You are excited to attend an exclusive event or an elite party. You plan what you will wear, perhaps shopping for a new dress or suit that shows off all the hard work of dieting & exercise you did during the time leading up to this special social extravaganza.
You get your hair cut or styled, maybe a few highlights and some accent jewelry or cufflinks and of course, gorgeous new shoes. Your appearance matters and you want to look not just your best but better, that’s part of the fun! You have invested quite a bit of time and money for this because you know that the upcoming experience and you are worth it.
You arrive at the event/party and when you enter you see a large crowd of people mingling with their cocktail in hand and notice that many of these people are wearing the exact same outfit as you, down to the jewelry, hairstyle and shoes. How do you feel now in this image? Not so special and a bit embarrassed perhaps.
Most people agree that it is not desirable to show up in the same clothing as others to events or even at work (unless your job requires a uniform) so why would you want your home to be exactly the same as other people’s homes?
I am Speaking About Décor
When you visit your neighbor or friend and they are excited to show you their new sofa or coffee table and it is the exact same sofa or coffee table you have what do you say? How do you both feel?
Your home (and certainly your business) is a reflection of YOU. You may not realize it but your home and what you put into it, the things you surround yourself with is a great part of your life brand and how you present yourself to the world around you, affecting as well how you may feel about yourself.
What is Your Style?
It is often difficult to discern what may be your own authentic style. In fact it can be a somewhat scary to try on different color palettes and textures that you are not familiar with or have never seen before. It’s not always obvious what may speak to you as the retail world is full of the same beige or gray spectrum these days, sporting a veritable dearth of color, leaving little to no options to choose from. How can one possibly navigate themselves alone through this ocean of sameness to anything such as a personal life brand?
Enter your savior from this dull world of ubiquity, your interior designer. Yes, your interior designer is your fairy god mother/father couture stylist and tailor all wrapped up in one fabulous guide to a more colorful, sophisticated and stylish you.
Your interior designer will give you insights and introduce you to many resources that are not easily accessible or available to the public.
What an Interior Designer Can Do To Help You Realize Your Unique Style
Using their own very skilled techniques and talent, your interior designer will guide you to a more chic home interior environment, creating an ensemble of décor from a custom furniture manufacturer or that chain store retailer or a mix of both. Working with an interior designer is similar to having a personal tailor, helping you to change the “off the floor” (like off the rack) purchases to fit you and your style.
The tools you need to achieve your new exalted personal brand are:
- a great qualified interior designer
- an ability to trust that interior designer (follow their lead and explore new worlds)
- a realistic budget and
- a truly open mind.
Price point matters quite a bit when it comes to selection of décor, either widening or narrowing the choices available.
Based on budget the three best avenues to traverse with your designer is:
$$$$$: Trade Only Merchandise. (Not available to the public and no you cannot get it online.)
Think couture, exclusivity and completely custom made. This is the path for those who truly value living within a highly personalized interior made with superior quality. This is a really fun option, visiting showrooms and the stellar service is unmatched anywhere. The amount of colors/prints/textures for fabrics, finishes, details and enhancements are vast but that limitlessness can be overwhelming.
Your qualified interior designer has sailed these seas many times, knows the inventory well and will narrow down to a few selections that will be a perfect fit for you.
$$$$: Couture Meets Department Store
Mix high end trade only with retail chain store and VOILA! You get a truly wonderful marriage of quality and customized off the floor merchandise.
Your designer will suggest a few trade only items for your home that makes your style statement and develop the remaining elements around them. Care does have to be taken to work with chain retailers that offer a “customer’s own material” (COM) option. Most chain stores have only one fabric with 4 maudlin color choices and offer no detail options and detail is everything when creating a signature personal style.
A fashion example I can offer is something that I do with many of my own clothing. I always change the buttons on my blouses, sweaters, jackets and coats with buttons that are one of a kind hand-made or contrasting color and texture. The buttons often cost more than the clothing but it is worth it to me. The foundation item might be from Target or Bloomingdale’s but it will not look like what anyone else bought or is wearing because of how I customize the details.
$$$: Chain Retail Shakes Hands with Second Hand
This is an adventurous mix and takes more personal time to achieve as opposed to the first option of merely waiting for the finished result to arrive. This is also a great option for the DIY curious.
Your interior designer has in their arsenal many custom trades’ people they regularly work with. If you like to shop consignment or second hand stores or flea markets then this is a fantastic option for you because your designer knows just the right person to send that tired discounted discard to and transform it into a gorgeous signature statement piece. They also know where to go to find these caterpillar cast offs waiting to be discovered.
The creative opportunities with this option can be quite unexpected and wonderful. If it’s your DIY cup of tea it may be your own elbow grease to work the transformation but if you get into trouble your interior designer can help you by putting you in contact with the right mentor to fix the problem.
For more foundational pieces such as a sofa or lounge chairs, you will pay just a bit more to work with a retailer that provides the option of COM to upholster your selected furnishings but it is unquestionably worth the extra price. Having a greater selection for fabrics and seaming finishes (contrasting piping or welt, fringe or box pleat skirt) allows you to create your own signature style, a style just different enough from the store’s offerings you won’t find in their catalogue or your friends home, it’s truly your own.
An additional option in this mix is to purchase upholstered goods “as shown” in the lowest grade fabric and have it sent to the designer’s custom upholsterer. Again this is a bit more in cost but has the advantage of creating a sophisticated and amazing piece with more sumptuous fabrics, enhanced details and custom trims.
One last thing you need is patience and an ability to enjoy delayed gratification. Anything that is altered or custom made will take longer than you think. The time waiting is worth it to have in the end a beautiful quality custom home interior that you share with your family and friends, reflecting your authentic self that smiles back at you.
Whichever option you choose, it’s all about you and your style. Working with an interior designer to help guide the way will bring out the best you, every time.
Ready to Start a Design Project?
I’d love to talk to you about it. You can reach me directly at 415-722-9124 or send me an email by clicking here.