When To Fire Your Interior Designer

Help! I Hired The Decorator From Hell

Greetings, Gentlemen. We’ve all heard of the dreaded “customer from hell,” but what exactly is he? I published an article a while back about an interior designer who was dismissed by her customer. It is not always the case that the individual is tough. Its expectations are not in line with those of their creator, and it is at this point that a disagreement might occur.

To be fair, while not the majority of my colleagues, there is such a thing as the decorator from hell.

According to an amalgam of accounts I’ve heard over the years, the following message was penned. Dear Laurel, I just engaged a designer to assist me with furnishing our living room, dining room, and family room spaces. I set a budget of no more than $75,000 for her to use for everything. She assured me that there would be no difficulty. It’s already been six months since the incident. I’ve already paid her about $20,000 in design costs, and all we have in terms of furniture are drapes, a couple of sofas, cushions, a coffee table, and a rug, to name a few things.

Quite frankly, I think it all looks rather bland. It definitely isn’t what we wanted.

She persuaded us to spend a fortune on this obscenely costly fringe for our hideously expensive silk Roman shades. Oh, and did I mention the clincher? The total cost of all of this, including shipping and tax, has so far been $35,791.31! The shipping alone for all of it cost more than $3000. What? With the fees, we have already spent about 56 thousand dollars of our 75 thousand dollar budget!

In addition, she often foists her assistant on us.

This woman, on the other hand, is as thick as mud and is awful at returning phone calls. Her manager is ALWAYS in a meeting when we approach her and seek to talk with her. It is certain that she never calls or responds to our emails.

I’m so upset. I found her through ASID,so I was positive that since she was a professional member that she would behave professionally and at the very least, give us what we asked for?

Then I discovered that she is simply a “allied” member of ASID, which I have no idea what that implies. I really don’t know. All I know is that we’ve been ripped off big time, and I’m enraged as all get out! I’m in a fortunate position. However, it makes me question whether there is a distinction between a designer and a decorator.

In any case, I managed to find a decorator from hell!

Sincerely, Deb

Oh dear… Could Deb have avoided the decorator from Hell?

Yes, I believe that is correct. Deb was duped by this interior designer, and whether she was aware of it or not, she accepted the work on the basis of false pretenses. She was clearly unable to keep within financial constraints, and she was also difficult to reach. Deb, on the other hand, has some culpability, unless this designer is an out-and-out lying sociopathic monster, because it appears that she did not adequately qualify the designer. She’s there.haha! from 1999, as promised. I played Dulcamara, the Snake Oil Salesman, in the operaL’elisir d’amore (Elixer of Love), which was presented by the Taconic Opera.

LOL) sidekick to the Snake Oil Salesman, Dulcamara.

You’ve come to the realization that you’re in over your head. You make the prudent decision to enlist the assistance of a professional interior designer/decorator(***note*** I believe that the words are mostly interchangeable, and you can read more about this here.)

However, you’ve heard some stories about the possibility of hiring the decorator from hell and you’re leery.

You certainly should be! There are people from different walks of life on our planet. Right? Working with an interior designer is a lot like being in a relationship, and above all things, you and the designer must feel completely at ease with one other in order to be successful.

Laurel’s Ultimate Guide To Avoid Getting Stuck With The Sucky Decorator From Hell

  1. Inquire with your friends or friends of friends to see if they know of anyone who would be interested. Realtors may be a fantastic source of information on occasion
  2. You can also look out interior designers in your neighborhood on the internet. You are not need to work with someone in your near vicinity, although it is generally preferable to do so
  3. Look at their websites and portfolios online to get a sense of their work. What kind of websites do you think are professional, with colors and imagery that you like? If you look closely, it appears that they should be selling plumbing components rather than elegant curtains. It is possible to get many useful hints on the designer’s website

The portfolio.

The photographs above are courtesy of Laurel Bern Interiors. Do you think you’d be comfortable in any of the designer’s interiors? You don’t have to enjoy every single one of the interiors, but there must be something about what this individual is doing that speaks to your heart.

More info about portfolios

Some designers work in a variety of styles, but others do not. Unless your designer specifically states differently, don’t expect her to deviate too much from her usual aesthetic if you don’t see anything that you like. You must have proof of this!

Look at the services provided.

Some designers are more focused on specific parts of their work, such as building. Others specialize on only a few areas, such as upholstery and window coverings. Some people do everything. Take a look at her history, education, and years of experience in business. There should be a wealth of excellent information available to assist you in making an informed decision.

All right. You’ve narrowed down the field to six interior designers that have made the referral/google/website cut.

It’s time to sound the alarm. I suggest this because, while you may absolutely contact them, you will most likely need to talk with them in person at some point. If they do not have a phone number posted on their website. Now is the time to move on. That’s not a good sign.

  • Create a page in a notebook for each designer, and make notes on each page
  • Were there any personnel that answered the phone who were polite and helpful?

Once you have the interior designer on the phone, now comes the qualifying round.

Of course, she will also qualify you in the process! What does it feel like to chat to her? Nervous? That’s OK with me. Take a deep breath in and out. She is a real person, as well. (Hopefully) And if you don’t feel comfortable in any manner, it’s not a good fit. Please have a list of questions prepared in advance so that you don’t forget any important things during the interview. You’re in command of the situation!

Laurel’s List of Questions Every Client Needs to Have toGrillAsk Her Potential Interior Designer/Decorator

  • What is the typical amount of money a customer spends on a living room

If the designer estimates your project would cost between $80 and $100,000 (as many do), and your budget is no more than $30,000, it’s time to. oops. sorry. I had to leave. It was a pleasure talking with you, but I forgot I had a cake baking in the oven. Goodbye, goodbye. There is no reason to go any farther with this discussion. It’s possible that it’s the other way around. Despite the fact that you may have aJohn RosselliorHolly Huntbudget, your designer purchases all of her furniture from Crate & Barrel.

Okay, this is a sticky, unpleasant issue, and there is a proper way to approach it as well as an incorrect way to approach it.

Please do not ask her how much her mark up is.

I can’t express how passionately I feel about this, and the majority of my coworkers feel the same way. It is none of your business what you do with your fork. Please. What if you went into Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s and picked up a blouse and then asked the salesperson how much they paid for it. Of course not, that isn’t the case. If you ask an unfair question that is impossible to answer, you should avoid putting your designer on the position. Product purchases by designers are often made from a range of suppliers (as may be found in Laurel’s Rolodex), and as our discount changes, so does the cost to our clients.

Although it is OK to “shop” your interior designer/decorator, please refrain from doing so. If you don’t believe that you are receiving fair value for your money in exchange for her knowledge and goods, then it isn’t going to succeed.)

What you need to know is if they sell products in your PRICE RANGE.

Some interior designers charge an hourly fee in addition to the markup they receive from wholesale on the products they sell. This is yet another contentious issue.

How Do Interior Designers Charge For Their Services?

It’s a difficult question to answer, however there are some suggestions in the link provided above. There are no regulations or standard operating procedures in place in this business, which contributes significantly to the problem. And, given the fact that suppliers are inconsistent in how they bill us, I’m worried that will not be the case in the future. But. and this is really crucial. What I’ve learned from chatting with colleagues who charge in a variety of ways is that, at the end of the day, we are all around the same price, give or take a few dollars.

This is not to say that showrooms are bad.

In no way, shape, or form! Even more so, the designer must embrace a greater degree of responsibility. In addition, many merchants will not sell directly to designers because of legal restrictions. Consequently, if you are dealing with a designer that primarily employs show rooms, this is not always a negative characteristic. Some designers, for example, merely charge an hourly rate for their services. But it’s one of the reasons why I established Laurel’s Rolodex in the first place. It’s an insider’s guide to over 500 suppliers and companies, with over 150 of them being designer-friendly, all in one place.

As a result, I ended up putting thousands of dollars in someone else’s pocket when they might have gone into mine.

This tutorial is intended for designers and anybody who are interested in design.

In reality, it is intended to be of use to both the designer and the customer.

Another great question which will give you lots of clues

Would you please inform me the pricing ranges for items such as couches, chairs (particularly dining chairs! ), textiles, and other furnishings? Perhaps you’ll come across something you like in her portfolio, and I believe it’s OK to inquire as to how much it cost in a rough figure. An experienced designer will also be able to deliver her speech with ease. Moreover, some of these details should be shared with you without your permission. I will occasionally ask a customer where she purchased her currentfurniture in order to get an idea of her pricing range, or I would tell her that couches can be purchased for as little as $2,000 and go up from there.

  • Do you have a copy of the letter of agreement on hand?
  • Likewise, you must be able to discuss any questions that may arise regarding it.
  • Obviously, this has to be conveyed, and it’s helpful to understand how to do it.
  • What if I don’t like what you’re presenting to me right now?
  • While she’s answering this question, pay close attention to her expression.
  • You know, she could be kind of somewhat going along with you on this.
  • That’s how you know it’s true.;] Some clients do want their designer to take over, but if you’re one of those who doesn’t, it’s critical to figure this out from the beginning of the project.
  • Yes, these are much better!
  • If it is something that is essential to you, I would inquire.
  • What if I wish to take care of certain aspects of my business on my own?

Every designer approaches their job in a unique way. Some are amenable to the idea of you controlling certain rooms or portions of a space, while others aren’t. This is also an excellent opportunity to share information that she needs to know, such as:

  • Because you have a three-hundred-dollar credit with Thomasville
  • Or because you have a sewing-adept acquaintance
  • Alternatively, your sister/mother/aunt/best friend is a decorator.
See also:  How Much To Paint 1000 Sq Ft House Interior

Okay. I believe we’ve covered all of the relevant qualification problems. How did she come across? If you’re feeling good and think you’d enjoy a cup of coffee with her, then schedule a time to meet! Is there a fee associated with this appointment? I mean, I’m not sure if I want to hire the designer or not at this point. So what’s the point of paying? You obviously want to have coffee with her, therefore you’re probably at least 90 percent certain that you do in fact have a relationship with her.

She has already qualified you over the phone, and you have qualified her as well.

As a result, expect to pay for this service, but make full use of it to your advantage!

more questions.

Is it okay for me to hire my own painter or contractor/tradespeople? YES! In fact, my clients are required to enter into a whole different contract with these individuals. The money does not go via my firm in any way. That is a private matter between you and them. As a matter of course, your designer should collaborate with them in order to resolve any issues that may arise. My rule has always been that if anything moves, it goes through me; but, if it is not moveable (such as a floor or paint), it goes through an independent contracting company.

  • I understand that this may seem apparent, but some designers will accept every project that comes their way, regardless of whether they have the time to do it.
  • What is the most difficult difficulty you’ve ever faced, and what was the conclusion of that situation?
  • Over the years, I’ve had a few of real snoozers.
  • If she’s evasive or says something like, “Well, nothing really horrible has ever occurred,” there’s a sign that something is wrong.
  • Despite the fact that she has only been in business for a few months, She’s deceiving you

Could you please provide me with a list of client references? Yes! Absolutely! ********* Clients of the designer may have certain questions. Was the designer able to keep inside his or her budget? Were there any big issues that needed to be addressed, and if so, how were they resolved? ********* Could you perhaps provide me with the names of a handful of your trade references? That is also something I have never been asked. However, it is an excellent question, and I would have no hesitation in referring the individual to a contractor and/or a trade representative.

Obviously, she isn’t going to offer you the name and phone number of her custom workroom, but acontractori is entirely fair; especially if you are paying her for her time!

If she appears to be insulted or becomes agitated, you should avoid working with this individual. You already know what to say. Thank you very much for your help! I’m going to talk to my spouse about it, and then I’ll get back to you.;] In the next century or so, (sometime)

Trust your instincts. If you think that you’re smelling a whiff of eau de snake oil, you’ll most likely be right.

The best case scenario is that everything checks out; you have asked all of the proper questions and received wonderful, passionate replies. And you admire her job and find her to be a pleasure to be around. You’ve almost certainly got a winner on your hands! Decorating your house should be a pleasurable and rewarding experience. xo, PS: If you haven’t already, you might also appreciate the following posts, if you haven’t before: How to determine whether your interior decorator is taking advantage of you OMG!

The story of a client who was dismissed from her interior designer

OMG! My Interior Designer Fired Me! What Did I Do Wrong?

Greetings, Laurel. OMG! My interior designer terminated my employment! I was under the impression that everything was going swimmingly. We were making strides forward. And then, after I questioned her about the floor plan in an email to her last night, she responded by writing to tell me that it wasn’t working out and that she was refunding my design money. Her only explanation was that “we’re just not a good fit together.” What might have happened? What could have happened? I appreciate it, Dazed-and-Confusedmy old living room in Goldens Bridge, around 2002, with little Peaches.

  • First and first, I am deeply sorry that you have had this experience; nevertheless, please understand that she is acting in your best interests.
  • Third.
  • Oh?
  • Of course not, that is not the case.
  • I understand.
  • That’s very understandable, and no one can accuse you of being unreasonable.
  • I hope this list will be useful for both clients and interior designers.

The Laurel Home Primer on Interior Design Client Etiquette and Behavior

You know how people are always saying things like this? “Well, don’t take it too personally. after all, it isn’t a personal attack.” Sorry, but that’s a piece of garbage. It’s a personal attack. Designing, decorating, and entering people’s homes and private spaces are all extremely personal experiences. To be successful, both parties must feel at ease with the partnership in order for it to succeed. Even though this should be and usually is an extremely enjoyable process, there are some considerations to bear in mind as well.

A List of Do’s Before You Hire Your Interior Designer

  • Check to see if there are any furniture pieces you’d like to integrate
  • Set aside some time with yourself and any other individuals involved to compile a list of everything you require and want in life. To put it another way. So, what exactly do you require to be able to have happen in your home
  • Make a budget for yourself that is reasonable. If you’re not sure what it is, go online and look for furnishings, colors, and other items that you enjoy
  • You haven’t decided what you want to do? There’s an issue with that. It is necessary for you to communicate your preferences to your interior designer. As a result, you will have some homework to complete. Make use of sites such as Pinterest to discover your personal style. Create mood boards using images of rooms or colors that you enjoy. Over time, you will begin to see trends
  • Go online and conduct research on the interior designer you are considering hiring. Do you think her work is good? If this is not the case, then continue on. You may get a decent sense of what the designer is capable of doing by looking at her portfolio. Some designers have a fairly particular look, but others have a more diversified appearance.

Most designers/decorators, however, will have an over-all style. You need to like it. The reason for this is that you may begin working with them and then realize that you’re clashing all of the time. It won’t work.

  • Call the interior designers whose work you admire and inquire as to how they operate and whether this is a project they could be interested in taking on.

Great! You’ve found someone whose work you admire and respect. You chatted with her on the phone for 20 minutes, and she comes off as quite pleasant!

After that, you scheduled a two-hour consultation with me on the phone. Later, after getting to know her, you were so taken with her that you decided to engage her to furnish three of your rooms – the living room, dining room, and den/office.

You need to set a realistic budget For Your Interior Designer.

I understand what you’re going through. Giving her an exact sum of money is not a good idea since she would spend every last bit of it! Yes, she might, but here’s why she absolutely, really, positively NEEDS to know how much money you have to spend on the endeavor.

  • We need to know this number since it will provide us with a solid notion of the goods that will fit WITHIN that range of possibilities. Aside than that, it’s a massive guessing game. Making educated guesses does not make for a productive design partnership. What are you going to think when she shows you a sofa and two chairs that cost $20,000.00 when your budget for the entire room is $20,000.00?
  • Communication that is clear, honest, and respectful between the client and the designer is essential

Here Are Some Behaviors Which Could Get You Fired By Your Interior Designer.

  • You are skeptic about anything she says and recommends. This includes not just one or two items, but virtually everything

It appears that you are having trust concerns. In the event that you are not confident in your designer’s ability and judgment, she is not the ideal designer for you. It’s also conceivable that you’ll never find a designer who is a good fit for you. It’s a possibility. For some people, working with an interior designer is not a good idea. According to the above statement, if you have done your study ahead of time, you will be collaborating with someone who understands YOU and vice versa.

In addition, it’s crucial to find out if he/she’s the type of interior designer who takes over or one who collaborates.

  • Despite the fact that you are sending her long-winded emails with a slew of queries at 11:00 p.m., you are doing so.

This one alone will not result in your dismissal, and effective communication is essential. A fantastic method of communication, especially when there are specifics that are difficult to recall, is via email. In addition, there is a written record. the following is an example of an inexpensive living room makeover we completed a few years ago.

However, in general, emails are better for quick questions or something that needs to be written out.

I believe that if it is going to be longer than that, it is more convenient, faster, and ultimately less laden with the chance of misinterpretation if there can be a back and forth conversation–on the phone. The fact that there is a gap exists, but then again, if you decided to work with a designer whose work you admire, this should not be happening. A excellent designer DESIRES for you to be satisfied. While working with customers, if I showed them something and they didn’t like it, the item was promptly discarded.

The best designers LISTEN TO THEIR CLIENTS. And observe EVERYTHING.

  • You’ve set yourself up for disappointment. For example, you could want your husband’s office to serve as the family room, your workplace, and a guest bedroom all at the same time. And you’d like it to include built-in cabinets as well. It is only 1314, and you have a budget of ten thousand dollars. That, on the other hand, is unlikely to occur
  • Instead,

Now, if you really, really want to make her flip her grits, here’s what you do:

Assign her a crazily difficult task like that, and when she returns in a week, half-bald and with two excellent options that fulfill every item on your wish list. DON’T FORGET TO TELL HER THEN that you can make due without half of the stuff she was tearing her hair out over in order to have them function properly.

You’re both 48 years old with two teen-aged kids. The designer walks in to find that you’re still living like you’re just out of college.

If your bohemian, hand-me-down lifestyle no longer serves you, are you truly ready to let go? This is going to be a significant adjustment for some individuals, and they must be prepared for it on all levels: physically, mentally, and spiritually.

See also:  How To Build An Interior Half Wall

Are there outside influences that the designer doesn’t know about that are exerting control over the design decisions?

  • In the (eye) shadows, there’s a. waiting around the corner.

The term “Mother-in-Law” does not refer to the pleasant, minding-her-own business type of M-I-L. She’s a royalW ITCH, to put it mildly.;] This reminds me of some clients I had a number of years ago; if you missed it the first time around, it’s a fascinating story to read.

I know how difficult it can be to set boundaries with meddlesome family members, but you must.

You have engaged the services of an interior designer, and you are the designer’s customers. Except if they have signed our letter of agreement, your mother(s) are not considered our customers. This is your residence. It’s all about you. Mom has returned to her residence. Her belongings. We are dedicated to serving you. None of your relatives (parents, aunts, uncles, acquaintances, or children.) It is quite OK to seek their viewpoint; nevertheless, please keep in mind who you hired.

Nothing is more annoying than to be subjected to. “Well, that’s what so and so says.” It’s not that we don’t value or appreciate other people’s viewpoints. It’s because it comes out as hostile and as if you don’t trust the person. Please refrain from doing so.

  • Your marriage is on the rocks, and you and your partner are always arguing

Sorry. Decorating your home will not fix a bad marriage.

If anything, it will exacerbate the situation. And yes, I’ve witnessed clients engage in a knock-down, drag-out yelling match with one another in my presence on several occasions. (I’m curious as to what happens when I’m not present?)

  • As a result, your two adolescents are constantly arguing over where they should sit when watching television, and as a result, you require a massive sectional that will not fit in your room due to the layout of the space.

Fine. Let them kill each other.

If your family is in a state of dysfunction, do not expect the decorator to create a design around it. Besides, if they’re adolescents, they’ll be out of your hair in a nanosecond if you don’t take action.

  • Pick up the phone and make a random call during your appointment with your interior designer, and leave her on the line for 15-20 minutes while you debate who will be picking up tablecloths for the book fair.

*There will be no remark.

  • When you arrive for your meeting, your husband decides to show up an hour into it, forcing the designer to start over from the beginning with the presentation.

*Please see the preceding paragraph.

  • The interior designer who has spent many hours putting everything together for you is ultimately informed that your aunt, sister, mother, or female friend can “get everything for you wholesale” after several months of working with her.

I’m a firm believer in karma.

If a consumer does not make their payment on time, they may not be able to receive their item. No business in the world will allow you to take thatfurniture into your home unless you have paid in full for it. Oh, I’ve done that; not purposefully, but on at least two occasions that I can recollect, the last item was delivered without my knowledge before the final bill was received. And, of course, I submitted it as soon as I could, and the customer ultimately decided that she would not pay me the balance that was still owed.

Fortunately, those occurrences were seldom in my experience.

This next one kinda blows my mind because that is not howI was raised.I wouldn’t fire someone for not doing it, but it usually goes hand-in-hand with other undesirable behaviors.

  • If a client fails to make a timely payment, the product may not be delivered to them. Until the furniture has been paid for in full, no retailer in the world will allow it into your home. No doubt about it
  • Not on purpose, but at least twice in my memory, the final item was supplied without my knowledge before the final bill was submitted. In the end, the customer decided that she was not going to pay me what was still owed because I had provided the document as quickly as possible. There are certain folks who are truly vile. That was an uncommon occurrence, fortunately, for me in that situation.

And Finally. Here’s the very best way to get rid of your interior designer.

  • Start shopping, whether online or in-store, and send her an email at 11:00 p.m. about all of the wonderful things you discovered on CLEARANCE at.

NO! You enlisted our assistance in putting the space together for you. Unless it is specifically stated in your agreement that you, the client, will be responsible for all of the shopping and that we will just be there to advise you on an hourly or flat fee basis, this is acceptable. In every other case, no. That, I believe, is a satisfactory conclusion. If not, please feel free to add your voice to the discussion. And sure, I am aware of this! In the world of interior design, there are some greedy interior designers.

Here’s where you can read about the interior designer from hell.

Both of these postings also include further suggestions for designers and clients on how to collaborate more effectively. Fortunately, I feel that the vast majority of interior designers are industrious and trustworthy individuals. We have a tendency to want to satisfy others. However, in the 20 years that I have been in business, I have had to terminate a small number of clients, and let me tell you, each time it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. *********

Dazed and Confused. Believe her when she says that you’re not a good fit.

If she believes you are, you are not. And she’s doing you a favor by doing this. (As well as herself.) Furthermore, it’s possible that it’s not all your fault. It’s possible that she’s responsible in part. However, she is not going to tell you why you were fired because she knows you would become defensive, which will only serve to exacerbate the situation. xo, p.s. If you have a designer buddy or acquaintance that you desire to remain in touch with, please refrain from saying something along the lines of: “Here, let me treat you to a cup of coffee so that I can pick your brain.” Although your designer acquaintance may be wealthy, it is outrageously impolite and arrogant to propose that they work for pennies instead of the substantial design charge that they are due.

Despite this, it occurs on a regular basis.

Being a good interior designer takes years of dedicated study AND experience.There really are no short-cuts.

Furthermore, it is a difficult and tiring line of work. Pretend that your interior design acquaintance is a doctor or a lawyer, and you’ll be OK. Would you bring your medical buddy a cup of coffee as a thank you for “picking their brain!” You would, wouldn’t you?

And, if you’re a designer, don’t you dare EVER work for free!

(Unless it’s for a good cause.) And I guarantee you that it will come back to bite you in the tuchas! When working for relatives and friends, you may choose to cut your costs, but never work for nothing! There will be no complimentary consultations either! Is your doctor willing to provide you with a free consultation? He does not, in fact. Even if he inadvertently kills you, you are still safe. If you haven’t before, you might also appreciate the following posts, if you haven’t already: How to determine whether your interior decorator is taking advantage of you The interior decorator from the pit of hell What happens when your customer is a psychopath who is abusive to you?

22 Red Flags That Indicate an Interior Design Client is Wrong For You

We’ve all been there: you’re walking out of a new business meeting with a potential customer and you just have this odd sensation that something isn’t quite right with the world. If you’re getting unpleasant vibes, trust your instincts; you’re probably right about them! As a creative entrepreneur, especially as an interior designer, the most important thing you can do is to place a high value on your vision and services. We asked Ivy Interior Designers to share the most revealing red flags they’ve encountered that have led them to kindly decline a client’s request for their services.

  1. 1.
  2. If you have had previous “nightmares” or legal battles with interior designers, contractors, or landscapers, you should avoid them at all costs.
  3. If you get a negative feeling about someone after your first meeting, don’t disregard your instincts.
  4. When a prospective customer appears to be irritably indecisive, it will be nearly hard for them to make final judgments.
  5. Dealing with a spouse who frequently disagrees can be really challenging.
  6. 5.
  7. Sixth, if your own style and aesthetic do not blend, or if your prospective customer is disappointed with your portfolio, it is not a suitable match.

Be on the lookout for the jerk!

Your time is really valuable.

Project cycles can run anywhere from a few weeks to many years, so effective communication is essential from the beginning.

Be on the lookout if a prospective client expresses serious reservations about your pricing.


Watch for the possible client who wants to buy straight from the seller and tell them, “I want you to show us what we should get, and then we’ll go shopping for it.” In this case, people will want to shop with you for everything and will blame you for raising the price of your goods.



In the event that a potential customer repeatedly queries your contract and method, this will lower your professional worth.



When a potential customer repeatedly asks you to lower your costs, it is apparent that they do not value your services.

The presence of a possible customer who insinuates that they know more about interior design than you does is a symptom that they have trust difficulties.



We at Ivy are much more than simply a piece of software for interior design.

Our purpose is to connect interior designers with one another, as well as with the materials and tools they need to run their businesses beautifully. Are you an interior designer who is looking for a business management solution to assist you optimize your workflow?

How to Get Out of A Project With Grace — Capella Kincheloe

There are instances when you start a project and discover after a few weeks or months that it isn’t the right project for you to continue. Something isn’t quite right; perhaps there are red flags, perhaps you have too much on your plate, perhaps the customer is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or perhaps none of the above. There are a slew of compelling arguments for terminating your involvement in a project. It is also totally acceptable to withdraw from a project. It is important to remember that abandoning a project should not be handled carelessly.

  1. Getting out of a bad relationship before things become worse is the best course of action, because as anybody who has been in a relationship that isn’t working knows, it seldom (if ever) gets better.
  2. Remember, I am not familiar with your position; so, if you need to withdraw from a project, use your best judgment.
  3. It is critical to include a language in your contract that specifies how either side might withdraw from the project and what happens if there are disagreements.
  4. While you don’t want to deceive the customer, you also don’t want to give them the complete truth (as if they’re insane), you also don’t want to make anything up.
  5. It is both more professional and more personal.

Personal Reasons Script

Hello there, Client. First and foremost, I’d want to express my gratitude for the chance to collaborate with you on this project. Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, I will have to withdraw from this project with immediate effect (i.e., immediately/at the end of the month/within two weeks). I did not make this choice lightly, and I do not want to disappoint any of my clients. Honestly, if there was another alternative, I would not be writing this letter since I take my responsibilities quite seriously.

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I understand that this is a short notice, therefore I’ve included three other possibilities for designers, along with their contact information.

As a thank you for your patience and support, please find below a list of things you may anticipate from me between now and (tomorrow, the end of the month, or two weeks).

Optional: Please include your name and email address (This should be based on your contract) Orders that have been completed and those that are still waiting. Refund any money that have been left unused. Final invoice should be sent. Return of the deposit. Sincerely, Your First and Last Name

Project Timeline Changed

Hello there, Client. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with you on this project. After careful consideration, we have determined that we will be unable to devote our full resources and attention to your project going forward. When we agreed to take on this project, the schedule was significantly different. When we first met with you and the contractor, we were confident that this job would be completed on time (in two weeks, next year, over 4 years, by Christmas). We believe that, given our existing schedule and the unexpected additional time necessary on this project, it is advisable for us to withdraw from further work as soon as possible (immediately/at the end of the month/within two weeks).

  1. Optional (on a waiting list): In X months, we will have an opening in our calendar for a project of your magnitude.
  2. This is a good time to suggest that a non-refundable deposit be collected in order to reserve a space.
  3. Having a fantastic time creating your new house is something I desire for you, and I wish you the best of success with your endeavor.
  4. Refund any money that have been left unused.
  5. Return of the deposit.

Aesthetic differences script

Hello there, Client. After much deliberation and consideration, we have concluded that the aesthetics of your project are outside the scope of what we are able to accomplish at this time. As a result, we are notifying you that we will be withdrawing from this project effective (immediately/end of the month/in two weeks/December 31st). Although we had discussed it at the beginning of the project, I can tell you’re seeking for something different from what our business specializes in (contemporary/traditional/remodel/loft/etc.).

We do (interiors/new builds/remodels/lofts) that are environmentally friendly (design firm aesthetic).

Optional (but encouraged): Provide referrals I’ve included a few names of additional designers that I believe would be a better fit for your project.

(Please include names) Thank you for your understanding, and please see below for a summary of what you may expect from our offices between now and (tomorrow/end of month/two weeks from now).

Optional: Please include your name and email address (This should be based on your contract) Orders that have been completed and those that are still waiting. Refund any money that have been left unused. Final invoice should be sent. Return of the deposit. Sincerely, Designer

Client with red flags script

Hello there, Client. A home renovation project is quite personal, and it has become evident to me that another design company would be a better fit for you and your individual project requirements than the one I first recommended. While this is not a choice that we have taken lightly, we think that it is the right decision for both parties after due consideration. We shall no longer be working on your project as of (immediately/end of the month/in two weeks/December 31st) the date specified above.

  1. Thank you for your understanding, and please see below for a summary of what you may expect from our offices between now and (tomorrow/end of month/two weeks from now).
  2. Refund any money that have been left unused.
  3. Return of the deposit.
  4. Sincerely, Designer

Project Different from Expectations

Hello there, Client. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to collaborate with you on this project. After careful evaluation, we have concluded that we will be unable to devote our entire resources and attention to your project in the foreseeable future. This project would have a lot larger budget, we would have more creative power, you liked our style, we would have a contractor, based on what you expressed at the beginning of the project. While we have thoroughly evaluated all of our work and communication, it appears that we have been unable to find a method to collaborate that is advantageous to both parties.

Please see the list below for information on what you may anticipate from our offices between now and (tomorrow/end of month/two weeks).

Refund any money that have been left unused.

Return of the deposit.

Your turn!Ever had to fire a client?

HomepolishTaking the initial step into the realm of interior design may be a frightening experience, especially if it is your first time. Similarly to the beginning of a new relationship, the beginning of a decorating project can elicit an array of emotions: the excitement that comes with envisioning the finished product, the butterflies that come with spotting your dream sofa, the nerves that come with swiping the credit card, the doubts that come with waiting for delivery. Is it a good fit for you?

  • Will it be something I enjoy?
  • However, there are some elements to consider in order to guarantee that you and your designer have a fruitful working relationship.
  • Preparing for the collaboration that will transform your property into a home requires careful planning.
  • Design expert Max Humphrey believes that the concept of the “blank slate” is a fiction 99 percent of the time.
  • Accordingly, I believe that the finest sorts of clients are those that have their own personal style but engage an interior designer to add something new and exciting to the table.
  • Our objective is to take their original concepts or views on how a space should operate and run with them, eventually transforming their ideas into their ideal interior.” Amy Bartlam created this piece for Katie Hodges Design.
  • It is essential to be able to put your whole faith in your designer in order to have a good working relationship.

Dick agrees: “We appreciate it when our clients put their faith in us, and we recognize that trust does not build overnight,” he adds.

The camaraderie of a strong collaboration, feels Santos, is the most important element of a successful relationship.

“Even though you’re going to be spending a significant amount of time together, the experience should be enjoyable for both of you.

A one-on-one encounter or at the very least a few phone conversations, according to Humphrey, will never be able to compensate for a lack of face-to-face interaction.

Picking someone off the internet because they have nice taste might be disastrous if you don’t connect with them emotionally.

As Santos points out, “it’s equally crucial to understand what you, as the customer, expect from your designer.” Do you want someone who is more outspoken, or do you want someone who is only there to offer advice?

Personality and working style are too frequently disregarded, although these are the areas in which we at Homepolish devote the bulk of our time and energy.

” What is the best place to seek for a designer?

“When it comes to finding a domestic interior designer, it’s really all about making a personal connection, therefore we recommend asking friends or coworkers who you trust and whose style you enjoy for recommendations.” Instagram, according to Hodges, has a lot more information than designers’ websites, and you can see what designers are drawn to and inspired by by looking at their Instagram profiles.

  1. Amy Bartlam created this piece for Katie Hodges Design.
  2. ‘Discuss your intentions with your significant other, and how you envision your joint vision coming together.’ “Don’t expect the designer to always be able to tell if you and your spouse are at odds and have opposing views for the space,” he continues.
  3. The number of revisions that a designer is willing to allow will vary from designer to designer, so it’s crucial for a customer to understand their potential designer’s rules before working with them, says Hodges.
  4. Even if the design that has been given does not match what you had in mind, it is completely acceptable to explain the adjustments that must be made.
  5. “When I’m designing, I use a ‘touch and go’ model, which involves giving the client benchmarks in the design process to gauge their feelings toward a particular design direction,” Hodges continues.
  6. “I enjoy being challenged by my clients,” Humphrey says of his job.
  7. courtesy of Eoneren / Getty Images A simple styling job can be completed in a week, whereas large-scale projects can take years to complete.
  8. Timelines, according to Hodges, are influenced by two variables: “the scope of the project and the speed with which a client makes decisions” (with the latter being most important).

‘I can come up with a design fairly quickly, so a lot of it has to do with how long it takes for clients to make decisions, after which we’re left with that pesky thing known as lead-time.’ Customer service representatives should inform clients that larger furniture and custom-made pieces can have lengthy lead times.

“I make certain that my clients are fully informed about lead times and the project process before I begin any project,” he says.

Developing concepts and creating furniture takes time and effort; they are not created by robots with superhuman abilities; however, patience will always be rewarded in the end.” Amy Bartlam created this piece for Katie Hodges Design.

Hodges’ favorite late-night activity is texting.

Clients should be aware that there are times (such as at 10 p.m.

Amy Bartlam is a contributor to Homepolish.

It can be confusing when choosing between different designers because every one appears to have a different pricing structure, according to Santos.

Some designers, such as Katie Hodges, operate on a 50-50 basis, which means that a 50 percent retainer is required up front, with the remaining 50 percent due at the conclusion of the project.

Homepolish When it comes to discounts, it is entirely up to the individual designer.

The retail industry offers very small discounts (if any) to interior designers because their primary customer base consists of homeowners.

This is simply not true.

“In general, the client isn’t getting the retail discount passed on to them at all because most designers make their money on commission.” “We try to extend enough of a discount on products to pay for our service fee,” says Santos.

We want working with us to be a no-brainer.” All interior design firms work differently,” says Dick, “so it’s important to askquestions upfront, and to be specific about your project.

“For customers, determining an interior design budget is sometimes a difficult task since they are unsure of the pricing of furnishings at their specific price range,” adds Hodges.

“An interior designer may often assist a client in determining a basic budget,” she continues.

Most of our clients have invested a significant amount of money in their house, and our objective is to ensure that the interior we design for them will endure many years and function well with their way of life.

If you ask 20 designers for a ballpark budget, you’ll receive 20 different responses.

It should evolve with you, therefore the design of your space should begin with who you are and what you care about, rather than with how much money you have to spend.

Amy Bartlam created this piece for Katie Hodges Design.

An admiration for the quality of their work.

Those with a high regard for quality and workmanship and a desire for beauty are more likely to be prepared to take a chance and collaborate.

Santos also enjoys working with customers who face a unique set of obstacles. “The most creative ideas emerge from tackling challenging situations.” Homepolish

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