Part 7 of breaking down the article, 10 Things Interior Designers Won't Tell You, start at Part 1 to learn more!
YOU DON'T NEED ME TO GET BIG DISCOUNTS FROM SHOWROOMS
Any designer who picks out new furniture or fabrics for you will probably make the purchases at "trade only" showrooms, where goods are priced up to 50% below retail. Although these showrooms were traditionally the exclusive domain of design professionals, that is not necessarily the case today.
According to Barbara Schlattman, a Houston, Tex., interior designer, many design centers have programs where ordinary shoppers can come to the showroom to be paired up with a designer. The designer will then help you pick out items, often at a discount below the list price. But call ahead to see if the design center near you has a similar program. "Potential buyers might get there and find out they need an interior designer's license card just to get in the front door," says Schlattman.
I am not sure if any design centers are closed to the public anymore, recently one of the last hold-outs, the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center, opened its doors to the public. But that doesn't mean that just anyone can walk in and make a purchase. Some have programs as the quote above says that you can purchase through a registered designer or certain showrooms will have a designer "on-staff" or other accommodations for clients.
By opening to the public, design centers are making design more accessible and less elitist, which I think is great. It is starting a dialogue on design and shining some light into the once very elusive practice of "to-the-trade only". I love for clients to take a look at what is out that and be able to speak to the showrooms about the quality of their goods and perhaps why their sofa is $10,000 when they can get a very similar style at Pottery Barn for $1500. You can only make better more-informed decisions by educating yourself.
There are people whose job title is "shopper", but I am not a shopper. Meaning that it is not my sole job to go shop for goods for client's homes. I am a designer and my job is to look at a client's lifestyle, tastes, preferences, room layout, architecture, and to process that into a design plan for the room or their home. So, if you only want me to buy you a sofa at 50% off retail you have missed the point of hiring an interior designer. But if you have hired me to design a room or your home, you will get my discount.
How do you feel about to-the-trade only?
read the entire series: