When you start a decorating business, you’re ready to change the world! You’ve taken the classes, studied the trends and mastered the skills. And you can’t wait to go forth and help people transform their homes. Your business cards are printed & your website is fabulous. So, you put yourself out there and wait. But, why isn’t the phone ringing off the hook? Don’t people know you can help with all their decorating dilemmas?
Of course, it takes time to build any successful business. Eventually, the jobs start coming in, mostly from friends and family. But, as word gets out, people start to take you seriously and things pick up steam. Referrals become your best source of new business. And, over time, you gain experience working with all different types of clients, in many different styles of homes and with a wide range of budgets. But still, those out-of-the-blue customers are elusive no matter how good you are or how much you spend on advertising.
At some point, it finally dawns on you! It never crossed your mind that, no matter how genuinely interested you are in helping them, people might be afraid to let you into their homes. It finally makes sense when a good friend says she’s never inviting you over because she doesn’t want to be embarrassed if you don’t like her decorating choices! What the what???
The things we fear don’t always make sense. And you can be sure it doesn’t make sense to most decorating professionals. Their lives, livelihoods and passion are creating beautiful homes for others to enjoy.
Over the years, we’ve learned there are many different reasons why folks fear working with a decorator. Here are the Top 12 most common excuses we’ve found:
- Too Expensive/ Only for “rich” people
The common misconception that working with an interior designer or decorator is exclusively for the “rich” & “famous” is pure poppycock! Every home, no matter how grand, is worthy of being as beautiful as it can be, no matter the size or decorating budget.
- My ‘stuff’ isn’t good enough
Rome wasn’t built in a day. The vast majority of homes are filled with things, old & new, which have been accumulated over time. Some might be hand-me-downs and others have sentimental value. The entire collection is a visual representation of you. And while some might be tired and worn, that doesn’t mean they can’t still work in a newly-designed space.
- Fear of being judged, mocked or made to feel “less-than”
If you are brave enough to meet with a designer/decorator and they make you feel “less than” then kick their snooty butt to the curb. While it’s natural to feel like you’re being judged when you open yourself and your home to professional critique, a good decorator should be your ally and not your enemy.
- Fear of change
No matter how adventurous, it’s human nature to fear change. We are, after all, creatures of habit. We become comfortable in our surroundings, no matter how dated. So our default is “it’s good enough” rather than risking change which may or may not be a good thing.
- Fear of being taken advantage of or losing control
We’ve all been screwed over by a contractor, repairman or other service provider at some point. It’s easy to be jaded and skeptical. As with all relationships, communication is key. A good decorator will listen to you and really hear your wants/needs. Then he or she will help guide you through all the choices that fit your style and budget. Of course, communication is a two-way street. You need to open your mind as well so you can benefit from the experience and vision of your designer. If you’re hiring a professional just to “agree” with you, then you’re really just wasting your money.
- Too fancy
Any good decorator knows it’s not really what you spend but how you use it that makes the difference in a space. Even if you have a limited budget, the talented and trained eye of a decorating professional can help you see the hidden potential in the “stuff” you already own. A designer-look should still be functional and livable no matter the cost.
- Too overwhelming
As with fear of change, the idea of tackling a major decorating project can be overwhelming. If you’re redoing an entire room or multiple rooms, it’s easier to work with a decorator who helps you prioritize and tackle one thing at time rather than being overwhelmed and never starting at all.
- Finished design won’t be livable
Who hasn’t looked at the beautifully finished rooms in magazines and thought, “Who lives like that?” We all have! While magazine-worthy rooms are certainly inspiring, they don’t always look livable. Good design is finding balance between form and function and a talented decorator will do both. How you use a space should be one of the first discussions you have with your designer.
- My ‘other-half’ and I can’t agree
Similar to helping you with self-worth, your decorator isn’t in the marriage-counseling business. However, good ones are adept at negotiations and compromise. Whether it’s figuring the budget or picking a style or making the space livable, every member of the household should feel heard and a part of the process. A neutral third party (in this case your designer) can help make that happen.
- Decorators are “weird” & “pushy”
Newsflash… All creative types are “weird” and that’s what makes them invaluable! If everyone saw the things exactly the same way, the world would be stale & boring. As for “pushy”, a good designer should push you. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t listen as well. If you could do what a designer does, you’d have already done it. Again… communication is key. Opinions are just opinions. That doesn’t mean you need to settle for black ceilings or feathered walls if that’s not your cup of tea.
- I don’t deserve it
While a decorator isn’t a responsible for your feelings of self-worth, there is a lot of psychology in good design. Working with a professional actually shows just how well you know yourself and your personal strengths. Asking for professional help is never a sign of weakness.
- Decorator won’t waste their time on my little project
Home renovation TV shows are fun to watch. And the perfectly styled and photographed rooms in magazines are awe inspiring. But they can leave you with the impression that interior decorators only work on major projects. The truth is, decorators also like small jobs. Helping clients work on one room at a time isn’t only easier on you and your budget, it’s easier on the design professional.
After years of helping create beautiful spaces in their homes, designers learn how to help first-time clients work through these fears. Of course, they can only do that if given the opportunity. So, if you’ve always wanted a designer look but have used one or more of these twelve excuses to talk yourself out of asking for help, think again. You do deserve it! Your stuff is good enough! You can have a “fancy” and livable space! And you might actually save money in the process.
Happy Fear-Free Decorating from Decor Designs! 815-245-2433