Ever have one of those days when you're all talked out? The other day I was sitting at my favorite coffee hangout at the OC Mart Mix, I was literally staring into space, almost void of thought...it was magical. All of a sudden a young man sat next to me and it was quite obvious he wasn't all talked out. Nope, he needed to talk. There was no avoiding it and I was his target.
Before I knew it he had my name and occupation. Ugh! I really didn't want to talk, NO! I just couldn't resist answering his questions though...he was so sincere and genuinely curious. 45 minutes later I got into my car and sat there with my thoughts. I realized this guy gave me material for my next blog, this blog! Thank you Martyn with a Y.
It occurred to me that many of you might have some of the same questions, so here's how the conversation went after the initial introduction:
Martyn: What do you design?
Barb: Mostly homes but some commercial spaces.
M: How do you get your clients?
B: Word of mouth and I just started using Social Media last month. (Martyn promised to "like" my FB page)
M: How long have you been in the design industry?
B: Longer than you've been alive (you should have seen the look on his face) over 30 years.
M: What type of people hire you?
B: All types, not just super wealthy like most people think. I've helped young couples with apartments all the way to a 12,000 square foot house.
M: What exactly do you do for people?
B: Basically anything people need to help them enjoy the environment they live in whether it's comfort, function or visual design; there's all kinds of reasons to hire an Interior Designer.
M: What's the smallest job you'll take?
B: I do hourly consultations for people who are DIY-ers and need a bit of guidance, maybe a paint color, furniture rearranging or accessory ideas. I have ongoing clients who have me come over a few times a year for a fresh eye or stamp of approval on their progress. I love my hourly clients!
M: What other ways do you help people?
B: Project management on large remodels and custom homes, Real Estate staging, surface selections such as tile, flooring, cabinetry etc. I also do a fun thing I call "design-in-a-day". This is for clients who have their house furnished but not completed. I come in and mix new art and accessories with some of the client's belongings to give them the finished product they've been looking for.
Right around this point Martyn was thankfully all talked out. He left, I went to my car and got out my phone to jot down some questions he didn't ask but thought you might have.
I need your help but I'm embarrassed for you to see my house.
Do not be embarrassed! I have seen it all, literally. I have the ability to visualize your house completed and designed as we are standing in your undone room. I don't judge the condition although I have been known to suggest a professional organizer before hiring me. In all seriousness, it's necessary to de-clutter to a certain extent so I can do my job.
Do you do purchasing?
If you want me to purchase I can, if you want to purchase, you can.
What's a turnkey installation?
My favorite thing in the whole wide world! Turnkey is when the client leaves for the day or more depending on the size of the installation. I install and set up all the new items down to the last accessory. Client comes home, turns the key in the door and walks into their dream home. Kleenex is provided.
What on-going projects are you working on right now?
Quite a variety! I have a custom 3-story beach house project in the framing/plumbing stage, a home in Irvine where I'm shopping for accessories and small pieces of furniture for 2 rooms, a Med-Spa in South OC, a window covering client on Balboa Island, a church sanctuary remodel and a kitchen remodel in Huntington Beach. I'm never bored!
How do I charge? It depends on the type of project. I either charge hourly for my time or a flat fee for large projects that go on for more than a year. Every project and client has different needs so I always customize my fees accordingly and discuss the details before we begin.
I hope this blog answered some of your questions, if you have any questions I'm available by phone 714 425-2525 or email at email@example.com