracted the best + brightest, this is sadly not the case, but unlike most other industries, this work is not regulated; anyone can claim to be a ‘designer’, ‘decorator’ or ‘stylist’ and, with the exception of Yelp and other online bitch-pits*, face little to no repercussions.

I certainly am not the only competent design professional, far from it. There are many talented and highly ethical designers in our metro area that I would and do refer business to. However, in an effort to protect you from hiring the wrong ones, and experiencing the pitfalls of our unregulated industry, I’ve put together the top 3 matters to address with anyone you hire.

Photos– This is becoming more and more important as the use of stock photos increases. It’s too easy to download photos from the internet, put them on your website, and (by not crediting their origin), suggest the work is yours. It’s hugely unethical, a violation of intellectual property rights, and sadly, happens all the time. When interviewing a design professional, ask to see a portfolio (either online or hard copy) of their work- this is the best indication of the look, style and talent they’ll be bringing to your home.

Fee– You have a right to know what they are charging for, how much that is, and any arrangements they have with stores, vendors, and contractors. Many skim a reasonable percentage off the top (10-15%), many will outright rob you. Transparency is so important and any professional who doesn’t want, or isn’t willing to have an open and honest discussion with you regarding these practices is not someone I’d recommend working with.

Referrals– As you’d do for any other service provider, try to speak to people who have worked with them. Unfortunately, anything appearing on a website can be, flat out, made up, so while I think testimonials are wonderful, there’s no proof they’re true.

*Sites like Yelp seem less and less helpful and more and more a catalogue of everyone’s rants because they received bad service one time. Fun fact about Yelp? Once you register your business with them? You can never take it off.

5 Nonmaterial Ways To Improve Your Style

5 Nonmaterial Ways To Improve Your Style

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LizModels-173_newMany of the most important aspects of great style are nonmaterial. Clothing can only take you so far, and below are the 5 ways you can improve what’s already in your closet.

Posture– By standing up straight, pulling your shoulders back, sucking your stomach in, you’re helping clothing look its best.

Undergarments– While this is technically a material object, beautiful and well made bras aren’t visible to the outside world so I feel it’s fair to include them in this list. For busty women, these pieces are non-negotiables, and the wonderful ladies at Christina’s will help with everything.

Positive Attitude– There is no better accessory than a smile. We all have our days, but don’t look for the negative in everything, or constantly complain, or blame the world for your problems.

Tidy– Make sure your clothing is free of stains, rips, pulls, and (for wool and cashmere) pills and that everything is ironed and steamed (when applicable). No matter how stylish your outfit, much of the effect is lost when not presented in its best condition.

Confidence– You have to believe that your outfits look great and are a reflection of you. In the beginning, many of my clients aren’t certain of either, but with time develop the assurance that they do look fabulous. If you’re not there yet, my advice is this: fake it till you make it.

Do I Like It?

Do I Like It?

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One of the most common questions I field from clients is ‘do you like it?’ Do I like this sweater, or this pair of boots, this scarf or this beaded necklace? Often, whether or not I ‘like’ something will be the only factor determining whether or not it will remain in my client’s closet or accompany her home from the store…. Or so she thinks. But will it surprise you to learn that whether or not I personally ‘like’ something has no bearing on my opinion of it for you? How could that possibly be true??

I wanted to write about this topic because I think it’s a common misconception that stylists merely impart their particular style and opinion onto our clients; if I like something, you should like it too. This is, plainly, not true and it’s important that you understand why. For starters, the only factors I use to determine whether or not something is right for my clients are these: Is it dated? Will it work to help achieve the look we’re going for? Is it in good condition? Will it look good on you? Can we find a better/upgraded version of it? My personal opinion and whether or not I would want to wear it/own it has no bearing on these questions; ‘Liking’ is irrelevant to how it will or won’t work for you.

I think ‘like’ is a misnomer, so when I say it or we use it, it’s a shorthand way of saying ‘I approve of it for you’: I like this top because it’s versatile and will help make 5 different outfits with all your blazers. I like these shoes because they are high quality, fun, and help bring color into your outfits. I like your collection of pashminas because they’re colorful and express your amazing trips. Keep this in mind when working with me, or any other stylist. It’s not our job for you to express our style; it’s our job to help you express yours.