Friday, March 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Tips on hiring and working with a home decorator

By
From page A6 | April 05, 2013 |

By Melissa Rayworth

Home-decorating television shows and shelter magazines have many Americans dreaming about inviting an expert interior designer into their homes.

It looks so effortless when a popular designer arrives in a whirlwind of creative ideas and quick-working craftsmen. By the end of an hour of cable TV, he or she has transformed a hopelessly drab home into a stylish oasis.

But what’s it really like to hire a designer? How can you make sure it’s a successful — and not too expensive — collaboration?

As with a good marriage, says interior designer Phoebe Howard, the relationship between designer and homeowner is about communication, trust and respect.

Finding candidates
Many homeowners find a designer by asking friends whether they’ve used one. Designer Cathy Davin, founder and president of Davin Interiors in Pittsburgh, says new clients are often referred to her by previous clients.

Others discover her online, she says. Interior designers generally keep a portfolio of photos of rooms they’ve designed on their websites. Browse through as many as you can in your area, noting photos that fit with your vision for your home.

Training varies: An interior designer “typically has a bachelor’s degree in interior design, and in several states must be certified,” Davin says. They can collaborate easily with engineers, contractors and architects, and should have a full understanding of color, proportion and other elements of design.

A decorator “might be just someone who has a flair for decorating and wants to hang up a shingle,” Davin says, and it’s possible their style will fit perfectly with yours. But they probably won’t have as much training as a designer.

The American Society of Interior Designers offers a database of certified members that is searchable by location.

As you meet with potential designers or decorators, see who makes you feel comfortable, Howard says. You’re going to “open up your personal space” to the person you hire, so along with vetting their work, make sure your personalities mesh.

Discussing money
Howard, who is based in Florida, says a good designer should be able to tell you whether you can have what you’re envisioning for the money you’re able to spend. Be realistic and clear when discussing your budget.

Design fees vary around the country, but Davin says they tend to range between about $4 per square foot (for limited services like choosing a room’s color palette and furniture layout) to $10 or more per square foot for full project management.

Get cost estimates in writing and be sure you know exactly what is included. If you make any changes to a project after hiring a designer, get those adjustments in writing as well. The folks at ASID suggest keeping a folder with printouts of all agreements and correspondence about your project.

Extra calls or extra meetings cost money and slow the project down, so have notes ready and be prepared each time you call or meet with your designer.

Agreeing on style
Davin suggests starting with a meeting at your home with all decision-makers present. Couples should try to work out disagreements before sitting down with the designer; experts can be good sounding boards but they won’t want to take sides in a battle.

As you make design choices, Howard says, do your homework: Touch the fabrics and study the colors to be sure you like them. Comb through websites and magazines, showing your designer what you have in mind.

And trust your instincts: If a designer or a particular decision really feels wrong, don’t go with it. But also remember that you’ve brought in a professional for their creative input.

Sharing control
Do “get yourself to a certain comfort level, because you have to take the leap of faith,” Davin says. “A lot of people’s fear is that they’re going to end up with this crazy living room that doesn’t feel like them at all.”

But if you’ve taken time to choose someone who shares your taste and understands what you want, then “allow them to stretch you and push you” at least a little, she says.

Discuss timing. Design projects can move slowly. Davin says redecorating a master bedroom or family room can take at least three months. Design and decorating work for a home that’s not yet built might take 18 months or more.

The wait can be frustrating, but also useful: Your vision for the project may evolve as you work with a designer, so you might be glad to have some extra time to make choices.

Schedule a big project for a time when you can give it your full attention, ASID suggests.

Staying flexible
When choosing a designer, be sure to ask previous clients how the person handled changes or challenges.

“It’s impossible to install a job of any size without something going wrong,” Howard says. “Something’s going to break. Something’s going to be measured wrong. Things happen and things get fixed.”

Try not to make too many changes, since that can increase the possibility of confusion and mistakes.

If a problem arises, it’s best to cool down before approaching the designer. And at the end of the project, Howard advises clients to leave home during the final installation work.

“The installation is the moment that the decorator worked for months and months and months on,” she says. “They need to have their space to kind of make a mess and get things done.”

So rather than critiquing the project when it’s only partially installed, she says, wait for the “red carpet moment” when the finished product is revealed.

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Anti-gay initiative puts AG in a bind

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
County supervisors consider options for historic courthouse

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Two found dead of apparent shooting in West Davis home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
New Paso Fino design trims lots

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Co-pilot may have hidden illness, German prosecutors say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Senate’s Harry Reid announces he won’t seek re-election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Woodland police warn of kidnapping phone scam

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Lawyer disputes police’s hoax claim in California kidnapping

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

Davis Flower Arrangers meet Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Sign up for Camp Shakespeare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Empower Yolo offers peer counselor training

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
State loosens sex offender residency restrictions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Neighbors invited to adopt Willow Creek Park

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Sing along on April Fool’s Day

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Three nabbed in counterfeiting probe

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A6

.

Forum

Can he get life back on track?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Blame Reid for impasse

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Practice cancer prevention each day

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Turnabout is fair play

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

 
Be aware and be afraid

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7

.

Sports

UCD men edge Hawaii on the court

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD’s Hawkins, Harris to shoot at Final Four

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Home sweet home: Aggie women win a tennis match

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Devil boys grind out a net win at Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

DHS baseballers fall to Vintage in eight innings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Recent youth softball games feature big hitting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sacramento get its second straight win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sharks get a key win over Detroit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

UCD Student Fashion Association presents charity fashion show

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
‘Get Hard’ comes across as rather limp

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A8 | Gallery

Smokey Brights to perform at Sophia’s

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
‘Deserted Destinations’ is April exhibit at Gallery 625

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Monticello announces April live-music shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Leonardo Tuchman’s work shows at UC Davis Craft Center Gallery

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

Sacramento Youth Symphony holding open auditions

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
Preview Art Studio Tour participants’ work at The Artery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

.

Business

Camry Hybrid takes a step forward

By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

 
.

Obituaries

Celebrate Rusty Jordan’s Life

By Creator | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Friday, March 27, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B4