The HOW of Networking and Interior Design Success

The number one complaint I hear from designers is the lack of quality clients. Most designers I talk to have tried everything to find them from, fancy websites, postcard mailings, and of course networking. I can tell you personally that every fantastic client I have ever met, was through some form of networking. You’ve probably tried networking yourself, and depending on your successes, I have a few new ideas and tips for how to make networking even more productive.

1. Who are you networking with? Don’t forget, networking can mean many things from a friend of a friend, a fellow business owner, or an organized networking group.

2. What are you offering them in exchange? The best way to ensure quality, top notch referrals is from someone who respects and values you already. That means you need to give as much as you receive whether it’s reciprocating with a lead for them, or a complimentary consultation.

3. Where one finds great clients takes a knowledge of who you’re looking for, and a little strategy. Think about it; design clients are people who not only care about where they live, they’re willing to ask for help (and pay for), from a quality professional.

It came to me when I learned where Helen, (my coaching client I was boasting about earlier) had found one of her new dream clients. She was networking on Linked-in with a professional organizer. Brilliant! People who are willing to pay a professional to help them organize their home, will probably need help making their home beautiful. So start brainstorming! Who else can you think of who offers services with the same criteria?

4. When should you be networking? (When shouldn’t you be networking, is a better question.) One of the most profitable relationships I’ve ever made was from a store owner I met at a friend’s birthday party. You really never know where your next great customer will come from. You never know where your next great customer will come from, so pay attention, or a great opportunity might pass you by.

5. How you network is a critical piece of this profitable puzzle. I know how much success I’ve had in my own design business through networking, so I know that it works. I’ve listened to other designers who think they’re mining for great clients, and what I actually witness them doing is scaring away prospects by coming off as pushy or overbearing.

The “How” of networking is simply a form of sales, and we know how much designers love to sell… It may not be your strongest skill, but it’s critical to your success. I recommend you start doing a little research and work on honing the art of sales. You’ll be amazed how simple and fun it can be. Just by knowing a few simple phrases, adjusting your body language (while learning to read others), and understanding client psychology, can fill your design business faster than anything else you’ll try.

Hiring An Interior Designer – Should We or Shouldn’t We?

There’s one thing lot of people overlook when they decide it’s time to furnish their home. One of the most important decisions is whether to do it themselves or fess up on their lack of skills and hire a professional. A decision has to be made as to who is going to drive the bus. All humor aside, this is serious business and some serious money.

There’s a good argument for both sides. Some people are able to do it themselves and have a good eye for putting together a nice home. My experience has taught me that most of these people usually end up taking much longer to complete it and usually spend more money than they had planned. Typically, at least some of the honest ones that I know, will admit to a few mistakes they are living with until they’ve gotten their money’s worth before they can replace them. However, to most of these people, it’s the process that they want to savor, the endless weekends of roaming around furniture stores and the endless nights of agonizing over details like tile selections, lighting fixtures, paint colors, etc. Yeah, right.

Some people enlist the help of friends or neighbors while others entrust the whole process to a salesman from a local store. There’s nothing wrong with any of these assuming the friends, neighbors and salesman are knowledgeable…because they are doing it with your money. The big question is who is taking responsibility if things don’t go as planned? I’ve known a few people who ended up in therapy and minus some good friends as a result. Still, there are plenty of talented people out there who are starting their careers in the design business that will someday rise to the top.

If the idea of spending every weekend for the next year shopping for furniture, or the idea that you might have to fire a close friend because you don’t think painting every room in your house beige is a smart decision, you always have the option of hiring a professional interior designer to take the heat. Beyond saving your marriage, they may save your home from a design disaster.

Contrary to popular belief, most good designers will actually save you money in the long run, assuming you have your wits about you when you make your compensation arrangements with them. Make sure to figure in their commissions or design fees in the overall budget. Some of the biggest savings will be in your time. The designer will do the leg work and usually bring you in at the end for your approval.

Another huge savings is the money saved from not making mistakes. Designers are especially trained to work in scale to make sure pieces fit as planned. This can save a lot of heartache not to mention a lot of space in the garage from storing that over-sized sofa that didn’t fit in the living room and couldn’t be returned. Mistakes are one of the most costly components in the design business and when you’re making those choices yourself, you have to own up to them. When it happens, and it will, you’ll wish you had a good designer on speed dial. However, the single biggest advantage of a hiring a professional will be the final outcome. Most homes, in their natural state, do not inspire many homeowners to design beyond the expected.

Designers can also save you money by educating you on your purchases. The least expensive sofa can be the most expensive, especially if you don’t learn the lesson the first time. It’s cheaper to buy a better sofa than to buy two inexpensive sofas…and it will still outlast both of them in terms of quality and style.

One big concern about hiring a designer is how to select the right one. That’s kind of like asking who would make the best President. It all depends on who you ask. There are a lot of people who call themselves designers since the design field has few regulations.

Until recently, Florida was a leader in the interior design field and required anyone calling themselves a designer or an interior designer to be licensed by the state to ensure their qualifications. Qualifying for that license meant accredited educational training and/or extensive experience in the field before taking a grueling exam that is not so easy to pass. This law was recently rescinded. It’s now open season on potential design clients so do your due diligence before making your choice. I would recommend making a few background checks. Get some references and check their background. Are they licensed? Are they ASID members or affiliates? Have they been in business awhile? Make sure you’re comfortable giving this person large sums of your money because it’s going to happen. If they suggest paying vendors directly, be very, very careful!

Once you hire the designer, step back if you want the best possible outcome. Too many clients hire designers and then try to control every aspect of the job. They are usually the ones that are the least thrilled with the final outcome because it looks like it’s missing something. And it usually is…it’s missing the designer’s taste that’s been replaced by the clients choices.

An experienced designer can read into your lifestyle and create something for your future rather than the present. They can avoid pitfalls and trends that will quickly date a look, helping save you money over the years to come. They can expose you to ideas and products that you probably don’t even know exist in some cases. Think of it like hiring a lawyer. You wouldn’t hire one and then cite case numbers to help him defend your case. Let them do what you’ve paid them to do.

In the end, anyone who plans on furnishing a room or a whole house can afford a designer. It might be a small budget or the budget of a small country. Designers don’t dictate the prices of items. They just help you find the best ones that are in your price range. A designer can be your best ally but you have to be honest when you talk to them about expectations and limitations. Be honest and straight forward. If you do, you’ll get more than you’ve bargained for. If your budget is unrealistic, they can help you figure out which items you should start with.

However, if you’re thinking about tackling the project on your own, let’s see if you’re equipped for some of the basics. Here are a few simple questions you’ll probably be asked during the process. (answers below)

  1. If you’re using polished stone in your shower, should you use sanded or un-sanded grout?
  2. If you have incandescent lighting in your kitchen ceiling, can you use LED lighting under the counter?
  3. How many ceiling lights can you put on a typical switch?
  4. If you’re hanging wallpaper, should you use oil based or water based prep?
  5. If you are building a banquette in your kitchen, what is the best seat height?
  6. If you’re buying a rug for under your dining room, how big should it be?
  7. How big should your chandelier be if your dining table is 60″ round?
  8. If you have allergies, why type of cushion material should you use in the sofa?
  9. How much bigger is a king bed than a queen bed?
  10. Should you lay your wood floor parallel or perpendicular to the sliding glass doors?

Simple questions? Maybe. Maybe not. But the wrong answers could be costly or annoying to live with. Hiring a good designer also has a lot of other benefits also. They are trained to look at your lifestyle, how you plan to use the house, accessibility for handicapped clients, fire ratings, building codes, safety issues, manufacturer’s reputations, space requirements, etc

Of course they also bring a huge knowledge of how to select the proper furniture styles and which ones work best together. Over time, you will build more than a beautiful home together, if they are a good designer you will probably build a relationship that will last for many, many years. They are one of the few people that you will meet that will get to know you like only a few ever will. And with that knowledge, they will always be there for you to make sure your best interests are looked after.

If nothing else, do yourself a favor and invite a designer over for a chat. Look at their portfolio and get to know them a little. Tell them what you have in your head and leave yourself open for new ideas. And if you decide to hire them, start planning your weekends because you’re going to have a lot more free time on your hands.

Answers:

  1. Polished stone or not, use sanded grout. It’s more porous and dries quicker.
  2. Incandescent light gives off a warm white light, LED almost always has cold blue cast. If both lights are on at the same time, it can look a bit odd.
  3. It depends on the wattage. Best rule of thumb is 600 watts to a switch. Larger capacity switches are available but they usually stick out of the wall to allow venting of heat.
  4. Always oil. If you ever need to remove the paper, it won’t pull the face off your drywall.
  5. Dining height is 19-20″ depending on the softness of the cushion. This is slightly higher than normal seating height for a living room.
  6. A good rule of thumb in 36″ beyond the sides of your table. Otherwise, when guests pull their chairs out to sit down to eat, the back chair legs will be off the rug and the chair will not sit evenly.
  7. I always like to suggest chandeliers to be about 2/3 the width of the table. The most common mistake is buying fixtures that are too small. The distance from the table can vary from 30-36″ depending on shape of fixture. Personally, I like to oversize the fixtures a bit for effect.
  8. Poly filled cushions, preferably with spring cores. Never any down feathers or latex.
  9. A king is 16″ wider than a queen but not any longer. And whatever you do, don’t buy a king bed and put a 24″ wide nightstand next to it. It will look like a postage stamp in most cases.
  10. You never want to look down the joints in the wood toward a major light source. The “snaking” of joints can be very distracting. Run the direction of the wood perpendicular to the light source.

Interior Design Ideas For Beautiful Home And Office

Interior designing is a creative and innovative profession in which various techniques and ideas are applied to make interior of a building more attractive and unique. Interior decoration of a building or house reflects the lifestyle and class of people. It is usually costly but the results are worth it. Now everyone can get the interior designing guide to get new and new ideas.

This is field which comes with huge amount of opportunities. Many new corporations or existing one offer good pay to interior designers to design the workplace or renovate it. Upper classes of different countries and cultures are interested in making their homes look unique and they hire interior designers to do it for them. It requires creativity, innovations, ideas and requirement of the customer. This is a profession which can have a good profit margin.

If you feel that your house is looking shabby and old and you want to renovate it into something stylish and unique, then here are a few tips for you.

Theme room:
Home decoration is very important thing. Before decorating any room we should keep in mind that the room is of a boy girl or of a baby. If the room is of a boy than the theme of the room can be blue, it can be of Spider-man type. If the room is of a girl than the theme of the room can be pink, Barbie theme can also go with the girl’s room. When it comes to master bed room this is mostly of elders like parents, descent theme can go with it. Decent look can be given to the room and it is bigger room than there is more option of decoration. There are many options when it comes to master bedroom as the master bedroom is pretty good in size. So, there is a lot of space for decorating the master bedroom. Another important thing about interior decorating ideas is it not always mean spending a lot of money.

Office:
Usually people think that offices do not need the interior design. This is wrong view. The office do requires the interior ideas. However the office interior ideas are different from the home interior ideas. While doing the interior of the office the identity of the office matters a lot. The interior should be done in such way that it reflects that the office is representing what type of business.

Exceptional Nightclub Interior Design

Night clubs are a really prosperous business. However, not every single nightclub proprietor will be definitely creating a massive amount of money. Particularly those who have a bad or not so good nightclub interior design may incur losses too. It is crucial to provide a great experience to the visitors of the night club. For a long-lasting business and a great word of mouth reputation, an excellent nightclub interior design is very essential. It may incorporate good interiors, furnishings, sound to lighting systems, DMX controllers, DJs, etc. Particularly, the sound and lighting system in the nightclub interior design should be really appealing and create an enjoyable experience to the visitors of the club.

As nightclub interior layout is a one-time affair for a fantastic business to follow, every single care should be taken to get the greatest one. There exist some companies that offer exceptional nightclub interior for the modern nightclubs. Be it simply a bar, disco or a club, the interior design should be carried out by professionals to guarantee repeat business from the customers. One should pick the proper company that has good knowledge and expertise. Each and every element like the colour of the lights to be applied, their form, place of the DJ console, furnishings, and so forth, have to be considered and planned for the nightclub interior design.

Once it comes to designing a nightclub, disco, bar, pub, etc., cost shouldn’t be a concern. It is due to the fact once the most appealing interior design is done, it may bring on big income streams for minimum the next few years. The thrill of the patrons of the night club not just gives repeat business from them but also makes them refer the club to their friends. The light and sound produce the atmosphere and thrill to the visitors and makes them get immersed in the party mood.

Apart from light and sound effects, the artwork and other designs on display on the walls and ceiling are an essential component of nightclub interior design. LED disco panels can be used on the walls and connected to the sound system. These LED panels are also available in different styles like bubbles, tubes etc., that can be used in the nightclub. The designs on the ceiling can also be illuminated with lights and connected to the sound system. Check out some websites on internet for the most extraordinary interior ideas and concepts.