What’s the difference between interior designer and interior decorator, or home stylist?
An interior decorator or home stylist provides expertise in planning, selecting and installing elements that create an enjoyable space for their clients. Good designers should have a point of view on whats currently in home decor vogue and what looks best in room. However, the designer’s goal should be to best express the clients’ style and include aspects that are meaningful their lifestyle. A decorating or home styling project can include finishes, furnishings, hardware, art, light fixtures, and accessories.

If your project needs include construction and architectural specifications like electrical, plumbing, moving walls and structures, you may want to hire an interior designer and or architect that has experience in these more complex components.

Do all design professionals decorators, designers or architects need to have formal design education.

No they do not.  Few doubted Joanna Gaine’s talent and skill as she built her international design empire and brand. Joanna Gaines does not have a formal design education. Instead of going to design school, she learned much of what she knows on the job. Her early field of study was communications.

Same goes for architectural icon and legend Frank Lloyd Wright. He was officially a drop-out, having only completed a year of college. He was educated primarily by working in the offices of others, including fellow dropout Louis Sullivan.

What is important in selecting the best designer and team is:
Having a good working chemistry and communications rapport with your design professionals is key. This means you trust them and let them do, what they do best. Make sure they clearly understand your vision, budget, personal design style and preferences.  Be honest with them, so they don’t waste your time or theirs going down the wrong path. A  skilled and talented design professional should be creative, resourceful and do their research.

A design company also have a network of professional resources and sub contractors they involve in the project.  This team should practice optimal safety standards and have adequate insurance for their part of the project.

Home Frosting offers both interior home decorating & styling and interior design services.
Our team includes both formally trained professionals, licensed sub contractors and very talented, self taught designers and craftsman. 

When should I engage a professional home stylist, home decorator or interior designer?
This depends on your project scope, who is leading the project and their responsibilities and your desired timeline for completion.

Here are some scenarios:

Considering in buying a home that needs work.
Before you commit to the purchase a home, an interior designer can help you evaluate design possibilities and budgets needed for planning.

Building a new home.
We suggest hiring an interior designer before or around the time of hiring an architect, builder or general contractor. Knowledgeable designers are able to enhance the project and ensure that you receive the end result that is in your dreams. We’re here to guide you and be your advocate through the process.If you just need a home stylist or home decorator, this type of professional can be brought in once your building and or renovations are complete. If you are sourcing construction out to another company, you may want to include your home stylist in key meetings to ensure the style, design and function flow all works together.

Updating your home with a scheduled event.
Again scope of project and level customization are key factors in determining this timing. If you are buying items that can ship fast, a home update can be accomplished in as little as 30 days. If you are looking for custom home decor elements, it’s not unusually to need 6 months to plan, order and install new decor.

What’s the reason for bringing in a designer early in the construction or design process.
Let’s look at what happens when you don’t bring in a designer first–it’s like making a movie without a director; there’s no one holding the full vision and no one sharing information with the team in a way they are used to processing the information. With a designer on board, you will have someone taking charge of all the decisions, someone who knows exactly how all of the pieces in your very large project puzzle impacts the next, and someone who can, and will, take all those pieces and create a home that is breathtaking in every way.

What role do you play in our project?
That’s up to you and your budget. When Home Frosting takes on a project, in the first phase, we define and confirm everyone’s  role, the approval process, degree of detail you want to see, so the project is managed efficiently and exceeds the clients’ expectation.

The ideal design team should be an unbiased expert resource. This means:

  • Providing a point of view based on experience, skill and talent, however, the final decision is yours
  • Advocating for the client and serving as the liaison between all your various services: architect, contractor, and other craftsmen  people.
  • Communicating the information on the who, what, where and how of your home to the appropriate parties.

How do we express your style?
We dig deep before we start because we want to get to know you on a deep and intimate level. To get there, we set up meetings with the intention of establishing direction through inspirational elements. In those meetings we ask lots of questions and listen hard to your answers – because your answers tell us who you are, and what you care about. Your answers tell us what you love, what’s sentimental to you, and what you want to express about yourself. After we get to know you, and through detailed consideration, we integrate images that communicate our ideas into a new vision for your home.

Can we shop together?
That’s generally not part of the equation when we work with clients. Our experience has shown us that the key idea of working with an interior designer is having one person steering the ship. This lets the original design vision be executed seamlessly, effectively and in a way that is truly service oriented for the client.

What if I see something online that looks similar to what you specified for less money? Can I buy that myself?
If you want to do your own purchasing, that is fine as long as we know that prior to beginning the project. We ask that you show us your selections before purchasing, and if we don’t believe the item fits, we’ll let you know. Purchasing items direct may impact your fees if added time or expense is involved. Should you decide to purchase items direct, you are responsible for delivery, installation, freight damages and time spent coordinating all of the services.

Now that I’m thinking about renovating, I occasionally watch HGTV shows; does your process overlap with what I’ve seen?
Calling it “Reality TV” is really a bit of a misnomer, because it’s not “reality.” You’re seeing results, not a process, and process is a big part of any design practice. Reality shows are based on months and months of pre-planning, which is probably the only place where the processes do overlap, but they can’t show that prep work in thirty minutes. So, what you see is the big, flashy and fabulous reveal. But it’s not real time and it’s not real life. For your home to have the big wonderful reveal certainly is possible, and it certainly is our goal, but based in real time, which is often six months out, or more.

How do you set a project budget?
The budget is where the realistic picture of your project begins, and we won’t start a project without one; budgets can be created by available funds for the project, a % of the home value or on a price per square foot formula. Budgets include: furnishings, accessories and design fees. A budget is the map that shows us how we can do the best job for you. We will walk you through the process of budgeting based on our extensive experience with interior design. We find that our clients may know how much they want to invest, but may not know what is a reasonable budget for furnishings and fees are for a project like yours. We guide you through this process. Here’s a link to a website that provides resources about interior design so that you can be more aware of typical budget guidelines. What you choose to invest is your choice. Perhaps your comfort level is less than what Home Trust suggests. Our goal is to work within your investment range.

What if I want to do most of the work and just need an overall plan?
We’re happy to help you with a master plan for your project. Depending on the room size and other details, we can provide a proposal for you.