Can You Be Your Own Decorator?
Updated: Jun 19
Can You Be Your Own Decorator?
Decorating your own home or hiring a professional: that’s the ultimate interior design question. It’s also possible to have a mixture of both. Let’s talk about when you can be your own decorator and when you might run into problems.
How Much Redecoration Do You Need?
Lots of people make one or two small changes at a time. For example, they might repaint their home, redo the flooring, or change other elements that don’t require a lot of coordination. Often, these folks are happy because they could easily envision the results from the start. They knew what to expect, and there weren’t too many surprises.
On the other hand, people who want to make major changes, or those who want to decorate a new home from scratch, may have a very different experience. To illustrate my point, let me tell you a story about one of my dear friends. As a brilliant educator, she works with students in and out of the classroom and helps them succeed. She makes educating children look easy, but that’s only because she has been perfecting her approach through careful study and years on the job. Her excellence lies in her response to the nuances of each situation and her often unseen ability to prevent many problems. Her knowledge, born of experience, makes it seem that what she does is easy. Developing what many would call intuition actually took work, and probably some mistakes along the way.
The Moving Parts of a Home Decorating Project
I could not begin to do what my friend does with such ease. Likewise, as much as she enjoys high fashion and style, she does not have my education and years of experience renovating and decorating homes and other spaces. That’s why she hired me when she and her husband decided to build a brand new house.
Together with her architect and contractor, we worked as a team to create a home that is functional and beautiful. She wanted a truly unique home that reflected her style, and she wanted to know exactly what needed to be done. Because of her interest, I welcomed her input on the details, as little or as much as she had time to offer.
Many people don’t realize how overwhelming it can be to narrow down the options until they consider decorating their home. It’s a full-time job to make decisions on every item, material and color. With years of experience, I know where to find product. I’m familiar with the available options and their price points, and I know which ones to consider in each individual situation. I know where to source and purchase the items, when they will arrive, and when to expect delays. By presenting my friend with the best options for her needs and price point, and by handling the purchasing myself, I greatly reduce the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with such a big project. My careful process saved my friend a lot of headaches.
Creating a Cohesive Design
Remember how earlier, I mentioned my friend’s ability to predict when there might be a problem and to prevent it? Now, it was my turn. Here’s a problem that sometimes happens even when people get excited about fashion and style. They buy what they like, and yet, when they bring it home, they’re left with a hodgepodge of items, rather than a cohesive whole. Later, they realize they are unhappy with the results of their selections, and they may eventually hire me to redecorate. Instead, by consulting with an interior designer first, my friend completely avoided this potential problem. Furthermore, for those who would rather do much of the decorating themselves, I offer interior design consultations so they can make sure that their plan will be on track to meet their needs, goals and timeline.
My friend’s home decorating project included finishes such as wood flooring, tile, moulding detail, specialized paint, lighting choices, wallpaper, kitchen and bathroom appliances and fixtures, custom built-ins, color combinations, and more. Once the basics were underway and being built, we then continued to the second stage of furnishing the rooms. One-of-a-kind bespoke items were used sparingly but strategically to create a unique finished product.
We then moved on to the window treatments that were layered with functional shades and soft details. My friend wanted lots of light in the rooms, so we focused on sheer fabrics that allow ample light. Each room had a focal point — an area where the eye can rest and focus. Although functionally different, each room had elements that tied all the rooms together. Finally, we added accessories. Some were existing photos and heirlooms. Others were purchased to create the final touch.
Hiring An Experienced Decorator
The outcome was superb and my friend is thrilled. To her, it all looked so easy, but that’s because she knew to learn from an experienced designer. You too can have that option. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (516) 234-5425.
Post edited by Krista Giannak