I've been at this for long enough that the phrase #NotMyFirstRodeo is entirely applicable in most circumstances. Sure there are things design-wise I've yet to do and I'm mostly good at either faking it until I figure it out or because I'm almost 42 I just plain ask for help from people who I think may have a better idea than I do.
When I first got started in the business I was always fixated on what something cost. This doesn't mean that after 16 years in the business I'm oblivious to price - hell know I'm extremely realistic and aware of what things cost but more importantly I am acutely aware of what QUALITY costs and what I am not willing to settle on.
Recently, someone reached out from a former life and asked about a colour consultation which I once did. Heck, I pretty much started out my career doing house calls to pick paint colours. I'd be paid for my time - which I way undercharged but I was doing something that made me the happiest I'd been in a long time and it was a start. Where it would lead I didn't know but it was a good start and I was happy. Flash forward to now and a person I did a colour consult for almost 10 years ago is looking to repaint, loved the colours I chose for her then and would I consider doing a colour consultation for her now?
My initial reaction was - "Oh God, a Colour Consult?" Now it did then occur to me that they aren't worth my time but I didn't think that was entirely big of me to actually say so I marinated on it for a few minutes and then it struck me. Trust me, this was a pretty HUGE AHA moment about why I didn't want to do it and here it goes: Picking a paint colour for your room on the whole is the least of one's design worries. A colour is not going to make your room. It's a foundation, it's a backdrop but in order for your room to really sing - it needs to be designed. If you are going to hire a professional to pick a colour for you - then you need to go all in and have them design the room. You may phase it. You may use it as a general guide and try and DIY it but if you aren't prepared to design the room, why the hell paint it? My hesitation to even respond was because I don't want my name on a room that I didn't design even in a small amount. I don't think a $40/can of paint is going to really make a huge difference to an undesigned space. To me the better investment is in a plan which is what I ended up offering this person. I'm happy to work on a plan for your space and help you to realize a better vision for it but picking just a paint colour - well that's not design. I don't even know if it really qualifies as decorating. I don't believe in designing or decorating a room around a can of paint. It doesn't do the colour or room any justice. Build a concept, choose your investment pieces or work with existing ones, find fabrics that pull the look together and THEN choose the paint.
Now back to quality. I charge a premium for consultations such as these because I know the value of them and if I'm not going to be overseeing and implementing there's a risk. My name is on it so I'm happy to put the concept together and walk away knowing that I've been compensated. I also know that I will exceed expectations with this plan and in the past, the clients have come back to me to have me help with part or all of the implementation. We've worked with one client now on several rooms of her home - just finishing up the powder room and we are the ideas and procure the goods and she implements. She is always raring to go when it comes to a slightly out of the box suggestion and the results have been amazing. She invests in the concepts and plans and then gets to have access to products that she might not be able to find on her own. The results sure beat a new coat of paint let me tell you!
I should note that I never heard back from the person. I know people get busy but my hope is that she wasn't offended. I'm just very passionate about what I am able to achieve when I'm given a little bit of room to you know - dance. And Sing. I sing too right Kim??