Posts for February 2014

February 28 2014

Because We’re Worth It – Understanding The Value of a Designer

image_1Anyone who has attempted to design their own home understands how overwhelming it quickly becomes. It’s incredibly time consuming from conception to implementation. Let me use sourcing for furniture and furnishings as an example – it can take hours to find the perfect piece, even for just one room, depending on how particular you are and what’s available in the mainstream stores.  When it comes to paying someone to do this for you, it’s usually assumed we can pull the perfect piece quickly from our inventory. That’s just not true. Even though we have a plethora of trade suppliers to source from, we still have to consider budget, scale and style. This stage of the project is sometimes given little value and designers find themselves defending the hours they spent working on clients’ projects. I think that unless you do this for a living, it’s hard to see the value in paying someone to do the sourcing and shopping, even though it should be a major consideration when planning your design project. The designer you hire should be educating you on this ahead of time. Don’t be shocked or intimidated by this cost. Instead, be excited that you have someone on your team who will make your home an exceptional place to live.

The other dilemma designers are facinis we are being shopped by our clients (meaning: take our ideas and look for cheaper options) since there are so many products available online or in mainstream stores. Designers carefully plan and source for a project and when the client shops for a cheaper version, it often ends up being a weak second best – even when they email and call for approval. We don’t like to hurt our client’s feelings and it’s tough to say what they spent hours shopping for isn’t up to par. When we aren’t able fulfil our vision for a project, it can take a huge hit on a designer’s creative gumptionAndlet’s be honest, our bottom line suffers when we don’t make money on product – even a percentage helps. It has forced a lot of us who normally bill hourly to work on a percentagebased fee or a flat feewhich means a percentage of the project budget is given to the designer, plus product mark-ups (even when the client purchases). The good news is this type of billing allows the designer to do what we were hired to do – design and manage the project properly and not worry about getting paid for the hours we worked. It also gives the client  peace of mind by knowing exactly what they will pay their designer. No surprises.

Our studio is moving in this direction for larger projects and we’ll see about flat fees for smaller decorating projects as well. As long as we are all on the same page before entering into a working relationship and the designer has the freedom to do their magic, it will be a wonderful collaboration! What do you think?

February 25 2014

Ringling Inspiration

I just got home from a short holiday in Sarasota, Florida. The blue skies, warm sand and ocean breezes were the perfect remedy to February blahs. But the highlight of my trip was the visit to the 1920’s Ringling Mansion called Ca’d’Zan on Sarasota Bay. Read about the history here. It reminded me of a polished version of the 1998 movie, Great Expectations. The colours and textures are so rich and sophisticated. I will draw many design inspirations from that trip!IMG_4161 IMG_4168 IMG_4170 IMG_4174 IMG_4179I’m looking up at the gorgeous wood, painted ceiling here!IMG_4180 IMG_4189 I love all the greens used throughout the mansion.IMG_4185    IMG_4208  IMG_4172  IMG_4199 IMG_4201 Beautiful attire!IMG_4184 IMG_4207 The kitchen was considered totally utilitarian, but we try to recreate this look all the time now!Image 1 IMG_4231 Image IMG_4223 IMG_4228The staff staircase.IMG_4248IMG_4276The ocean facing patio with chevon mixed marble was stunning!IMG_4257IMG_4278

February 22 2014

BlogTour NYC To AD Home Design Show, Here I Come!

My exciting news I’m been dying to announce can finally be revealed! I’ve been invited to be one of 12 bloggers to attend Blog Tour NYC and to AD Home Design Show March 18-22nd!  Veronkia Miller who is Modenus CEO and founder made the announcement while I was away on vacation. It’s been tough to keep this under wraps, so I’m beyond relieved finally be able to talk about it!

Modenus blog tours are usually focused on design, but  Veronika is putting a new spin on it by collaborating with photographers, stylists, and renowned designers who will share their tips with us bloggers so we have a more enriched experience and bring an even more professional look to our blogs. Meet the other talented bloggers!

I’m a relatively new blogger. I’ve had a blog INSTINCT for a few years now and I use it as a inspiration board for my personal taste.  My hd STYLE STUDIO blog is 7 months young and features original content, showcasing our design work, products we’re using and travel. It’s important for me to share what we do behind-the-scenes since creativity and interior design can be an abstract concept and many find it hard to understand the value and time it takes. I want to make it less intimidating to hire a designer and hopefully inspire you at the same time.

This opportunity came at the perfect time! I plan on absorbing every minute of BlogTour NYC and look forward to sharing photos, and my experience with you.BlogTour-Badge-NYC-greyblue