Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making The Right Choices in Your Interiors

In a previous post about interior design, I requested for consumers to ask themselves the question, “Why do I want to hire an interior designer?”.  I shared how it allows for them to really focus on what their design goals might be.  As a professional designer, I also ask that same question when I receive a potential client’s call.  One of the biggest responses will be, “I don’t want to make a mistake and I need help in knowing what is ‘right’ for my room.”  I’m very sensitive as to how intimidating the process of interior design and making all of those decisions can be.

(Pay attention to the little details, if you want a well-designed room.)

Let me share a few thoughts about making the right choices.  First, the definition of ‘right’ can mean several things, but in many cases it means the individual: 

  1. Is interested in being educated about making wise decisions.  They want to know the “why behind the buy”.
  2. Needs or wants a caring advocate.  It’s not just about hand-holding.  There is a language to interior design and it often needs translation to other vendors, contractors or craftsmen involved in the process.
  3. Needs assistance so the project looks professionally done and not something amateurish in the execution.  A designer, who has experience and ongoing education, has developed an “eye” for a finer process. 

These folks still want the home to reflect their personal style but with that extra sparkle brought forth by things being done “right'”.


(This chair, from Leathercraft, exemplifies the “right” about craftsmanship and quality.  The gentleman, who does their nailhead trim, has been with them for several decades.  The hand tufting was completed by a different expert craftsman.  The leather was hand cut, from a custom pattern, by yet another craftsman.  The legs were furniture-finished, by a separate expert.  Notice how the Ikat patterned fabric is perfectly in alignment.  The fabric pattern cutter made sure of it.  So many hands, working in unison, created not only an heirloom but a lesson in that good design is always good and the differences can be appreciated by the touch and the eye.)


(The dovetail joinery, in a drawer, not only provides a beautiful finish, it’s one of the strongest ways to connect a drawer face to the sides.  The joints oppose one another so that the drawer box stays intact for years of use.)

Even in the simplest of terms, when we hire anyone to help our home become a more beautiful place, we desire for it to be done well.  Just recently, a client wanted to get a project finished and the contractor who was helping her offered to provide his professional painters to keep the process going.  My go-to-guy was tied up on another project, so based on the contractor’s recommendation, we moved ahead with his people.  We are now having my painter re-do the project.  As my client commented, “I wanted the areas to look better than if my husband and I did it.”  The other fellows missed the mark.  (The old adage, “Good things come to those who wait”, often applies.  We will . . . the next time.)

Design tools

Did you know it takes about 10,000 hours to become an expert in a field of practice?  If you are a consumer, ponder how you choose design professionals.  Do you know how they’ve become who they are, today?  What’s their training, experience and expertise?

Design is also about inspiration, creativity and passion.  I can attest that the desire to spend those 10,000 hours, (and many, many more), absorbed in the process of developing my skills, was definitely spurred on by passion!  Combining all of the above, should provide you, the consumer, with the best tools for making the right design decisions.

“Some critics will write 'Maya Angelou is a natural writer' - which is right after being a natural heart surgeon.” ~ Maya Angelou

Thanks, Maya, I couldn’t have said it better myself! ~ Wanda


Mr. Goodwill Hunting said...

Well said Wanda!!

Mr. Goodwill Hunting

Amy said...

Great post Wanda…seemed like more than 10,000 hours when we were in school! Love your blog.
Amy Vermillion