I cannot write for other decorators, as I do not know exactly what their process or services are, but in terms of my process, when is the right time to call in a decorator?
The answer: When you come up with the idea that you maybe want to do a renovation/redecoration of your house/office/retail space.
As a decorator and project manager, I offer so much more than scatter cushions and the right placement of the couch… it goes right back to the beginning from space planning, through to selection of finishes, managing all the subcontractors and furniture placement.
Here are some don’ts:
- I will contact you after the architect has drawn up the plans – NO! I need to sit in with the architect. Does the architect know what furniture and art you have and needs to fit into the new space. Does he know not to put the light fitting in the middle of the dining room because we will actually be putting in banquet seating, and the light fitting needs to be fitted on the right?
- We do not have the money for the renovation now, so we will just buy some furniture in the mean time and will phone you when the big job commences – NO! Inevitably you will end up wasting your money on furniture that might not even fit into the final envisioned space. Even if not architecturally drawn up, if we can plan the final space, we can ensure that whatever we install now, will be able to be recycled into the final space to avoid wasting – one of my biggest hates!
- I will call you once we are done with the renovation – NO! The design elements of your home for the final look pulls from the selection of the fitted finishes, right through to your furniture selection. You wanted an ultra modern minimalist space, but without realising have put country kitchen handles on your high gloss doors, and put skirting’s with rounded edges onto your new high gloss floors, when you want white couches and chrome legs!? This might sound pedantic, but the decorator is there to ensure that the the whole space speaks the same language. We also have clever tricks from dealing with interiors on a daily basis, that can often save you a lot of money!
- I have picked my own builder and tiler etc. so I will phone you when they are done. NO! I have no problem with you wanting to use your own tradesmen, but people always underestimate the strain of a building project and dealing with contractors. Would you rather shout at a plumber, electrician, builder, tiler, cabinet maker, curtain installer and manage all their schedules and time-frames, or just shout at your decorator. We are tough… we can handle it… it is what we do! Let us carry the load and manage all the subcontractors for you. Then you just deal with me, and I will deal with the whole team. That is where the value sits in having a decorator on site. This is especially important for working couples where there can not be constant supervision at home.
- But if I use your contractors, it will work out to be way more expensive, so I will rather do that myself – NO! Working in the industry we deal with contractors on a daily basis, so have selected the best in the field. Are they more expensive…sometimes? Will it be done on time, to the highest standard with the least amount of wastage…probably! I hear people moaning over and over again about their builders dragging, and their painters not pitching. For a fraction more, we can take care of that for you!
This is probably one of the longest posts I have written, but hopefully will clarify a designers process. I will close with what I started… we are way more than scatter cushion and the right placement of a couch. We are here to hold your hand throughout the project!