The Story of a Valentino Fashionista With Unrealistic Design & Budget Expectations

"I only want you to design part of my home...and I need it done by next week". Said no one I would choose to work with.

Wether it's a transitional home or contemporary apartment, the process of interior design requires the same attention to detail for one concept to another regardless of design genre. It drives me crazy when people dismiss the thoughtful and detailed process in achieving a beautiful space.

The Most Important Elements Required for Any Build or Renovation

Pulling together a cohesive, functional and beautiful space takes a great deal of foresight and planning. It's not as simple as paint by numbers and it sure doesn't happen by accident. I don't care how much HGTV one has watched or how many Pinterest boards they have in their 'dream home file', beautiful deign is beautiful design and simple or complex, it should look simply beautiful. Don't make the mistake however that it's as easy as slapping a few finishing materials together and thinking it's going to be an exceptional space.

I recently had someone request that I design just their fireplace as they had intended to copy the design plan of another designers work that was done for a friend of theirs. Wow, really?! I'm sure that designer would love to hear that!

Would you go to Prada and ask them to design just the handles of a purse because you were planning on knocking off another designers bag but just wanted different handles? No, no you would't because that would be absurd and insulting!!! Or maybe you have no class and you would. 

Realistic budget expectations are required...

"If you want a 'simple' fireplace design and don't care if your home is cohesive or not why don't you ask your contractor to draw something on a napkin for you."  Yes, I said those words out loud. When you insult me and my industry, I have no problem telling you to get your design from a napkin drawing.

I can't even say I was in shock as only moments earlier she told me that the contractor she hired promised they could completely renovation at 1500 SQ FT apartment in Yaletown  $70K, all in! 

Having executed a handful of renovations in Yaletown and other areas of Vancouver, I can say with a 100% confidence, that there is absolutely NO way that you can renovation an entire two bedroom, two bathroom, kitchen, dining and living room for $70k. I told her that she shouldn't even consider starting the demolition of the interior of her place unless she had a minimum of $150K to spend and that's if she was ok with basic finishing materials.

Ironically, it was another contractor that recommend me but he didn't get the job because he's not one to under bid a quote to get a contract. Don't get me started on how many unethical contractors I've encountered in Vancouver.

The Key To A Beautiful Home Is All About Finding The Right Fit With Your Interior Designer & Contractor

"I'm sorry, as much as I would like to help you, I only take on projects that I can be proud of and I won't work with unrealistic budgets and misleading contractors. So naturally... I don't think that we're a good fit."

Seeming unfazed by my concerns about her project,  she them proceeded to ask me if I could refer her to another design firm. I very politely respond  'I don't know of any talented designer that I can refer you to that would be happy to work under your circumstances.' I felt like Joan Holloway in Mad Men as the words came out of my mouth.

After walking around my boutique before leaving she gently insinuated that perhaps she made a mistake...but had already signed a contract with her contractor.

I had no words. 

It's so unfortunate when you see a people being set up for failure even if they are the ones choosing their path; there's nothing worse that watching someone naively walk a road leading to disaster even after trying to warn them.

Well, at least she will walk her path in some stylish Valentino's and a chic bag, the girl had style. It's a shame that her closest won't due justice to what I presume to be a solid shoe collection.

Oh dear naive fashionista...this city doesn't need another resident with a killer wardrobe and hideous home. 

Please people, for the love of all things beautiful, due your research before jumping into a renovation or build. 

Good things take time and money, don't think that you can take a 'knock off' approach to design and end up with a positive outcome.

Why don't you ask me how I really feel? 



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