The Secrets of Decorating: What They Don’t Tell You

There are certain things most designers don’t want you to know. It’s understandable, really. The more you know sometimes means the less they make. So, I created Tweak Your Space as a way to flip the design process on its head. Tweak Your Space is a program not only about decorating, but a program that is intended to teach people more about their homes and the benefits their spaces provide. Below I’ve outlined a few things traditional decorators don’t want you to know about, and why we at Tweak Your Space have completely overlooked them.


You need to be the right fit

It’s important that you like your decorator. And even more important that the decorator likes you and isn’t just taking the gig to make a buck. There needs to be a bond there. Trust must be formed. After all, this is your home we are talking about. It’s a very intimate setting as it is. For this reason, I like to think of the first consultation as more of a two-way interview. A time where both my client and I can get to know one another. Most importantly, I am there to understand the client and what they want. And not just what they say they want but what they actually want. Believe me, there is a huge difference. The client needs to be comfortable with the way I do business as well as my fees and trust the design process. If I feel like Tweaking isn’t right for someone, I won’t take the job. It’s very important for there to be a mutualistic relationship based on common expectations.

Indecisiveness wastes time and money

Traditional design asks that you pay by the hour. And so, the longer you take to make a decision on something, the more money you will have to shell out. I personally believe that your energy tells your story, not your words. And that sometimes the best perspective is the third-party perspective. Indecisiveness or even over-communicating could really muddle the process and leave a client with something that they didn’t actually want.

Forget Social Media Trends and Magazine Clippings

Social media has a lot of input on how we feel about ourselves, our bodies, and even our homes. When hiring a decorator, it’s best to leave the Instagram expectations or magazine clippings at the door. Each design is unique to the client. A good design should be judged on how the space makes you feel, not how well it compares to an Architectural Digest. If you hold yourself to someone else’s standard, you will never be happy. Be cautious when a decorator is quick to tell you that they can “get you that look.” That is not the kind of custom service you are paying for.

You don’t need a big budget

Little tweaks can make a big impact and, luckily, they don’t have to cost much! Pick a budget that you are comfortable with, one that you think is fair. Come up with a budget yourself first, prior to meeting with a decorator. But do your research and have realistic expectations.

There is no need for everything to be new

New doesn’t mean better. Your current items or even items you find in salvage yards all have a purpose! It’s just about finding the right niche for them. For example, repositioning a piece so that it gets more light or draws your eye to a certain angle will work wonders and will save you money! Antiques can be refinished and dated chairs can be reupholstered. You just have to get creative. And in the end, you will have a one-of-a-kind piece.