In the world of interior design, creativity and vision are very important. But who will make the dream come true, the impossible possible? The team, and I mean a team of people, fulfill the needs of any given space. They say it takes a village to raise a child. My village is the group of sources I have amassed over the years to help my clients and club members. My child is their design project. More and more as we approach another season of designing, I appreciate their efforts, professionalism and caring, especially in an economy where some are tempted to short change their customers. Did you ever think of how many trades are involved in re-doing your kitchen or bathroom? Make a list and try to recall the time when you had to co-ordinate such a project. The Money Pit or The Contractor from Hell might describe your experience, or perhaps you would equate it with all the fun of a tooth extraction.
As the world becomes even more and more challenging, folks are finally realizing that their homes may very well be their best bet to improving their life- and I've seen it happen, often. When that realization sinks in, positive action follows. The process isn't always an easy one but the people who help you get to the finish line are golden. There is a saying in my trade, You’re only as good as your sources. Some of mine have been part of my life for over 35 years and have earned my loyalty because they actually call back, keep appointments with my clients and club members, know their product and service, perform their jobs beautifully with a minimum of fanfare and stress, respond if something is not completely satisfactory and work with each other well. In our imperfect world, this is truly a blessing!
In our design firm, much of each day is devoted to planning, implementing and completing design projects. Day in and day out, I have used my sources to turn dreams into reality. Each day the challenges and problems of doing business are diminished because I know the people I involve in our design projects are there for clients, club members and me.
Here are some tips for you to find good sources for yourself:
1. Get referrals such as the Natalie Weinstein Home Decorating Club Source Directory.
2. Spend time interviewing.
3. Ask for references and actually call them!
4. See some of their work in person.
5. Trust your gut feelings about their responsiveness to your project.
6. Ask for a written proposal (Remember if it’s not in the contract, don’t assume it will be included).
7. Ask for a time frame commitment.
What about you? How can you help the process along and be the ideal consumer?
1. Be clear as to what you want
2. Listen to the source and ask questions if you need clarification on their estimate or proposal.
3. Know the scope of work and compare apples to apples.
4. Treat potential sources with respect, thank them for their time and give them the courtesy of a return phone call after a proposal is made, whether you hire them or not.
5. Be appreciative of their best efforts on your behalf during and after the job is done. A kind word or thank you note will ensure that if you ever need help or service in the future, they.ll be there for you.
So, plan the project, dream the dream and make your home your special place. There are great folks on Long Island who can help you make it happen.