What I Want You to Know About Working with a Designer

Welcome to Abby Manchesky Interiors!

Should you hire an interior designer? How do you know? 
I've heard a few myths about what people think it will be like and know what it's actually like to work in an interior designer. So let's talk about it!
 It's actually pretty great. 

Here's what I want you to know about 
working with an interior designer.

We expand your thinking on what works. The biggest compliment I can receive
as a designer is "I never would have...but I love it." Actual quotes I've heard from clients...
-I never would have picked that color.
-I never would have put the bed the in front of the window.
-I never would have picked a colored sofa or this layout.
-I never would have thought that worked.
-I never would have put those pieces in the same room.
-I didn't know I would love that until I see it that way.
-I never would have picked a light this big. 
Here's the thing. You can open up a catalog and buy everything on the page. You can walk into a showroom and take the set. But it won't reflect you or your family. It will reflect the showroom. A good designer should present you with a plan that makes you feel 20% uncomfortable. I always tell my clients that if you would have thought of it yourself
then you shouldn't pay me. ;-) But you should love it in the end.

We have access to goods and exclusive pricing that aren't available to the public. Consider this: we spend our time looking at fabrics, lighting, furniture, casegoods, art, and flooring. It's my job to know that you can have a white sofa with kids, because there are lines of affordable fabric that are stain proof. Spill your wine on your white sofa? Baby pukes? No problem. We are always shopping. Researching. We know the best sources for certain styles. I'm constantly looking for new artists and vendors on social media that will serve my clients. These pieces don't have to be expensive, but they are beautiful and unique. This saves you time and money and gives you a better result.

 I recently had a friend tell me that her dear husband, whom I adore, said "Why would anyone pay someone to tell them how to live in their house." You wouldn't! That's not what we do. But we will tell you WHY you should paint the walls a certain color and not that color. Or WHY you should move the furniture to a new arrangement.  It's a collaboration not a dictatorship.
A good designer will be able to explain the why. 

Trust is important. Pick a designer not simply because a friend said they're great, but because you've seen other work they've done and you like it. If you like the work they've done in the past then you'll like how they bring out the best version of your personal style.
Your designer wants you love it just as much as they do.

We give you a plan. We save you from having a mishmash of pieces that you don't love but bought because it's on sale. We've all been there. You see a lamp on sale that you think is a great price, but maybe it's not the color you were looking for, and it's not quite tall enough. The truth is you'll likely keep that lamp much longer than expected and it will bug you every time you look at it and it's not the right height. We prevent you from expensive mistakes like a sofa that doesn't really fit, or a backsplash that looks dated in five years but looked cool on HGTV. ;)

We prevent decision fatigue. When you're frozen with indecision and feel paralyzed or overwhelmed, that's actually the perfect time to call a designer. My job is to listen to how you want to feel in your home, how want to live in your home, and then bring that to life. What's difficult for you isn't difficult for me. It's like an accountant. I can figure out how to do my taxes myself. But it will probably take me months to figure it out and I will most likely make mistakes that will cost me money in the future.

Last week I visited a friend I've known online for a handful of years but never met in person. She has a gorgeous home. Gorgeous. She doesn't need my help in that way. BUT she was feeling overwhelmed at choosing a paint color for such an open concept space. It's a big investment to make a mistake. In 30 minutes we had selected the perfect color for her home and even had time to make a selection for her bathroom as well. Afterwards she said she'd never tackle paint colors again as long as there's help available.

We let you know the cost up front. A good designer isn't out to surprise you with fees. I won't even begin a project until I know your budget, because I want to help you stick to it. We also never judge your budget. If you want to spend $1,000 or $100,000 that's up to you! But it is part of our job to educate you on what to expect for your budget. We also share how much of our time it will take for the type of help you need.

Working with a designer will change how you live in your house. I was talking to a recent client (the master bedroom on a budget I shared last week) and she is so surprised by how small changes we've made have affected her family. The room isn't finished yet but arranging the furniture and removing the drapes has made the room more inviting. Even their cat can't stay out of the room! It just feels better and they are happier.

Maybe you never entertain because you don't like the space. Or maybe you don't bother to tidy up because you don't really love where you live. We want to help. You should walk in the door and feel at peace and thankful that this is your home.

Here's a few things to consider before you make the call.

1) Do you value the work designers do or think of it more as a cute hobby?
2) Do want a designer or a friend to bounce your ideas off. You can find a shopping buddy at no cost.
3) Are you willing to trust someone else to help you with your home?

I would love to work with you but this post should apply to any designer! We truly love our job or we wouldn't be doing it. My goal is to empower you to live the best version of your personal style. We can help. I've recently updated my services page.
Click here to read more about the design services offered by Abby Manchesky Interiors. Click here to read client testimonials. 

What do you think? Did I miss anything? I'd love to hear from you.

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  1. All excellent points. I can't tell you how much money I've spent on re-buying things that were originally purchased to save money. Makes me sick just thinking about it.
    You are worth your weight in gold.

  2. Love it, Abby! Of course I know how valuable designers are, but this is a great read!

  3. As a designer, I love this post. You presented all the reasons for hiring a designer in such a clear & concise way. Do you mind if I share a link to your post on my Facebook page?

    1. Thank you Michelle! I would be thrilled if you shared this. I wrote it for all designers. xo

  4. Hi Abby- Happy New Year! This is a brilliant post and I think you hit every point! Thanks for putting it down in writing and sharing your thoughts with us. Wishing you continued success in 2017! xo Nancy

    1. Thank you, Nancy! Wishes of success right back to you. xo

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I'm a designer and somehow came upon this. Well written. Good job.
    Kirsten Conner


Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


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