Friday, February 8, 2013


Sometimes no matter how close you are to a victory, you just need to walk away.  I've seen more homeowners make major design mistakes when overwhelmed by the enormity of a project.  Client A spent $75k on a basement renovation complete with home gym, gorgeous bar and theater room but, exhausted by the length of the project (welcome to construction, people!) installed cheap flooring in the haste of the day and jeopardized the entire look.  Client B spent a bloody fortune on landscaping but refused to repaint their home (landscaping was $85,000 so an extra $2,000 to paint windows and trim didn't seem excessive) and client C started pinching pennies when it came to the flooring in her newly remodeled gourmet kitchen.  Instead of matching the gorgeous wide-planked bleached maple, she opted for a Lowe's brand laminate floor, she thought looked "close."  When we reach this crossroad, as I do many, many times, I often ask a few simple questions...would you buy a brand new Porsche with a missing steering wheel?  Would you attend a formal gala barefoot?  Would you only paint nine finger nails (well, maybe some would..).  My point...the little details, believe it or not, are what matter most in the end.  Sure paint, cabinets and counter tops are instrumental in transforming a space, but so are things like drawer pulls.  One client purchased white lacquer knobs for a kitchen renovation, refusing to spend outrageous amounts on something she didn't think was necessary.  To drive my point home, I purchased the pulls I thought looked best and placed them on half the kitchen, installing her cheap choice on the other half.  Without doubt, spending a little more paid of big time in the end (difference was actually less than $200).  The client later admitted to me, while sipping a glass of chardonnay, that she was merely overwhelmed by the project and just wanted it done.  When she actually took a break and walked away, she came back into the space with a much clearer mind and was able to focus and see the project to its end.
Sometimes shopping with a client can be more detrimental to my process, while invaluable to others.  Walking into a tile store, for example, I can often see clients eyes roll, attentions drift and patients fade.  Too many choices, can't focus, I can't picture it all together....if I had a dollar!!! Fewer choices, believe it or not, make it easier to MAKE one!  Don't make yourself crazy.  If you're shopping for cabinets and you walk into a cabinet store walk to the one or two you like, don't get swayed by the overzealous salesperson trying to upsell you.  If you're at Home Depot buying knobs, you know what you like..don't question it..maybe grab three choices..NO MORE..go home, attach them and see what you think. Same with paint colors.  This aint brain surgery, people..or you'd be in trouble with Dr. Design here!!