There is a wealth of information available online about designing and buying items for your home. Social media sites such as Pinterest, Houzz, Instagram, and others provide beautiful household images and give people ideas on how they can decorate and furnish their own home. Websites like Wayfair can ship you these accessories and, in some cases, window treatments and furniture. In the news recently, Mattress Firm announced they are closing stores because the trend has shifted from buying in the store to buying online with in-home guarantees of satisfaction.
While buying furnishings for your home online definitely serves a purpose, I want you to be aware that there are many situations in which this do-it-yourself process doesn’t work out so well.
When viewing online you are limited to the color ranges provided by your computer monitor so that what you receive in person may be a surprise! I have heard specific comments from colleagues and clients that these individually purchased components/furnishings are not fitting together as a whole in the room. Colors, textures, and fabrics are not coming together, or the furnishings are off balance with each other and in the space.
I had a client who ordered some chairs and didn’t like them because they were not what she expected, but she didn’t have the energy to send them back, so they sat in her garage. When you order online, this is often the case, especially with larger items that have strict return policies or are challenging to send back.
There is no substitute for an experienced designer who knows the fabrics, textures, sizes, and finishes firsthand and has experience in how durable certain materials are. Sometimes paying more for a longer-lasting and more durable finish is necessary but people shopping alone online don’t have this knowledge.
How a Designer Can Help
An interior designer like myself will take the time to look at variations of colors, view and feel the available textures, and obtain samples from the manufacturer to make sure everything is coming together before the items are all purchased. A designer is able to communicate the finished product better in-person with the client. We are trained to think about how the room is balanced as a whole and how the scale of furniture fits in.
Working with a designer may at first sound extravagant but in the long run, can definitely save you time and money. In a majority of spaces that I’ve worked on, clients are pleasantly surprised that their finished space turned out better than they expected. Contact me to discuss your initial plans, then let me work my magic and I can produce a finished design that will wow you.