Interior Design – You Too Can Be An Expert

The interior design industry has exploded over the past decade, with more and more interior design magazines appearing on the shelves of new stalls and news agents and a huge increase in the amount of television viewing hours given over to interior design television programs as well as make over programs.

To go hand in hand with this increase in popularity there has also been a huge increase in the amount of people claiming to be interior design “experts” or fully fledged interior designers. But what can these people do for your home that you cannot do yourself? The answer is probably very little in all honesty, that is unless you get a top grade interior designer who has made it their life’s work to re design the interior of people’s homes.

Many of the people who today claim to be specialists in the field of interior design have no more qualifications than a year or two studying at the local college in the evenings after they have finished their regular day job. This is not what I would call an expert. So unless you are totally satisfied that you are getting a time served, fully qualified interior designer who will be able to come up with plans and ideas that you yourself could not do then steer away and why not have a go at doing the job yourself.

Having a go at doing a little interior design in your own home may seem a little daunting at first but there is absolutely no reason why it should be, after all it is your own home and if you get it wrong who is going to be angry? No one, it’s your home you can do as you please. To make the job a little easier there are a few things that you can do before you start any work and there a few things you should get right in your own mind as well.

Firstly you need to be honest with yourself, if there are any jobs that you feel that you are not capable of doing then get a professional in or a friend who may be able to do it for you. The last thing you want to do is try re-plumbing a bathroom and flooding the whole house. Know your limits and budget accordingly.

Take the time to write down all of the thing that you want to achieve with your interior design project as well as a time scale and cost attached to these items. Always be generous with these budgets as it’s is much easier to work to a realistic budget than a hopeful one.

As certain rooms within the home are easier to work with it may be an idea to have a go at working in these specific rooms first, namely the living room and the front room. Things to take into account when working with these rooms is the amount of light coming into them as well as the amount of living room furniture that will need to be placed or replaced. It is important to understand the lighting in the room to give you an idea of what color tones to use that will enhance the features within the room. The furniture issue is more of a practicality one, over size living room furniture is very popular at the moment and needs a larger room to accommodate it, if your room is not as large as you would like you will need to try another method of furnishing the room.

When you are happy that you have got the hang of the basics of interior design you might feel comfortable at having a go at other more difficult jobs within the home. If you do get stuck for ideas there are plenty of interior design resource sites and forums on the inter web that should be able to point you in the right direction.

Should You? DIY Or Hire a Designer For Your Interior Design Challenge

So, you decide to redecorate your home, what is the next step:

“DIY or engage a professional designer?”

Well, first you have to ask yourself a few questions:

Do you have any knowledge? Have you been studying the TV programs on HGTV and others? . Have you been buying decorating books by the dozen? Do you have the time? Are you game? If you answer NO to any or all of the above then perhaps you should hire an interior designer? However, if you answered YES and you have the time, why not use that opportunity?

Don’t be afraid, there are countless Web sites available to help you out.  Take the challenge. You can always re-paint, and return accents, and some places exchange furniture.

Hiring a professional interior designer will prevent from having to pay “unexpected costs” like; the wrong color, the unsuitable piece of furniture, the “no-style” decorations and/or the out of place accents. But, it will not stop the fee you are going to pay the designer, and these can be costly. Can you afford to pay out the cost of a designer at an estimated $35-$100+ per hour. Yes, then you will have to inform the decorator what colors you like, show them your home –  so they can get a good idea of your style, go over some pictures (the decorator should have brought along some samples or catalogs) of designs and styles. The designer should ask personal questions related to; children, anyone with disabilities, hobbies, favorite colors, entertainment preferences, favorite music, cultural background etc. The designer will use the information gathered in your first meeting to put up together some ideas for the next meeting.

The Next Meeting:  That’s when he (or she) will show you plans, sketches, wallpaper samples, color samples, fabric samples, (a color board) and so on.

However, Stop!     Yes, You can do this yourself! Just ask yourself all the above questions and make notes of your answers, visit Home stores and gather samples of paint/stain you like, go to fabric places and get swatches of fabric, yes, you can mix together – stripes, plaids, checks, floral, be bold (most of the stores have qualified assistants that will help you) – get catalogs and cut out furniture you like and accent pieces, drapes or other window treatments and paste them on a poster board. Hang this from your wall and leave it there for at least 3-5 days, look at it at different times of the day (the colors of paint, fabric etc., will change varying on the light). What you don’t like, replace with another. If you make your color board up first – the chance of any mistakes are going to be limited.

You can never do too much planning when it comes to decorating and/or DIY. You need to make sure you know what colors you want to use, window treatments, furniture, stain on the wood and even cabinets. Once you have these together, the accents will be easier for you to choose.

So You Can Save Money – and have fun.

Why Do You Buy Interior Design Leads?

I recently spoke with an interior designer who purchases interior design leads to maintain a stable client base. She has a lot of word of mouth clients but she feels it is still necessary for her to develop new clients outside of her current network.

Upon further discussion about the quality of her leads I discovered that there was an underlying problem she was having. Even though the leads were fresh she was finding that when she called on them they were less than happy to hear from her. In some cases they would be upset and ask to be removed from “the list”.

The leads that she was buying were unfortunately of very low quality. This is not uncommon as some lead sources will recycle their lead database by selling a lead to multiple buyers or re-introducing old leads into the system. In her case what was happening was her leads were enticed by a free gift in order to fill out a lead form. Not really a high quality lead.

When you decide to take control of your lead source by in effect being your own lead source you receive many long term advantages:

1) You completely control where your interior design leads come from.

2) Your brand is not adversely affected by leads being introduced to your company for the first time when you call them instead of through the lead creation process itself. Creating brand awareness before you even call.

3) Eventually, if you follow the proper guidelines of keyword research, target market research and list management you will have very low cost and often free group of people waiting to buy from you.

4) Most importantly, your brands image will grow as you ad more and more content to the web. This is the only way to ensure you create more value for the search engines every time you invest in your website traffic.

Remember, when you buy leads you are simply buying names of people who may be interested in interior design services. When you create your own leads by developing and maintaining an effective lead funnel you grow your brand and develop a following. Always provide value to your list of potential clients. When you bring an offer forward they will be eager to bite.