10 Matters Decorators Want You to Know About What They Do

Feb - 15

10 Matters Decorators Want You to Know About What They Do

Are you curious about what decorators do? Ever wonder where these charges go, what they do all day or the way they develop new ideas? Continue reading for answers from three professional interior decorators who offer their take on the job, working with clients and the behind-the-scenes work they do this most of us never see.

Maggie Stephens Interiors

What do decorators do?

Decorators use furniture,”soft” furnishings like rugs and fabrics, accessories and colors to pull together a space or an entire house. All decorating jobs start with a dialog between you and your decorator.

This is when you can discuss style and colour preferences, budget and the scope of your job. You might employ a decorator for a one-day consultation to receive thoughts you can then employ yourself or operate with a decorator to finish a project from begin to finish.

Your decorator may create mood boards, go shopping, transport and install furniture and accessories, choose paint colors and fabrics, create a new furniture design, or possibly get in there and move furniture.

1. Communication is key. If you’re under the belief that hiring a decorator would be the final decorating decision you want to create, think again. While a decorator is there to ease the procedure, it is still your house , and your input is valuable.

San Francisco Bay Area decorator Maggie Morgan of Maggie Rose Interiors states,”I wish I could read minds… but I do not. The top designs come from open communication about likes, dislikes and full understanding of a client’s needs. Pictures and illustrations are even better! I love when clients have put some consideration into the area before I encounter and can describe where they’re getting stuck”

Browse over 2 million design photos

Laura Collins Design

2. It’s about more than picking fabrics and furniture. Your house should reflect that you are, beyond your preference in throw cushions — your hobbies, passions, leadership in life and more. A fantastic decorator needs to be able to pull out these details and work them in their final vision for your residence.

Toronto, Ontario, decorator Laura Collins of Laura Collins Design states,”I’m a part-time therapist! Part of my job, beyond all of the pretty decorative details, is getting to know you. Knowing your heart and what you like or dislike.

“Within minutes of meeting clients, I’m often given a breakdown of their clients’ life. As we know, people’s environment, especially one’s house, is a really intimate part of life — intimate details are usually shared. This also really helps when thinking about the direction of this project, when you understand more private particulars.”

Maggie Stephens Interiors

3. Your budget is going to be respected. Among the biggest misconceptions concerning decorators is that by employing one you’re kissing your budget goodbye. That could not be farther from the truth. Be honest and realistic about financing from the get-go with your decorator to find the best outcomes.

From Maggie Rose Interiors:”I don’t dismiss your budget. The number I am given is the number I use, and I am respectful that my clients wish to stay in a particular range. I will take advantage of your budget. However, I also won’t function with a budget that’s too little or unrealistic to your client’s goals. No one is happy at the end of the scenario.

“I talk with my clients about their expectations and what they have to spend. $10,000 goes much farther in a room that’s supplied but needs accessories, than it will in an empty room that needs everything. We talk about ways to save and where to splurge. In addition, I have to remember labour (painters, etc.), tax, delivery and shipping charges, storage, as well as small things like drape hardware”

Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

Curious about how decorators charge? Morgan states,”My hourly rate for consultations is $150, but most jobs I estimate by job. I factor in the estimated variety of pieces I’ll be sourcing, just how much of it will be custom made, if construction is involved, if I’ll be handling the installation of pieces, and an estimate of hours it will take. All of this happens at the beginning of a job, also helps me compose our contract of services. If a client has a small budget, then I’ll recommend my two- or four-hour consultations”

“I currently charge new clients $295 for the first 2 hours of design or colour consultation.” States Nashville, Tennessee, decorator Kristie Barnett, aka The Decorologist.

“I provide a lot of thoughts in that first 2 hours my clients are generally scrambling to take notes about what I suggest. After that, it’s $95 per hour before their job is completed. The cost is the same for onsite work, research, shopping, whatever.

“One of my goals is helping my client prioritize their needs and needs so that they are spending their money in the right places, and on things which will really be bang-for-their-buck. I find that I often talk people out of purchasing expensive items that finally would not be the ideal thing for their space and providing them more educated alternatives. Many of my clients afterwards brag about how much money I have saved them.”

Laura Collins Design also has a set rate but provides her clients an estimate of additional costs –“I charge $150 per consultation and $150 per design board per area; plus additional costs to store for clients apply depending on the situation.”

These three examples should give you a big-picture view of what decorators may charge, but also remember that rates vary across the country, from decorator to decorator, and also depend on the scope of your job.

Find average costs for room decoration and furnishings by region

Laura Collins Design

4. We do lots of unglamorous, work. Being a decorator sounds like a fun job, and most decorators would concur, but not all parts of the project are pleasant.

Laura Collins Design has this to say:”It ain’t all glam! You have heard it all before, but I will say it again: While there are many fun elements such as looking for textiles, styling and shopping, the down side is your schlepping, driving from 1 area to another logically, and of course charging. That’s often the character of the monster. I think as soon as you’ve completed a really good job and you are able to see a tangible result, it is totally worth it”

Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

5. It’s physical work. Beyond purchasing, styling, running errands, and forcing, most decorators do a good deal of heavy lifting. A normal day could realize your decorator hauling furniture, painting, hammering and tackling other chores more often connected with building workers.

The Decorologist shares,”It’s not as glamorous as you imagine that it is. I lift and move furniture, drag merchandise from stores for clients, place myself in precarious positions to hang artwork perfectly (I dropped down someone’s staircase just last week), and sweat a lot. I have lost toenails and hammered my palms and thumbs many, many times”

Maggie Stephens Interiors

6. We keep the whole image in mind. Component of this reason you may choose to hire a breeder is because of her or his ability to see how each decorating decision, no matter how little, effects everything else.

Out Of Maggie Rose Interiors:”I really do choose each and every product carefully. My choices are based on scale, texture, colour, shape, price and how those elements balance with other items in the design. How it all plays together is key at a well-designed room”

Laura Collins Design

7. We are always”on” Where do decorators find inspiration and new ideas? Everywhere. Unlike some professions where you can reach the”off” switch as soon as you leave work, decorators are spying finds and colour schemes wherever they go and are bubbling with thoughts 24/7.

Out Of Laura Collins Design:”I’m always searching for inspiration wherever I go. Whether it be to another continent to discover a new method of life, a runway show, a movie, or walking into a retail store, I’m always taking mental notes. I adore an eclectic area, therefore I’m always devoting thoughts in my head hoping for an opportunity to bring them in a client’s house! If I find a bit I adore, I will attempt to work out how to integrate it into a job and work it in the design scheme”

Laura Collins Design

8. We would like you to bring your personality to the table and then trust us to run with this. Decorators welcome strong points of view, so if you understand what you love, do not be afraid to say what you think. But if you’ve hired a decorator, remember that you did it for a motive — so as soon as you understand they are in touch with your personality, let them have the creative freedom to do something amazing with it.

Out Of Laura Collins Design:”As decorators, we are often credited with being the full visionary of the jobs we are working on. However, my favorite clients have been the ones with fearless design, or at least an quantity of confidence which will allow some creative freedom. It amazes me just how many individuals I have worked with who actually have to be walked through each decision. I’m decisive, and once I have a notion I encounter it, therefore it is a challenge when each product is up for debate. Whenever you have a client that trusts your creative authority, the job isn’t just fun, but the collaborative process is often even more amazing as a outcome!”

Laura Collins Design

9. Creative work is time consuming. For those not in a creative area, it could be difficult to comprehend, but coming up with an original, creative design is a remarkably time-consuming — and occasionally unpredictable — procedure.

Laura Collins Design shares,”As much as I love my job, beginning in this market, particularly when you’re attempting to do it solo, is hard! Until you are able to set a clientele, then it may be very trying. One important thing I have learned isn’t to undervalue the work which goes into this particular job. I think there is a fear among creatives that we will need to take whatever we think individuals will compensate us without losing a possible client — significance actually undervaluing our providers.

“It is simple to undercut the imaginative process because we would like to make sure we receive payment in the end. I think it is extremely important though to contemplate how much time is put to the jobs we produce. Folks assume that since it is inside a creative area which the work load isn’t as time consuming or strenuous, but the work and time spent is equally lasting. I happen to actually love design, to feel someone appreciate the value of your knowledge and imaginative direction truly makes all of the difference.”

Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

10. We perform several hours which don’t make it onto the bill. From doing research and keeping up with new trends to updating social websites, a lot goes in to running a decorating company which could never be billed for. Like most entrepreneurs, decorators tend to operate way over 40 hours per week.

The Decorologist has this to say:”Even though some might think my hourly rate fee is high, they do not realize all the hours that you don’t receive paid for. One woman said ,”It must be great to get paid so much for so little time.” The truth is that I perform many, many hours that I am not paid for. It’s not a 9-to-5 where you hit a clock and understand what you are going to make every week. I normally operate 70-plus hours every week in my company, but that I may only be paid for 15-20 hours of this.

“I really do a lot of research to stay present and on-trend, and to find out about new colors and products. I have to devote money and time making up colour samples, attending workshops and training, as well as handling my books and billing. I cover an assistant to take care of scheduling and returning emails, which used to carry me 15-20 hours a week. Then there is advertising and generating business — when you’re your own boss, then you’re the one that must bring company in. I spend several hours every week blogging, writing for books and performing social websites to keep the motor running and the clients coming. Even though it seems like a designer makes a lot of money, in the event that you compared it into some guaranteed 40-hour-per-week salary you could see things differently.”

More: Locate a decorator near you

Next: 8 things inside designers want you to be conscious of what they do

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