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Avoid Bad Design Advice
by Reita Bayman

Bad advice from good people can sink a room.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are re-doing their home is getting bad advice from good people. And then following it!

Trades people are experts at what they do. Painters can paint straight lines and not spill a drop. Electricians know exactly where to cut in a wall to find a stud. And so on. But the mistake we make is to ask them for advice beyond their field of expertise.

An upholsterer knows how to apply fabric. And may even know which fabric will wear better. But no upholsterer could possibly know which particular fabric will work the best in our room! And yet we ask tradespeople these kinds of questions every day!

In order keep their prices down, tradespeople develop skill in very focused areas. They develop a sort of tunnel vision. But because a person is an expert, we often think he must know the answers to all our questions. That is almost never true

To get good answers to our questions, then, we need to seek out experts in each area. Or we need to find someone who's an expert at seeing and understanding the big picture.

Contractors and architects have big-picture viewpoints, but they are not good at making our things work the way we want them to. That's what designers do.

It's the job of a good designer to see that all the elements of our home, from the lighting to the paint color to the chair fabric, work together. And while every designer may not be an authority in each area, good designers will have recommendations on who the best authority is.


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