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Designer Headaches

Designer Headaches

Let’s Shop’s Host Cheryll Gillespie is a globally renowned Interior Designer as well as a fixture on TV, radio and newspapers. Here are some of her cautionary tales of when redesigning a space.

Okay so design sounds glamorous but even the best designers get headaches. Designing a room is like a very complicated puzzle, and finding the right piece and fitting it into the right space isn’t always an easy fit. It’s important to note that we all have challenges and it isn’t always easy or smooth sailing when designing and renovating a space. Be prepared for the speed bumps, challenges and obstacles that will inevitably be experienced as you travel the path of fabulous spaces.

It’s the nature of the beast, the wall paint looks darker than the paint chip or a new door was dented as the movers carried in the new bureau or the top of a new vase was broken during transport. Facets leak, ceiling gets dinged, the table sits off center to the fixture above, accessories get broken, wallpaper can have flaws and the dog could pee on your new drapery. When you embark on a project I think that knowing that ‘stuff’ will happen to even the best designers and decorators and renovators will help elevate the stress when it happens to you and your project. If your thinking that you can avoid these momentary tragedies, I hope you are right but sadly twenty years experience tells me you are wrong and that they are part of the game although good planning, including well designed CAD drawings for construction, lighting/electrical through furniture layouts and colour boards will absolutely ensure minimal breakdowns and collateral damage. When you prepare your budget always include a percentage for change orders and damage control.

Buying from reputable suppliers is one of the easiest ways to eliminate problems even before they happen. The larger the ticket price the more research that should go into background checks on both the product and the supplier. For example, if you are investing in home automation or electronics don’t just trust and accept what a salesperson is telling you- do your homework. Research the product itself and then understand that the product especially in this example is only as good as the programmer and the company that services the product. Ask for references, check with the better Business Bureau, Consumer Reports and do back ground checks on the company, the longer they have been in business the more likely it is that they will be there when you need them and you will undoubtedly at some point need them. The best companies are usually those that are referred to us from associates that have used their services before. New electronics and appliance are sexy and exciting but do they really work? Read those consumer reports and understand the products warranties before you commit to a major purchase.

Good crisis management skills are a necessary talent on any design project. Hone yours, practice solid planning and always try to anticipate and prevent problems, maintain a positive attitude, don’t second guess your creative genius and have faith that there is a solution to every problem. Fabulous spaces don’t happen without some tears and sweat equity it’s all part of the journey.

When your are shopping for new patio furniture ask about ordering protective covers when you place your orders. Canvas and pvc covers are great ways to keep furniture and cushions clean and will definitely increase the life span of your outdoor furniture. If you already have furniture then make sewing or purchasing covers a priority.


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