Questions about design and redesign

Home Stager with Stage It Today 40354912

Questions about design and redesign

Hello all,

I have been staging homes for a couple of years now, but I have had several inquiries about designing homes that people are moving into (or redesigning, but adding some new things).  I have been reluctent to say yes to doing this sort of thing since I generally focus on the selling part.  I also do not have design schooling, but I love to decorate and give ideas to people.  I do redesign homes that already have their things, but how does a person go about working for clients doing design work and selecting/ purchasing things that fit their personality.  How do the consultations go?  If a client wants a certain look to the home, do I bring in magazines for them to go through and then what?  Any suggestions would really help me.


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Kathy Passarette
Creative Home Expressions - Mount Sinai, NY
L.I. Staging/Decorating

Hi Letitia ~ Well, I can only tell you what I do - everyone might have their own way of going about this.  When I first meet with an interior decorating client, I usually have an idea from our initial phone call of what they are looking for in terms of style and how much they want to do (paint, furniture, window treatments). 

I then bring with me what I think I will need for this particular client, whether it is my paint fan decks, fabric sample books or catalogs.   Sometimes the catalogs are just a starting point to see what they like, because while they may say they like contemporary what they are picking out is traditional.  When I do bring catalogs I usually bring Pottery Barn, West Elm, Ballard Designs and JC Penney.

Once we get an idea of what they are looking to do, I ask them if they have a budget in mind.  Most of them don't and seem to pick a number at random.  I then ask them if they would like to move ahead and I will do a budget, proposal and sample board.  Most people go for this next step, and this is where you really get to sell your ideas. 

I also tell my clients that if they have pictures of rooms or items that they like (whether it's a clock from one picture, an area rug from another or just the feeling of a whole room), it will be helpful in putting together ideas for them.

Hope this helps!

Oct 29, 2007 11:25 AM #1
Heather Chotard
In Style - Edmonton, AB

HI Letitia,

There are two different types of designs (out side of staging) that i do in my business. Re-design, and design. Although I do NOT give structural information. I always leave that up to the Interior Designers.

The way I work for the design projects, the consultation is the same as the staging one. The price is the same, I am still going to be doing the basic steps....measuring the home, doing up a scaled floor plan, pictures etc.

Then I figure out how much the job would cost them. If you want to do an hourly fee so be it. I preferr a per job basis.

Then I sit down with the homeowners,(usually the wife :)  and get a feel for their lifestyle, their style preferences, color choices etc. What they love, what they hate etc. One thing I always do, is ask for their favorite piece of art work. Usually that is where I begin the color palette. 

I come back to the office, and work on 2 scaled floor plans per room. This way, we can tweak the rooms as per the homeowners likes/dislikes, what will fit, what will not. I print off my report, ( A copy for the homeowner with a shopping list included) I get my color palette ready, and Itake my lap top, and home decorating magazines, Ikea, JYSK, etc. Even weekly store sale flyer's.....And head back. We sit down and talk about furniture. Then again this next step is your choice.

I do go out shopping with them from store to store. Unless they trust themselves, but most don't. They get scared to venture off, in my experiences anyway. I have talked a few off the ledge..."oooh its getting to be too dark of a palette!" or..."i know you said green but i really like the plaid" eeeek no!

 But remember to do your floor plan first, nothing like purchasing a $2000.00 sofa that wont fit. If they order furniture on-line, i am always there to measure and make sure it fits properly as well.

Take your time with'll be tweaking it alot, but hey we want happy homeowners right? I am honestly getting more work from the design/redesign work lately. And i am enjoying it!

Hope this helps


Oct 31, 2007 07:18 AM #2
Shannon Bard
Shoreline Design - Kennebunk, ME
I do things very similar to Kathy and Heather, I speak with the client over the phone and ask them at that time to have clippings from magazines of styles and rooms that they like.  I then meet with them at their house and go over everything that they want.  I then do a floor plan and depending on the situation a material board. This is always the first pass but because most people are so visual, it helps them to see the end result.  
As far as design school goes, an education is always a good idea but can't give someone talent if they don't have it.  Because you are getting so much business, you obviously are very talented.   Be honest about your experience and confident about your skills.  You will do great.

Nov 02, 2007 12:22 AM #3
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Letitia Hodenfield

Making Rochester Beautiful One Home At A Time
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