Should I hire someone to help me decorate?
People have different priorities in their life and choose to spend money on various things. Some people are purse people, car people, shoe people, or going out to fancy restaurants people. My weaknesses are trips and decorating my home.
We moved into our current home three years ago and I have done a little bit at a time. I have told my husband on several occasions that I wanted to hire someone to help me “tweak my house.” I mainly needed advice because I knew that I could implement a lot of things myself.
My chief concern about hiring someone to help me was the cost. I had no idea how much this would cost and was worried that it could cost a crazy amount of money.
I did a little bit of research and found that for someone to help me, it would be (on average) anywhere from $50 to $200 an hour. I knew that I did not want to pay $200 an hour so I investigated more.
Corrin told me about an Interior Stylist in our neighborhood who she really liked her style. I checked out Angela Frenzel Designs and was impressed with her style and pricing. Her consultations are $150 and her hourly rate is $50 per hour.
I set up an initial consultation with Angela where she spent about two hours going through my house with me and took photos of all the spaces. I brought her into most of the rooms and asked for tips. I really wanted to pick her brain for ideas that I knew I could easily implement myself.
Here are a few examples of tips (there were many).
My gameroom seems cramped. Any advice? Angela “I would take out that small table and move the foosball table over. I would also buy a kit at the store and cut a small hole in your drywall to hide all of your cords. It is fairly simple to do.”
Playroom: I would move that big piece of furniture from that wall to under the TV.
Stairwell: I would take down your photos and create a collage here of different sized frames and making the frames all of the same color. Example: Black frames
Entry: I would take down your family pictures and put them somewhere else. I would recommend you hang them in the hallway between your living room and master. I would do a mirror and two lamps on your current table. You need a runner for the entry.
Living Room: The area above your TV is too cluttered. You need to take the shelving out. Your rug in your living room is too small. You have too much furniture in your living room. You should take out one of the chairs.
Kitchen: You need a rug under your kitchen table to define the space. If you change out the light fixture over the table, I would hang it in the master bathroom. Chandeliers are always great in master bathrooms.
Here were my thoughts:
I just wanted to change a few accents. I did not want to buy new furniture. The only piece of furniture that I said I was interested in was a new breakfast table. I had looked for months on the internet but couldn’t find something that was a decent price. Ours was falling apart but it still had some life left to it.
Angela asked me what rooms I wanted to focus on, and she explained that she would create a customize design for whatever room I wanted and present it in the form of a digital design board.
Me: “What is a design board and how much does it cost?”
A board is a design I create based on your needs and budget discussed during the consultation. It will include:
Design Concept and room layout.
Suggested furnishings/décor with pricing and source where you can purchase. The board will also include images of similar items you currently have so you can see them worked into the new design.
Suggested paint color and material finishes (such as flooring options, if that was discussed during the consultation)
Spaces such as a family room, kitchen, dining, bedroom and gameroom typically take 2-4 hours for the design and sourcing of items. Smaller spaces, such as a bathroom, entryway mudroom, etc. take 1-2 hours and are billed at my hourly rate of $50.
Every project is unique with different needs. For example, if only a new rug is needed for a dining room, it will not take 2 hours and this will be identified during the consultation. For large multiple room projects I can offer a flat fee bid based on the scope of the project after I have walked the space and identified the needs.
Me “What do I do with the design board? What do I get?”
Angela: “You can choose to purchase the different items I find for the room, paint the room the color I suggest, and arrange the room (yourself or with my help) as per my suggestions. You can go at your own pace, keeping in mind your budget. If you don’t want to do the leg work of putting it all together, I offer full service and can do that for you. The fee for full service will be included with your design boards as an option for you.
Me: “How do I buy things that you suggest?”
Angela: “I will tell you where to buy them or I can purchase for you. Some stores offer me trade discounts which I can pass on to you.
If you choose to use me to create a design board, I will take that $150 from the consultation and credit it towards my hours that I work on the design boards so the consultation ends up being no charge.
If you just need help selecting a few finishes like a rug, drapes, pillows, and a paint color, it usually should not exceed the $150 consultation fee unless you need these options for a large project with multiple rooms. If I’m only coming out to select a paint color, I’ll just charge the hourly fee of $50, but it will be a minimum of $50 for my time.
Me: “ I would like to focus on the following areas: breakfast area, living room, dining room, and entryway. I will worry about the master bedroom later on.
As Angela worked on my design, my husband and I implemented some of her suggestions. My husband bought the kit to hide cords in the wall and took care of the cords in our game room. I created my Texas calendar pictures in the living room. My friend was creating a collage wall herself on her stairs so she shared pictures of hers. I stole some of her ideas and went to Hobby Lobby to get the supplies to complete it. My friend Tracy went to Home Goods with me and we found a rug for the living room. I immediately sent Angela a picture of the rug and she implemented it into my living room design.
Angela called me to let me know that a designer friend that owns a shop was selling a kitchen table that would be perfect for our family. The advantage of using a designer is the connections they have in the industry and can find good deals. She was able to get $400 off of the table set for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the table. It can seat twelve and is perfect for our large family. I kept my old chairs from my other table (because chairs are expensive and spray paint is not) and spray painted them gray so that I could have them along with the benches that came with the table.
One of my biggest complaints was the very beige walls that I had throughout my house. It was the cheap builder grade paint and after three years, paint was coming off in many areas. I convinced my husband that we should get the walls painted with a decent grade paint and update the color. We went with Angela’s recommendation, Sherwin Williams Repose Gray. The paint made a HUGE difference!!!!
Angela completed my design boards. The breakfast area just needed a rug and light fixture suggestions and the entry way mainly needed a rug that was a runner. Most of her time was spent working on the living room and dining room design. I was very pleased with all of the design boards and her suggestions. I loved that she was very mindful that we were on a budget so I needed things to be affordable.
I decided to buy the following things from her design boards:
A rug for the breakfast area
Six 132 inch navy curtain panels for my living room
Four throw pillows for the couch
A rug for the dining room
A runner (rug) for the entry
I also found two chandeliers for the breakfast and the living room based on her recommendation from the grocery store (that will be another blog….Grocery store chandeliers!)
Brad helped me hang the chandeliers and I was able to put everything else in place. Angela came over and helped me stage my house based on things I already had. She spent about two hours helping me with the staging part and this was definitely worth it!
Should you hire someone to help you with your house?
If you would like to make some “finishing touches” on your house or a complete make-over, I think hiring a professional is definitely worth it. Here are my suggestions.
1. Be mindful of your budget. How much do you want to spend on the design process and the implementation?
Angela offers all of the services (designing and implementing them). I knew that I could do a lot of the implementation myself so I was able to save money there. Make sure you have the conversation about budget and time before your Stylist gets started.
2. Look at designs that the Stylist has completed. If you do not like their style, do not go with that particular person. This is very important! All Stylists have a design style that is their best work.
3. Let the Stylist know your timeline.
I love that Angela offers all types of services, from big jobs such as a full kitchen remodel to small jobs. If you are building a house or a pool, she can help you with your building choices. I am pretty happy with my house choices but I wish I would have had her to help me with my outdoor space. I also love that I can implement things in stages.
4. Communicate anything about the design that you are unhappy with. Interior Stylists want you to be happy with their design so they will probably change things that you are unhappy with.
I was very pleased with Angela’s design and the process. I would definitely recommend her and love how my house turned out!
The finished product:
Angela offers full service design to clients in the Houston and surrounding areas.
She also offers E-Design for out of town clients and the DIY’er that wants to be really hands on, but needs direction. E-Design is $175 per room and everything is done remotely after you have completed a short questionnaire and you’ve submitted photos of your space with room measurements and photos of existing furnishings/décor to be included.
My question for you is this: Who is ready to get their house spruced up?
Other jobs by Angela