Earlier last year I wrote a blog post about hiring a decorator and it’s been one of the most read articles I’ve ever written so I thought I’d expand a little further on it today and give you a bit more insight into what it’s like hiring a decorator.

For most of my clients working with me is the first time they’ve worked with a decorator so I need to spend a bit of time showing them how the process works and easing any worries they may have about using a decorator (usually that’s mostly to do with the myth that interior decorators are expensive). I leave a welcome packet with each client I meet which details my office hours, preferred methods of contact, basic terms and conditions and a little diagram showing how the process works so they can check in at any time to see what’s next in the process.

Generally there’s about 4-5 steps in the decorating process and it’s relatively similar to if you were buying the furniture yourself except you have a helping hand making sure you’re making all the right decisions to keep your project on track.

Step 1. Meet & Greet

The initial consult is the get to know each other meeting. If you can do some homework prior to the initial consult you’ll get the most out of the meeting as possible. Show your decorator some examples of rooms and styles you like, have a list ready of the rooms you want help with, any furniture you want to keep and anything you’re desperate to get rid of. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss colours if you’re re-painting too and get instant feedback from a professional. Use the hour wisely, you’ll be working together quite closely as the weeks/month’s progress so share as much as you are comfortable sharing. I love meeting new clients and discovering all sorts of things about them and their families. Often no room is left unturned when I visit and I get a real insight into how the family lives. This then helps me create the best space possible for them.

Consultations cost anywhere between $200-$400 depending on the decorator. You can check out my pricing here.

Step 2. Mood Boards

After the initial meeting I gather as much inspiration as possible and start sourcing products that fit my client’s brief. I have a huge array of trade only suppliers I source products from that my clients don’t get access to. It’s no wonder people struggle to find the right furniture and homewares when there are so many trade only furniture suppliers. I spend a lot of my time educating myself on supplier’s products and quality standards so that I can source the best possible pieces for clients so when you’re paying a decorator to source products for you know that they have spent years honing their supplier database and sniffing out the best range of products for you.

I present all the items I’ve sourced to the client in form of a PDF mood board which shows all the items beautifully collated together to give the client an idea of how the room will look when it’s finished.

I always quote up front with a client how many hours are required to source the items we discuss in our initial meeting. For some clients, they don’t have the budget to get all the rooms done at once so they go room-by-room over a period of time. My hourly rate is $125/hr but you can expect to pay anywhere between $70-$300/hr depending on the level of experience the decorator has.

There’s usually a bit of back and forth about a couple of items before it’s all decided on and we can start ordering products.


Step 3. Ordering Products

Like I mentioned, I have access to a huge range of furniture wholesalers so that means I take care of the ordering and delivery of the items to my client’s homes. This requires a bit of back and forth between the supplier, me and the client. But it’s the fun part for my clients when their goodies start arriving and they can put their home together. I generally have all items delivered directly to the client to save on double handling costs if I were to collect it all and deliver in one hit.

Step 4. Styling

Once all of the pretty things have arrived I pop back in and style up a storm. This generally only takes  a few hours and not always necessary but a lot of my client’s find it helpful to have me come through and move furniture around to where it looks best in the space.


So what are the benefits of hiring a decorator?

  • We save you time – so many of my clients are time poor and wish they could wave a magic wand and fall back in love with their home again. I don’t have a magic wand but I do my best to make it look like I’ve waved a wand and jazzed everything up by the time I’m done.
  • We save you money – yes you’re paying a decorator’s fees but how many times have you had a piece of furniture delivered and had that pang of regret that maybe you should have gone for the other colour/shape/style? We’ve been there done that and made all those mistakes so we know what to look out for that could be an issue for your home/style and how to avoid it. Plus I pass on my trade discounts to you too so you can expect to save around 30% off retail pricing.
  • We deliver beautiful spaces – many of my clients are fed up with their space, sick of trawling the shops on weekends and just generally unsatisfied with how their spaces work for them. My job is to get you to fall back in love with your home and enjoy coming home to a beautiful space.
  • We act as a mediator and save relationships – Okay, that’s a little far-fetched I admit but you would be surprised how often I’m used as the mediator between husbands and wives who can’t decide on furniture pieces. I hear the phrase “Emma suggested this so we should do as she says” and that’s the end of the discussion 😉

If you have any questions about my services or want to have a chat about how I could potentially help you with your home shoot me an email for an obligation free conversation – [email protected]

Emma x

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