DIY Home Projects versus the Professionals

As the world celebrates 25 years of the Google search engine, I can’t help but get emotional as I ponder about the advancements in technology, the transformations in fashion and the unpredictability of the housing market, but what really has people scratching their heads is why pay for interior design professionals and installers when the world wide web has provided us with so many DIY platforms? You’d think that as a design expert and home renovations retailer that I too would be as worried as cashiers replaced by self-checkouts, but I know a little secret that the average homeowner, renter and business owner do not: Home renovation retailers and designers (Flooring retailers, Window Treatment Retailers, Paint Retailers, Furniture Retailers, Mattress Retailers, Etc.) are born with a few talents that the vast majority of people aren’t: Visualization, the element of being timeless and perhaps most importantly, Product Knowledge and the ability to properly install quality products. One of my favorite quotes relating to the world of interior design is, “A designer has the duty to create a timeless design…” Having been in the world of interior design and decorating for my entire existence, the most common problem I’ve seen amongst clients is the inability to visualize a finished product. This, juxtaposed with the inability to prevent themself from falling in love with Trends AND not knowing which products to use is cause for a recipe of disaster. This is where the professionals come in.

Most professional designers and decorators will agree that an important element of design is perpetual consistency. Trends (or fads) are DIY-er’s biggest weakness. Trends are not timeless, but are only popular at that given point in time. Granted, there is another saying in design that I favor, which is, “Everything old is new again”, but this would only apply to trendy spaces if you’re willing to shut the door for 20 years before reopening it. DIYer’s have a tendency to follow whatever style or design is popular at that point in time. For example, in 2020-2022, Gray (or Grey) EVERYTHING dominated the market: from flooring and furniture to wall colors and accents, everything was gray, Gray, GRAY! And just like that, Gray was gone in 2023. This year consisted of nudes, black and white, with Scandinavian and minimalist spaces complimented by pops of greenery here and there, leaving no room for any sort of color, unless it was a shade of pastel. However, this most likely won’t be the case for the upcoming year. If you follow design trends, you’ll know that in 2024, we are expecting a color comeback: Royal Blue, Rich Terracotta and Mossy Green will be seen in everything from leather furniture and wall colors to sculptures and tile.

As much money as one thinks one will save if they DIY their home projects, the next year their home may be less valuable because they chose to use all of the wrong colors, styles, layouts and most importantly, PRODUCTS. The average designer and decorator know the importance of being timeless, know about the latest layouts and can predict the latest color trends; However, this is where OUR expertise as product dealers and installers come in. At Decorator’s Choice in Hornell, we have the entire scope of talent to create the perfect space, both beautiful and timeless, while simultaneously meeting your most essential needs in everything from flooring and furniture, to custom window treatments, mattresses and paint. As important as the overall visual is, the most imperative part of a home renovation project is the quality, durability and function of a product. If you buy a cheap flooring or cheap window treatment at a big box store like Lowe’s just to save a quick buck, you can certainly expect that your flooring and window treatment will not withstand everyday use and our vast changes in temperature and weather in NY. I cannot tell you how many videos I have watched on YouTube of flooring installations gone wrong because a DIY-er saw a video on how to install a Wedi Shower System or had a subcontractor (who slapped his name on the side of his truck) from Lowe’s or Home Depot come install a tile job in which resulted in an epic failure.  However, when you purchase a product from a professional dealer who has been in business for almost 35 years (Decorator’s Choice), you’re not only getting high quality products that will meet your needs and expectations, but you’re receiving something invaluable, and that is our expertise. At Decorator’s Choice, our team consists of people who have been in the business from the time they were born (Me: At 32 Years Old) to the people who have been there since the establishment of the business in 1989. Experience is something one cannot put a price on. Trial and error, practice and phenomenal mentorship have contributed to our 35 years of success. If you’re a DIY-er who wants to try tiling an entire shower for your first install, I do not recommend wasting your time, money and resources; However, if you’re someone who wants to learn the trade of installing flooring and window treatments just to acquire the skill, more power to you! I do recommend starting small and consulting with the professionals in whom you purchase the product from first. There is a common courtesy that most DIY-er’s forget, and that is to not waste the time of any business in which you do not intend on purchasing from. Remember, any professional home renovations business exists because of their product knowledge, design experience, installation experience and credibility: To expect something from that business in which you spent time with learning from as a DIY-er for nothing in return would be wrong. So, the next time you’d like to start renovating your home and are tempted to tackle every project on your own, think about the talents that were gifted to the professionals: Visualization, Timelessness, Product Knowledge and Experience.