A recent series of articles at Houzz.com offers some interesting insights into where homeowners might be willing to spend a bit more on remodeling and decorating their homes. Although the site is definitely geared toward helping end-users make better choices, the expert advice they share can also be a great source of interior design tips and trends for anyone in the industry.For example, in an article titled 7 Home Purchases Worth the Splurge, designer Erika Wood offers her advice on where homeowners should be willing to invest a bit more money if they hope to avoid “buyer’s remorse” by compromising on quality versus value (or price).While many homeowners will focus on things that add value to their home, hoping to increase the resale price, Ms. Wood is focused on making the home comfortable for the current occupants of the home. Although both are important to an interior designer, it may be true that focusing on comfort will make your design project more acceptable to your clients. With this in mind, she offers seven “guilt-free” purchases for the savvy homeowner – making these areas of emphasis for the equally sharp interior designer, as well.
- Quality Window Coverings – To the uninitiated, it can seem like their options are endless when it comes to window coverings. Yet, as any designer knows, window placement, frame construction, and other external factors help narrow your client’s choices. Your expert advice will be critical for the client who is confused about which option is best for their home. There's generally no way around custom window treatments when there are unusually tall windows or odd placements. A conservative choice will tend to be a good investment in their home when it's time to sell. (Image from HouseBeautiful.com)
- Upholstered Furniture – While many homeowners will think, “It’s just a sofa”, you know that purchasing a quality sofa or other piece of upholstered furniture that stands up to the demands of your client’s lifestyle is always a good idea. Remind them that quality construction and cotton blends that have a high percentage of polyester provide optimal stain resistance and long-term wear.
- Granite Countertops – Yes, granite remains the first choice in countertops: “When a homeowner contacted Houzz for advice on kitchen upgrades, fellow contributor Rebekah Zaveloff responded with helpful advice. In regard to replacing the homeowner's old laminate countertops with classic honed granite counters, Zaveloff advised, ‘Black and white never goes out of style. If you want a classic black and white kitchen, go ahead and change out those countertops’."
- Room-sized Rugs – As we all know, it can take “forever” to find the perfect rug and, when you do, it usually isn't cheap. It’s always helpful to remember that your client may not have the knowledge to make a good decision and that you are the expert here. Take the time to explain that the cost of a rug will vary depending on the age, weaving technique, fiber content, and dye method. Also, hand-loomed rugs wear well and have added character and charm while minor repairs do not affect the value of the rug as long as they have been done well. (Image from MyRugStore.co.uk)
- Original Artwork – “A one-of-a-kind piece by its nature has special value. In addition to adding beauty and interest to the home, fine art gains extrinsic value as time passes.”
- Comfortable Mattresses – Quality sleep is essential for health and well-being – for the entire family. While the client is the true expert here, knowing what is comfortable to them, your guidance may make all the difference in whether they buy a quality product. If you have a relationship with a local sleep shop, all the better, as you can help them find a reputable dealer who will put their needs ahead of anything else.
- Linens and Towels – As Ms. Woods explains, “[You should] consider anything that touches your bare skin an investment in comfort.” Your client’s bed linens and towels should have a high thread count because they are softer, more durable, and will last longer than cheaper choices.
Even though it may seem that the last two items on the list may not be in your wheelhouse as a designer, offering guidance on making your client’s home as comfortable as possible is definitely has value as an area of focus.Looking for more new design trends, tips, and ideas? Get in touch with TD Fall today.