Please Don't Hire a Designer If.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Ya know, normally I aim for positivity and such.  And I don't mean any of the following in a negative way.  I mean, c'mon, I said please in the title.

By this what I'm really saying is:  here are some practical tips, guidance on how to get the most out of your relationship with your designer, some deets on what not to do with a designer that go unspoken.

I am a' speakin' up.


These hanky-pankies, if you will, arise time and time again.  Many a home and garden television show has made, and continues to make, a mint off of these hiccups.  But by doing so, they're putting the industry at a general disadvantage.

The below-mentioned snags can be quite exasperating for a designer.  And for a client as well.  Look, I get it, working with a designer can be strenuous.  It's a personal and emotional experience.  It requires both sides to think deep thoughts, to view things one prefers to keep hidden, uncover embarrassing things maybe, to bare souls.  That can be thorny.

But, see, designers are here to help, to tackle the personal, the emotional, the hidden, the embarrassing all with grace and understanding in order to provide life-improving compositions.

So, as such, without further ado, please do not hire a designer IF:

You don't plan on compensating your designer.
Yeah.  People hire designers and think they don't have to pay them.

You go to work and expect to be paid for your time, your skill, your knowledge, all those years you toiled in school, correct?  Or if you create an object to sell, you expect to be paid, right?  Offer a service?  Pay up.

"Difference" here is you're paying someone for not just their skills and knowledge but also their thoughts, subjective goods that are seemingly less tangible than work others may do, hence folks saying "oh, well, you didn't really do anything, there's nothing to pay for."

A good designer resolves your design dilemma in a revelatory manner and then some, thereby giving the impression of effort-free-ness, such ease, like the answer was always right there in front of your face if only you had opened your eyes.

Ergo, "why should I have to pay for something that was so easy, that I could have done."  Trust me, it wasn't a walk in the park, there was plenty of behind-the-scenes action, and you hired a designer for a reason.

Or, people just outright think a designer's work does not merit payment.  Shrug.  I kid you not.

Or that "exposure" or "experience" are fair rewards.  Cough.  No.  I put those in quotes because if someone is offering either in exchange, they know no one and plan to dump all the work, all the work, onto the designer.  For nothing.

Or here, just sketch something up quick for me in our interview (that I will steal and not hire you and not pay you for).  No.

Or here, do all this work and now that it's built, yeah, I'm not paying you for xyz makie-uppie lame clearly fake reason because I fully intended to never pay you.

See, it's like this....your faucet handle pops off and water is spewing everywhere.  Everywhere.  What do you do?  You call a plumber to solve your problem.  They're trained, they're licensed, they have the tools, the knowledge, the skills.

Plumber arrives, assesses the situation, locates your water shut off as you didn't know where it was, shuts off the spraying water, researches the reason your faucet handle flew off, troubleshoots the cause, fixes and re-sets your handle, hands you a card for a drywall expert, explains what happened and bam, everything is right in the world.

Do you then say to the plumber, "aw man, ya know, I saw on the internets how to do that, I coulda done it myself, I ain't payin' ya."  No, you don't.  You pay the plumber.

Pay your designer.

In fairness, sure, some in the past may have cultivated mystery about what a designer does, how they work, but a good designer will explain the entire process and not hide anything from you.  So pay them.

Besides, do you really want all that bad juju karma following you around for stiffing someone?  No, you don't, because that's terrible.

Cash money, barter services at minimum, but pay them or do not hire them.


You already have an idea in mind and you just want your designer to execute it.
Please, hire people to do the labor instead, as this is what is being asked of anyway.

You have one idea in mind but you don't share it with your designer, you expect them to read your mind, to figure out what that idea is without giving any guidance.
Designers are not mind readers.  We're human beings, just like you.  We can determine some things without explanation but not what's in your head.

But, heh, it is quite arduous to work with someone who has one singular idea of how he or she wants something done, rejects everything presented to them, and does not reveal what that classified info is until oodles of time has passed, if at all.

Don't.  Just don't.

Now that client is disappointed and grumpy with the designer.  The designer is flummoxed with the client.

This happens to me quite often, honestly, and I can totally tell when someone is hesitating, keeping a secret.  And it's at times like these where I would prefer to back out.  If you refuse to share with me, where are we to go?

Similarly, please don't ask a designer for an opinion if you have something (unmentioned) in mind, seeking to get the corroborating answer you have in your head in return; you won't.  Guaranteed.  We're not (always) here to reassure, rubber-stamp, or reinforce your thoughts; we're here to inspire, to spark yours, ours, to achieve the best results possible.

By hiring a designer, a client asks us to spend oodles of time, thought, effort, angst, resources, and money on something for them and it's, it's just not cool, ok?  Don't be a stick in the mud; share.

Or don't, but that's not working with a designer.  Trust me, this destroys a relationship with a designer expeditiously.


You don't intend on trusting your designer/you don't trust your designer/you will never trust a designer.
This is generally always a thing, like always.  People are so wary of designers.  Like we're freaky hocus-pocus string-pullers out to manipulate you, your wallet, and your world for the worse.  Uh huh.

Kinda ties into the previous two "don'ts," and here's how it might normally go:  you realize you need a designer, you interview several, you hire one, they present you with a program you hadn't thought of wow which is way cool but instead of seeing it as way cool, you feel like they didn't listen or don't "get" you or understand your vision.  Hence with, you stop trusting them.

Or, or, you're already leery right off the bat, looking for any ol' excuse to withhold trust.  Not good.  Not good.

In actuality, the designer does "get" you and understand your vision, unless you hired a poor designer or you're keeping things from them (see above).  Then maybe they don't for real.

A designer's purpose, one of many, is to present an approach, ideas, and an outcome that are potentially way cooler than the nugget you may have started with.

Do not be afraid of new, different, outside the box, out of your comfort zone.  It's in those places where life is interesting and fun and refreshing.  And freeing.  And golly, you'll learn something!

Too scared to trust your quirky desires with a designer?  Please don't be.  We can't help you unless you do.

Fear they'll laugh you out of the room for your oddball taste?  If they do, you haven't found the right designer.

You want what everyone else is doing.
Please.  You're doing yourself the disservice here.  A.) trends come and go, B.) don't keep up with the Joneses, you'll never be happy, C.) it's already out there in the stores, go buy it yourself and D.) that's boring.

A little rude there, ahem, but your home is yours, let it reflect you.  Sure, if you come across a trendy item you love love love and (key:) expect to continue to loving for the duration, by all means buy it.

Designers like a challenge, we like to be challenged and we thrive on challenging others.  It's worth it, I promise.


You expect overnight, instant success and utter perfection. 
Designs take time, research and discovery then formulating concepts and plans.  Designers are fallible too; we all make mistakes.  But you know what I say about mistakes.  Not all ideas are perfect, not every approach right off the bat is correct.  Hang tight, talk with us, give us time, we'll nail it.

Point being, keep your expectations on a earthly scale and everything will be a giant success.

You have all the answers. 
Again, not to sound like a jerk but not one singular person has all the answers alone solely unto themselves.  Everything's infinitely better when you collaborate.

You're not open to anything.
"How do you feel about this....?"  "Well, ummm, nooo."  "Ok, how about this?"  "Mmmm, nooo."  "All right, how about this?"  "Hmm, Iiiii dunno, no."  "Ok, well then what do you want?"  "Yeah, Iiii dunno.  But none of that."

C'mon.  You see where I'm going with this, right?  If you're not willing to consider what's proffered, don't hire a designer.

You don't want to save time, energy, money, hassles, have a stellar outcome, live smarter, better, and happier surrounded by an environment that suits you and functions seamlessly.  And looks sharp too.
Designers provide all those things -- they save you time, headaches, effort, and money.  And much more.  Designers have resources, they know people who do things, they handle the nitty gritty, they know codes, theories, best practices, the language of building.

So yeah.


Here I was hoping I'd feel better for airing this out with you but heh, I feel irked reflecting on prior scenarios where the above occurred.

So please, do yourself a favor, and a designer a favor, and don't hire them if you plan on doing any of those things, especially a combination of them.  I can absolutely assure that you will not get the best work, a rock star outcome, if you do.

I bet you're wondering....All of the photos in this post are by my iPhone-Photo-Taking Master, Mike.  He's good, yeah?  He keeps showing me all these cool pictures he takes so I thought it high time I share some with you too.  So all the praise and credit goes to him.  Nice work, babe!

And the (sad) news is in....Flipping the Flip did not make the shortlist move onto the next round with the Amara Interior Blog Awards.  Sniffle.  But, on a happy note, the tremendous love and support I received warms my little heart so all is a-okay good.  Thank you very very very much to those who voted and shared!  Maybe next year?

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