Laurie Gorelick Interiors


Don't Hire Me If . . .

There comes a time in a design blogger's repertoire when he or she uses the blog to vent. I'm not sure if this post is smart, but I just have to do it. It's my time to vent.

Ask any design professional and they will tell you that this job is less about design and more about dealing with clients and their decision-making gestalt. It's a fact. This is a client services business. We deal with decision making all the time. There's the client who can't make a decision without asking five of her closest friends for their opinions, and then she still can't make up her mind. Or the wife who knows exactly what she wants but has a husband who exercises veto control via the checkbook even when cost is not an issue. Managing clients and their decision-making anxieties and idiosyncrasies is a large part of our workaday world and challenges even the most well-known and highly regarded international designers.

Blessed is the client who is thankful to have a design professional manage a design project and who trusts that design professional's judgment.

With that in mind, here are some tips if you're thinking of hiring an interior designer:

Think twice about hiring an interior designer if you think he or she can make your house look like the one you saw on That's not your house.

It's probably best not to interview an interior designer if your budget for multiple pieces of furniture for multiple rooms is five thousand dollars.

Make sure you tell interior designers that you interview if any of the following apply: 1) decorating is your hobby; 2) you intend to do all the leg work yourself; and 3) you only need an interior designer to ratify your selections.

If you only want an interior designer to buy furniture for you at Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel or Bob's, consider using the in-house interior designers they have at these stores. They'll do the job for free.  Simply for the price of the furniture.

Give careful consideration to hiring a designer if you're a control freak and will always question a designer's advice, no matter how well schooled and experienced he or she is.

Finally, if you think designing your home is easy, that anyone can do it, and it requires no formal training, maybe you should design your home yourself. But ask yourself, would you buy a house without having a lawyer represent you? Would you splint and cast a leg if you thought you broke it? Most interior designers have studied design in school, have apprenticed for other designers, have worked in the field for many years and in some states, have even passed licensing exams. We've studied art and architecture, learned drafting, construction, color theory and building systems. We haven't gotten to where we are by accident. Or simply because we have good taste.