Sunday, November 25, 2012

Interior Design Options: What services do you REALLY want or need?

Thanksgiving has breezed by and my holiday decorations are in place!  I’m already looking forward to refining my interiors business with some new methods and service offerings for 2013.  Actually, I’ve been pondering this for a while. 

In all of my years of experience, as a full-service interior designer, I’ve been witnessing a definite shift in the design industry. It’s a bit confusing at times, I’ll admit.

There still seems to be a desire for the look of fine interiors - and with all of the information streaming on the internet - it also appears there’s a big confusion among consumers as to what it means, how to achieve it, and what to invest in it. 


(Lux interiors are an investment, both in the product and the design process.  The results, though, can be golden!  - Chair image:  Traditional Home – Drexel Heritage.  Wedgewood: Jasperware Coffee Set – Graphics:  Wanda S. Horton Interior Design)

During the holiday break, as I was creating these story boards for a totally different post, it hit me . . . Folks are inspired by beautiful design. They may even have aspirations to recreate the design. The transformation doesn’t actually occur; however, until an action takes place. This seems to be where many get stuck.  Taking action requires confidence in the process. As a designer, the question came to mind:  How can I help them become “un-stuck”?


(Mixing it up . . . A bit of high-end meets upcycling from the attic. Chair image:  Linwood Fabrics. Red Cupboard:  Pinterest – lined in Farrow & Ball wallpaper. Wedgewood: Jasperware Teapot – Graphics: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design)

I also thought about how there are different levels of interior design projects and the way to convey the best outcomes are when expectations are clarified and are realistic. 

For example:

Full-Service Interior Design covers just about every need a client might have.  It’s an investment for a long-term, completed project, down to the last candlestick or wood molding.  There is more creative control in this process as the design vision is carried to reality and the designer, (aka – me), wants this room or area not only to be that of which the client will be overjoyed with the experience, but also one worthy of photographing for my portfolio.  Trust me, I consider that to be a very good thing!

This type of design also provides for more of a concierge level of service.  Even within the category, there is collaboration with the client and they can do some of the legwork, if agreed upon upfront.  The fee is determined by the scope of the project and the time-table projected.  This is a full-on commitment . . . a marriage of sorts . . . with a contract.


(Isn’t it nice to know there are options for planning your interiors?  One size doesn’t have to fit all! Chairs’ image: Linwood Fabrics. Wedgewood: Jasperware Urn – Graphics: Wanda S. Horton Interior Design)

Interior Design Packages provide for specific tasks and goals to be accomplished.  My personal challenge with this type of service has been that I look at an area in total.  I think of all of the cause and effects so “just picking a paint color” seems as if I’m the doctor prescribing a cure without taking a patient history.  For this reason, my packages go beyond, “just paint”.

I’ve been providing this in blocks of time, a little bit like a spa package, with a minimum time investment.  Additional services can be secured, but if it’s heading in the direction of full-service design, it’s time to chat about the efficiency of the process.  I’ve got to do some more work on refining this one!    


(Workshops provide expanded knowledge and appreciation for a process.  In this case, years of an acquired skill are shown by a Wedgewood craftsperson.)

Interior Design Workshops allow for a relaxed group setting and feedback, with the fee to be determined by the details, length of the workshop, and materials to be provided.  For example, a two-hour time frame could be an overview of how to get started in planning for a room make-over or it could be a specific one teaching you about how to set a budget for furniture shopping and a quality guideline. 

There could be some time set aside for one-on-one time or a future workshop could take the topic to more detail.  You might even learn how to plan a room from scratch!  This isn’t meant to be a substitute for the full-service interior design process and nor would you walk away with a design degree.  :)  It would allow for a bit of the veil to be pulled away from the process in order to equip you to be able to make better decisions in your design investment. 

So what am I considering?  Well, I’ve got some ideas percolating.  Meanwhile, if you’re in the Charlotte area, I’d like to hear from you.  Are you planning an interior design project in 2013?  Would you consider attending a workshop to help you just get started? 

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If this post resonated with you, drop me a line to find out more about my design services. Now booking into 2013!

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