DIY vs. Experts


Function-Driven Interior Design


Lesson Info

DIY vs. Experts

You have really good luck with the d I y projects right? Yes but I've definitely feels on a lot of mistakes you've had some go awry yes s so how many of you either you or your partner or someone else in your household is really handy like to any of you have people who can build cabinetry or do plumbing or electrical or any of that stuff in your life my husband is not a handy guy he thank goodness he's a lawyer and he's really good at that and we just can hire other people to help with all the handiwork so there are some people obviously that are really good at some of these things so there's an exception to all of these rules but for most of us uh they're d I y and it sort of just a little bit of a hobby and a lot of his air taking a risk when we're trying some of these things there were several people in the studio here that are part of the creative live team that would come up to me and different breaks and say ok, I think I'm going to try to re finish a table or paint something and ...

regina even the chat room moderator was saying she might try some things but just like I'm not really sure if I'm good at that and a lot of times that's what a lot of us are doing right so there's, I think it's an important discussion tohave to to take one step further our budget discussion and talk about what I think is really worth doing yourself and some of the simpler things but that can still be very helpful and then what things it really is worth hiring a professional, anything that you wanted that comes to mind besides dry pre that you've really really noticed a difference in hiring a professional on so far? Uh, well, I haven't really had a chance to hire professionals, so I but I have had a lot of chance to do a lot of bad d I y um and I everyone thinking about an incident where we found some old adirondack chairs that somebody was giving away and we thought they looked fabulous, but they had this paint that was you couldn't just paint over it cause it was chipping off and we tried to scrape all the paint off and it just became the biggest boondoggle because we weren't able to finish it. So I think it's good for me to think about what is actually within my ability to dio right, and a lot of times I show things that we have repurposed or repainted and I'm always hiring professionals to do that, and I really do find that a lot of times it's worth the money and not that expensive for some of these thanks always equated to the time taken every kind of course obviously I went to college for nine years and besides that have taken tons of other courses like floral design which I really do use all the time and one time my mom and I b b and I took a cake decorating class like you know how ugo and learn how to do all that the icing and stuff which was really fun and I'm really creative at it but at the end of that class we were thinking, oh my gosh, people should charge like four hundred dollars for a birthday cake because this is not very easy so just thinking about that you think you're going to save all this money but a lot of times for someone to really do a great job even re finishing a piece of furniture it's not that expensive in the grand scheme of things so and it's a lot less trouble so let's look at some of these ideas and things that we can think about doing for for ourselves versus other people doing it. So what happens if you buy a room or a house full of furniture or install tile that doesn't fit our doesn't look good so you've tried to do the design work yourself and things don't fit or you try to do a tile job and it doesn't look good you've wasted both your time and your money right and I always equate this to for me is a business person I could either try to save a little bit of money, which is a big risk for me in the d I y category or I could spend the same amount of time I would be dead d I y ng and I could go do like three more design jobs and I could actually be making money during that time so usually it's not just the it's kind of a lose lose for me because if a d I y project goes awry of wasted time and money and I had to forego the money I could be making so it's sort of a double negative in my opinion, at least in my situation. So it's something to start thinking about those of you who are our often attempting projects that don't really work for you and then you now have to take more time to take something like if it's not something that you've changed like a d o y but something like a piece of furniture if you have if you're even able to return it to getting it back to the store is a big deal re selecting new product spending, more money and shipping and time and mileage and all of those things, and if we literally added all of those things that I think would be, we would be shocked to find that more often than not we could afford a professional for the amount of time energy money that we spend trying to do things ourself so if you're really handy at this or you really enjoy it that's one thing and it's fine to have it as a hobby, but when you're really talking about things that work well for you in your interior, I think it's definitely lee worth looking at professionals worst case scenario you get no money back and you have to spend more money to get new product and then you have to figure out what to do with the private that you purchased or you just have to throw it away sometimes if it was something like tile that you messed up so really, really difficult so I'm not just talking about hiring it's an interior designer, but we're talking about this is an example because I happen to be one we're gonna talk about other categories especially but what happens if you hire a designer to help you say fit the furniture in your room? They have software that they used to plug furniture in before you buy so we can help you put it in a plan that makes a really good decision and we have go to resource is that we know and trust, so you're not buying a sofa like you did that's really not that comfortable are really not that functional free, so sometimes just investing even a little bit of time with a professional if they're professionals that'll work by the hour, you can save a whole lot of money, right? Because they know already about these products and what work. And then the great thing is, if you're working with a designer that selling your product, if something goes wrong, they're responsible for taking care of itself. My client's order stuff through me, and it comes in damage or it doesn't fit, or I measured it wrong. I'm the one that's responsible, not them. So it takes so much liability off of you, and this is the case, obviously with any kind of professional. Ah, and really, we just have that experience and expertise, so I not only learn from my own mistakes and my own successes, but I learned from all the things is that I encounter what I'm teaching other people. When I'm working with clients, all the things they've had go wrong, settle wealth of information that really can make a big difference. So justin, the designer category alone it's something that a lot of people really feel like it's, a fun hobby, and they can do it well, but sometimes those of you who are are doing it on your own you might think about if you hit a wall just getting a consultation for an hour or two with someone it could make a huge difference and save you so much time so thinking about bringing in the ex person design can be a big help let's look at a scenario. So this is a client who hired me from the very beginning of this. Well, not from the very beginning of this project we renovated this whole room and I just showed you this kitchen a moment ago I added the cabinetry on the top of the builder the builder style cabinets but here's what was happening with this client? So they had either worked with a previous decorator and then I think they had tried to do some things on their own and they were having a lot of trouble making this this room in this space work for them and they were purchasing things and trying to buy beautiful pieces of furniture hoping they would be those band aids for them. But things really just weren't working for this client and so I'm gonna pull up this more folio app and show you before I showed you the actual after photo of the floor plan I want to show you some of the things that I was able to help them I understand about their space so just having meet my education my expertise in my training I was able to bring some things to the project for them that made a huge difference so we were looking at a similar scenario yesterday I was looking at lisa at lunch she was showing me her loft space and she was having a similar situation with her kitchen table where she was trying to have room for an island bar and a dining table and her living space and that's a lot of things that need to happen in one space here so this client was just constantly banging their head against the wall because I couldn't figure out what to do first of all, what do you all see that's just really odd to you about this space anything jump out to you that's now that you know how I like to design things really simply that is very odd that gigantic island that's a really strange shape, right? So what? I don't even know how anyone came up with that shape it doesn't make any sense there's no reason to angle that there's not an angled wall there's plenty of room for traffic flow around it so right off the bat they were trying to work around this elephant in the room and they just couldn't figure out what to do to put enough band aids on this one again this was a case where we said we need to do surgery basically so when you work with someone who has experienced looking at spaces like this and can really bring some creative solutions to the space I did a lot of things for them the first thing I did was I said there's no reason to have this really bizarre island because you're not getting that much storage down in the end of it that's pointed or strange and narrow it's not really helping at all it's extending past the refrigerator down here at the bottom so it's moving into another area that they're trying to use for a dining space and it's just really odd and awkward so the first thing I did was I came in and said let's create a really simple shape to your island and get it cleaned it and let's put so bar stools hopes on this this side and I think we might even you can't refute have three or four we'll see in a second eso plenty room and I think it's probably even a little bit longer than that but I'm going to just kind of give you an idea of what I did and I also came around the whole perimeter of the room and I said we want to take thes upper cabinets all of them all the way up to the ceiling which I think was about ten feet one of the most problematic spaces here is they had this really large tv cabinet down at the end that was taking up the only anchor wall on we've looked at spaces this week together that what happens when you only really have well there's one over here too at the top but it's one of the main large anchor walls that would be large enough to hold something like a sofa and it was dedicated to this really oversized television cabinet that really I wasn't doing that much good for them in this space and they have a family with four children so they needed more seating on a regular daily basis and then they also were trying to the mom cooks every single day actually a couple of meals a day breakfast and dinner and sometimes other mills and they were trying to squeeze in this dining space in the middle of the room and so as we were talking about in one of the sessions earlier today when we solve the the way a bank hit is a space saving option, I suggested to them that we combine a couple of of functions here instead of trying to have one, two, three zones couldn't we combine two of them and open up some traffic flow in the middle? So I suggested that we bring a banquette and attach it to the island and elf scene and after picture of that so I put it right here and I put a round table that could overlap it and we opened up all this traffic zone right here for traffic flow so we took to situations that two zones and we really made them one's own and have four chairs around then this was a work station at the top right here and it wasn't really functioning for them, but there was all this wall space around it that wouldn't even being used. So I said, why? Why is that small and floating on that wall? Why aren't we using all of that space? And then we could put a fifth chair there that matches the chairs, the table and it can always pull over when you have guessed or need more seating at the table, so we've already made a lot of improvement there and then in over in the family room this is a scenario where I made sure that it worked, but I looked at the heights and another situation where we decided to put the television over the fireplace. The fireplace was already the focal point, so tv up here we built it in and recessed it into the wall and we put a sofa here now again it's not the ideals viewing from all of the sofa, but the tv is on an arm that will retract in and out, but at least it allows for several people maybe three people to sit on the sofa uh and we went to two chairs here they're swivel chairs which are really comfortable toe watch the television and then we still have another sofa here and we even added a table behind to get some lamps there we have lamps on either side of the sofa and it really became a beautiful focal point and the traffic flow now comes through here comes to hear they used the outside a lot we haven't big ottoman with a tray and so we completely eliminated one of the zones in this space and it actually improve the function of of everything so I want to show you the actual floor plan now back on the power point that's thie after floor plan to see the difference so instead of trying to squeeze all those things in it turned out like this which is much you are interesting and much more beautiful and I've shown you the before and after pictures have shown you that bank hit with the the table pushed up to it and it's just cleaner and simpler and much more beautiful and it would have taken a lot for a client on their own even looking through pinterest and other things to be able to come up with this kind of use of space so this is where even if they didn't hire me to do the job top to bottom sometimes just hiring a professional a drafts person or an architect or someone to help you look at a space for a certain amount of ours can actually really improve the entire project over the period the lifetime of the project and they were going to add a lot of money into this space for the count they were gonna change the countertops, the backsplash, the cabinet tree so is really worth the investment for them that's just even just for my own industry from design a case study of how engaging a professional in the beginning a lot of times people say to me I will I'm going to get a designer, but I'm gonna wait until we get all the other stuff done and then I'll have you come in and make it look pretty and I loved to remind them that's the easy part the prettiest, the easy part and when you really need to engage professionals like me is at the very beginning of the project when the planning and the function in the storage and all of those things are most important. So just one example let's look at some other examples of a lot of the professionals and experts that I always recommend that my clients or people that I know are friends of mine consider hiring g six on three nine seven alley both want to know what do you recommend as a supply for when you're changing the jaws on opposite the kitchen cabinets? Do you have somebody you prefer to use a help a professional to do that well, when you're you're redoing a kitchen a single facing sorry, yes so I have a contractor and we have several that we use depending on the size of the job, so I have some contractors that are willing to take smaller jobs and that's another great thing about having a relationship with the designer like me because I have the whole little black book of all the great resource is and sometimes not only do I save clients money, all the people I work with along the way save them money as well. But yes, we have a list of certain contractors that we love to use over and over again, we don't get paid anything by them it's not like a relationship where we get a commission or anything. We just trust their work and so summer are willing to take small, less expensive jobs or remodeling jobs and others only want new construction, and we have a certain few people that we love to use for those kitchen re facing, but they could go to probably a local cabinet shop for a kitchen store kitchen design store and probably get some referrals from people who are willing to do that. I always just go ask I go to the source of of a resource that has to do with that category and ask for referrals um so some other experts that I often basically always recommend people use our kitchen designer, so I do kitchen design myself there are also people who only do kitchen design so kitchens and bathrooms again are very expensive and they're so many mistakes that you could make. So even if you're comfortable decorating all the rest of your house, think about using some experts to help you plan these spaces I think they're really, really important some now in some states you are required by law to use some of the things that I'm talking about, so for you it would be a no brainer in america, you have to you have no choice, but there are other states that there are not the same kind of loss that people have all sorts of professionals and non professionals doing different kinds of work for example in florida to be an interior designer, you actually have to be license and you also as an interior designer can't manage any contractor type of work if you don't have a contractor's license that's not necessarily the case in arkansas, but I still don't manage projects from a contractor standpoint always worked with wood, so it's going to be different depending on where you live but let we use electrician's and the same ones that we really have great relationships with over and over again because this can actually be very dangerous and you can also ruin fixtures if you don't really know what you're doing so certainly this is something that we recommend on a regular vices using professionals plumbing and some of these again might sound silly to you because you can't imagine doing these things yourself but there are lots of people who attempt a lot of these areas on their own and then as we were just saying contractors and builders most of us can't build our own homes what we use contractors for all sorts of things like you were just saying like re facing a kitchen or you think oh, how hard is it to just order the doors and put them on ourselves but there's a lot more that goes into hanging the doors leveling the doors making sure that they work that the hinges air really screwed on well cause they khun come louis really easy putting you know you could probably change the hardware yourself unless you're having toe to fill holes and drill new ones because the spread is not the same distance than the one before so there's just many many details that go into it but we have wonderful relationships with contracts, tractors and builders that we use often and this is something painters that a lot of people think is really easy to do and some of you may be really good paint or some people are just very detail oriented and tedious about that but this is one of those places sort of like the birthday cake making that you might be surprised how much it's worth just hiring this done instead of trying to do it yourself because the time and energy that it takes so paint I think is something that is easy to maybe do yourself in a room or two but then something like your house leslie that you have the two storey ceilings I mean you're gonna need scaffolding you're gonna need all sorts of things if you paint that giant wall so of course that would be a project that you would want to bring in a professional and make sure it's done really really well um and then wallpaper hangers also something that people sometimes try to do themselves but wallpaper it can be tough to hang and it's also something that can be really extensive so if you're going to splurge on it not necessarily the the temporary kind you can possibly install that yourself but even if if you wanted somebody professional toe hang that it it wouldn't necessarily be a waste of money with that you know kind of contact paper approach to getting it on the wall you want to get it on there right you don't want to mess it up you don't want it to get um get crinkled or damage so I love to use my go to wallpaper paper hangers on a regular basis on dh then I believe in designers and decorators and not necessarily that you have to hire us for full projects love those full projects that I get to work on, but even designers, we don't really take a lot of jobs by the hour that's when we created our design in a box for that, do it yourself person, there are many, many professionals that will just do a consultation and come help you through a key little task or project or or situation that you're running into. So don't be intimidated to find those people that can help you with specific small needs. Um, so just a few examples, so this is a situation where I painted this client's floor and so many people have asked me about how we did this and what the process was and how we sanded it and all of those things, and my answer is always, I don't know you'll have to ask the professional that I hired because I would not attempt something at this level that is going to really be a nightmare to make it happen, make it work, make it really last for the client, and we did have a couple of little details that we had to come back and fix, and so by hiring a professional. Again, that not only removes the liability for the client removed it for me as well, because anytime that it didn't hold up exactly right, I was able to go back to that professional and say, you need to get this right. You need to help fix this, and they were happy to do that. That was we really where their expertise lies, and they were able to help us get it just right. So this was really important to me. I think of a project that we just did recently where the client was trying to save money. So they even hired a professional. But they hired a professional at the cheapest price, not necessarily the one that we thought was the best professional to do a lacquered wall treatment. And that person tried and tried and tried and spit tons of ours, and it costs the client a lot of money. And ultimately we had to scrap the whole wall treatment and order wallpaper to cover the whole thing up. So they basically paid for the treatment and then paid for wallpaper because they made the decision to go with the less expensive and less experience professional for the price, as opposed to the one that we really thought was best. So again, it did you get what you pay for as well. We've seen this one people love or hate this room that I did is a show house, but whatever the case again, just on example of really difficult to paint side down or lay on scaffolding and paint your ceiling, right? So another great time to get the line's just right and hire a professional to do something like this. This is another place where I hired a professional because these air just painted borders in this space, so I took this inspiration from thie empire hotel in new york city. I love the way that they had black or brown chocolate borders over grass cloth in the guest rooms, and I thought it would be really fun to try this idea in this room that had all of these different angles and make it a graphic detail, but not something that I was going to attempt or, uh have an amateur attempt this had to be just right. So another place oh, and good here's the picture I was talking about that I don't think you've seen yet, but those were the restoration hardware light fixtures that I painted turquoise and this cabana striped ceiling for a client inside that veranda outside, so again, it's paint that's all paint, so again, I'm often using professionals and I think the interesting thing not that I don't encourage people for budget reasons to try to do things on their own at home because you certainly can and that's what's great about designers to get inspired by things and try to replicate them you know, on your own budget but a lot of times when you're looking at something in a design magazine or on pinterest that is professionally decorated, professionally executed and professionally photographed and then you wonder why you're having trouble replicating that same look in your home it's probably because it may be is just outside of your skill set and that might be an area that you really want to if it's a wow factor like this it's going to make a big impact really think about letting that be part of your budget that you hire a professional to get it right? Well, paper hangers are another person that I really really am partial to and again as designers professionals we have that group of people that we work with over and over and over I've done all the vetting for my clients they don't have to go test people out. I've tested them all out and I have people that I know they're tried and true and I can bring them in on on jobs but when we're spending a lot of money on wall covering which we do often and having really tough things like even just the seams of grass cloth are really hard to get to get straight and to not show and they show a little bit because of the texture of grass cloth that they really poor good grass cloth job they really, really show I also used tons of pattern, as you know, and so getting the pattern to match perfectly and then I use those tricks like we've talked about of putting wallpaper in two storey spaces so that you don't have to put artwork there so it can probably not going to be getting up on a scaffolding yourself and putting gigantic scaled wall covering in a two story room. So I've just found over and over that it's really a place where it's been worth the money because one mess up on wallpaper with some really expensive wall covering really would have potentially paid for the job to be done by a professional there's another installation this is a really tricky while covering two with the pattern is kind of looks like it has movement to it, so just getting them all lined up and installed perfectly it's really, really important okay, so we've been telling you all the things that you now need more money than you even thought you needed to hire professionals, right? But what can you do yourself? Well, there's a lot of cool things that you could do yourself so in the same room that we painted the corners, then we also applied these fun wall decals that something could totally do yourself, so they're more like the removable wall covering so all of this paisley pattern on the wall we just ordered from blick studios, and they'll custom size things the custom color things I think it's, b, l, I k and something that you can install yourself. Another thing that I love to do is some of the smaller details, so I can tell you that picture is a little blurry for some reason there, but I cannot tell you how many times before a photo shoot or a party or an event I've been up at night ironing on pretty little ribbons and details on napkins or other things, gluing on little trim to the bottom of a lamp shade totally khun do that, too, for yourself with a fabric, glue or even a glue gun. So some of the things that actually make projects look most unique, you can easily do that. Those yourself, I love to just use the fuse herbal iron on tate and go to craft stores and find ribbon, grow grain and satin, ribbon and adam to all sorts of things. Um, and so I stood and and I aren't that green and billy ripping on those for babies uh, christmas table late at night one night, so definitely something you could do then that idea of temporary wallpaper we've talked about so that was going to get much easier for you to do on your own, and if you get it in the wrong spot, it actually will pull back off for the most part, and you can get it straight and really make it work for you. And I think some of the smaller paint projects a chair here in therea, a small piece of furniture, it's certainly those are things that you can probably pull off herself. Maybe not if you're like me, and I'm really impatient and don't want to go through all the steps of standing. I'm probably not going to take on my unease e paint projects, but a lot of people do and do really well with them and then there's those little things, like we talked about earlier, like either spray painting a bunch of accessory or revamping things, wrapping books, lots of fun, easy things that you can have a real big impact in your space by doing them yourself. So I like to pick and choose or help my clients pick and choose the best places to save money by trying to d I y and the best places to really step back and leave it to the professionals, and you can think about things like is this temporary like paper wrapped on the book or is it wallpaper that we're going to live with for the next ten years because that goes back to sort of that price per cent idea? You know how many? How long are you gonna have it? How much are you going to see it? Is it really expensive product that you're investing in and that's where you want to, uh put the professional probably to handling those products, any thoughts or questions on this so far that anybody's I think the rapping thing is some of the people really, really like it's such a simple idea it's very it's really inexpensive resource as well I think it's really fun, of course just like the chalkboard thing there's lots of people within the design industry like design professionals who like oh my god, I'm so overseeing those books wrapped in paper, but for me in some spaces I still really like them. If you're trying to make a really simple, clean look and it doesn't have to be wide, it could be wrapped in some kind of wrapping paper could be have some other kind of fabric or pattern on it, but I think the concept could still be fun in the right space I would definitely do it again in my own house even if some people think it's maybe not as trendy as it used to be you've got there the glass, the turquoise glass or even just the clear bottle things like that are very inexpensive to pick up, but they're very effective, quite dramatic, I agree, so those are the really fun things to go find it flea market in those sorts of things and start if you get a vision like we talked about for the whole plan and you know what types of things you're going to collect, and those are the things you should be allowing yourself to buy over time, not major things that you're even big pillows and cushions and other things that you end up tossing if you have a plan and I'm sure melissa's like this casino's very much what her aesthetic isn't she's always, she said, looking for vintage finds and rustic thing so you really know sort of if something fits your aesthetic and it's really easy for you to buy something that always works, right? Yeah, medals and wood and anything that air in those kind of rustic, dirty things, dirty things arrested old, uh, things yeah, anything like that, I agree. So I think that's a great observation so you can have a lot of fun and a lot of impact in a small way and then relieve some of the bigger things that air that could go awry to the professionals

Class Description

Brought to you by House Beautiful Magazine, award-winning interior designer Tobi Fairley returns to CreativeLive for her third workshop on creating a functional, beautiful space for the way you really live.

Tobi will show you how to merge style with function. Tobi will teach you how to make use of every square foot of your space — whether that space is large and spacious or small and compact.

You'll learn about spatial planning, including how to read and use floor plans, as well as how to maximize small spaces and make the most out of large rooms (without blowing your budget on more furniture). Whether you're redesigning your home office space or studio apartment, Tobi will give you the tools you need to make your space function perfectly just for you.