lreng01I recently met a prospective client who asked me to look at her living room. She had purchased furniture online which was a “great deal” . . . or so she thought. Once the pieces were in her home, she realized they were not very comfortable, they did not fit well in the space and she didn’t know what to do to make it right. There was a rather large company party scheduled at the home and her budget was tight. When I asked her how she decided what to order and how to place it in the room, she told me “the price was right and it seemed easy to do.”

I can’t tell you how often I hear stories like this.

What seems like a great deal can be really costly. There is nothing worse than anxiously awaiting a delivery, only to find out that the items are not what you thought they would be. And returning them is expensive. Not only are there shipping costs, but often there is a restocking fee.

Designing your home should be a positive experience, not a disappointing one. How do you avoid costly mistakes and make a happy ending for your home? Hire a professional designer. Ask your friends or co-workers, visit designer show houses, do your homework. ASID is a great place to start. You can search for a designer in your area and view their portfolios. has brought the world of interior design to your fingertips. It is easy to search the many photos by room. Like the look of a space, see if the designer is in your area, then do your research.

Recently, a new client told me that she did not hire us based on our design quotes. In fact, we were not the cheapest quote she received; we were the most expensive. But she checked our references and was impressed with how many people said they were happy with the project and how much money and time we saved them during the process.

The moral: Spend a little, save a lot!

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