Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Stephen and Chris Show

Once again our CDECA group of Interior Decorators headed down to the CBC studios in Toronto to be guests at the Steven and Chris Show.  What a couple of humourous and friendly guys, not to mention their talent.  The kept us laughing through a lot of the show. Catch them on CBC weekdays at 2 p.m.

So You have decided to Hire an Interior Decorator..... Now What??


After you have made the decision to hire an Interior Decorator for whatever project you are undertaking, you will now be asking yourself and the decorator – what now?

There are many different approaches to working with a decorator.  You, the client, should have continuous input and, in the end, the final say.

Usually when you first contact a decorator there are questions asked about the type of project you are undertaking, the scope of it, with discussion relating to your preferences, lifestyle, and ultimately the cost involved along the way.

Your decorator will discuss their fee, which is usually an hourly rate or depending on the type of undertaking, could be a total project rate.  For example, if you were having an entire basement renovation and finishing, there could be a project fee based on the total amount of work involved.  For obvious reasons, this is best discussed at your home when outlining the scope of the project. Having discussed fee, the next step is an in home consultation for which payment of said fee is due at the end of the consult.

Now comes setting up a meeting at your home with the decorator.  Many decorators offer the flexibility of evenings and weekends, however you may be required to meet during the daytime, much as you would if you had a repair person coming in or if you were going to the dentist.  This is something based entirely on your decorator’s schedule and method of work.

At the time of the consultation the decorator will sit down in your home with you and discuss your plans.  If you have ideas, these will be noted along with a brief outline of what ideas the decorator may be able to put forth at this initial meeting.  Depending on how much work is to be done now or in the future, the decorator should also be taking a walk through your home to get a feel for your lifestyle and how you use your space.  This is particularly important so as to be able to mesh the newly decorated space with the current surrounding spaces. 

Ultimately an Interior Decorator can take you from discussion and ideas through space planning, sourcing furniture, fabric, floor and window coverings, accessories and art, paint selection, kitchen and bath plans & renovation ideas, appropriate lighting, contracting trades, to managing the project.  You have the choice as to which part of their expertise you can utilize!

Your decorator will give you ideas of their own on how to approach any project.  Depending on your budget you do have much flexibility here.  Some of the different methods of working with a decorator are as follows –

  • The decorator can take over the entire project from start to finish.  They will do up a floor plan, source furnishings, fabrics, window coverings, paint samples, arrange for trades to do any work involved and present this to you for your input and approval.  It will also be the responsibility of the decorator to act as the project manager.  This method works well for those who do not have the time to go about the business of “sourcing” and “managing the project with trades”.

  • Another method of working with a decorator is more hands on for the client. If you have the time and wish to be involved in the sourcing, etc. you can pay your decorator for their time to take you to different suppliers, especially those which are “trades only”, where you are able to find items which are not available through retail available to you the consumer.  Your decorator can either arrange for trades or offer you some options, or you may in fact have someone you wish to use.

  • A third alternative is to have the decorator compile a selection of ideas for the space along with some samples and retail sources available to you, and then you can in turn,  take it from there.  This method works especially well with the “Do-it-Yourself” type client; someone who enjoys the entire project and wants to tackle it themselves, however they may require a little professional guidance from the decorator.
The above are only three ways of working with an Interior Decorator.  Everyone has their own business style.  The most important part of this entire process is to find someone you feel comfortable with; someone who listens to you and your ideas; someone who respects what you have to say; and can understand the type of look you would like, even if you cannot actually verbalize it in “design speak”; and ultimately someone who can offer cost effective alternatives to d├ęcor solutions.  After all, this person will be re-creating your personal space,  which will be a reflection of you, so it really is essential to have a “good fit”.

Creating incomparable interiors with Eric McClelland At SOFA

I wanted to share my thoughts on this event which I attended a month ago but have been very busy in a good way - clients, working a little on my own home and getting ready for spring.

I attend many seminars, events, showrooms and trade shows in order to keep abreast of new and great ideas in the Interior Design and Decor industry.  We can always learn something new and sometimes we just need a little refresher to bump it up a notch or get inspired.  I have met and listened to many of the local celebrity designers and come away with the knowledge that they are all very approachable and willing to share what they have experienced.

I recently met Eric McClelland at a SOFA event and found him to be an engaging speaker with much to share on the topic of "Creating Incomparable Interiors" so that you stand out, not to mention how amenable he was to chat after and pose for pictures.

I, along with everyone else in attendance came away feeling uplifted and ready to 'get creative' and do marvelous things.  If you ever see Eric's work you will understand what I mean as he has an innate way of creating amazing spaces.  Eric is co-owner of Fleur-de-lis Interior Design in Toronto.

Of course I had to have photo with Eric

Beautiful Porcelain

I recently had the opportunity to see some of the fantastic porcelain created by Bill Reddick who had a display at SOFA, one of my favourite haunts for design inspiration.  Bill  is known for his ceramic and pottery which takes inspiration of the Song Dynasty with a contemporary look.  He is the creator of Canada's official state dinnerware, which resides in Rideau Hall in Ottawa..  Check out his website to see the lovely pieces already completed.