My Community

The Business Of Upholstery => The Business Of Upholstery => Topic started by: baileyuph on November 26, 2017, 05:32:43 PM

Title: What are they?
Post by: baileyuph on November 26, 2017, 05:32:43 PM
As it might relate to home furnishings (furniture):



As has been said, the title "master" craftsman has become a more casual title today.  Hasn't designer
become much more casual, also?

Or is there a study today that has to be accomplished to be either a designer or decorator? 

Do designers decorate?

Also, do decorators design?

Probably the thinking about all this, like master, etc., at some point in past cultures did go training and was required to perform to some standard before a highly regarded label was attached.

In some countries the workers label was granted from a more standardized work performance.
You had to put in your time and have demonstrated a certain level of work.

Like designers had to decorate for a period of time before considered a designers?

Confusing but times change.


Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: kodydog on November 26, 2017, 08:17:33 PM
a highly regarded label was attached.

When working one on one with a designer/ decorator I always refure to them as a designer. To call anyone a decorator is an insult.

In private they are all decorators.

I think it all has to do with some kind of education. We are currently working for a designer who is enrolled in the U of Florida PHD program in interior design. Just damn, you go girl. 
Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: baileyuph on November 26, 2017, 08:46:14 PM
Then, I can assume the higher dollar designer has a professional degree - perhaps in a league
with an architect?

Most of the decorators (perhaps designers by their own thinking) I have seen haven't stayed in the
decorating business long?  They maybe just as effective selling furniture - hopefully upscale for their

Or selling discount fabrics off the roll?

Consumers are pretty tight when it comes to purchasing or reupholstering furniture - there just isn't
enough dollars in the business to spread across the retailers and reupholsters.  The fabric stores
for the most part sell discount also.  Probably a lot of upholstery materials are bought through the internet - primarily by the consumers.

So, designer/decorators aren't so unique they can claim the bucks?  Just a title.

But, with a lot of experience in marketing what we are talking about and well known, I guess there
is that type of market for someone pretty good at helping select fabrics and selling them.

Last point -  most consumers of upholstery seem to follow the ideas of whatever is in style anyway.

Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: Mojo on November 27, 2017, 08:37:32 AM
In regards to designers.

I just do not get it. I have never understood the concept. Why would someone hire a person to decorate their home ? How do they know the tastes of the homeowner ?

We recently completed our music studio. We started from scratch with bare walls and a bare room. I had a vision for that room in my head and I am not sure I could have ever transcribed that vision to a decorator. I wanted an old 1920's look. I wanted a feel of the early years so I filled the room with antiques, signs, etc. I wanted dark wooden walls and a low energy feel to the room. I have numerous themes using old antiques - tobacco tins, medicine bottles, antique radio collection, a license plate collection dating back to the 1920's and a lot of other tins and bottles here and there.

I would have been scared to hand that vision off along with my checkbook to some half crazed decorator who cannot grasp my vision.
A perfect example is our bus. It was all done in Liz Claiborne fabrics and it is God awful ugly. What ever designer thought up this color and pattern scheme must have been drunk or high on drugs. I have seen many coaches with interiors that were uglier then sin dipped in misery.

I have a friend who, along with her husband own one of the nations premier bus converting companies. Their buses sticker at $ 2.5 million. She is the interior designer of the buses and I have to say I would easily hand off the design work to her as she has the same tastes in fabrics that I do. But she is a rarity.

I admit I am not a furniture guy and have never worked with a designer. I can only assume you guys have seen some color and fabric collections that made you say " Really ? You have got to be kidding me. " I am going to also assume you have had some belly laughs over fabric colors and patterns that designers came to you with that made you belly laugh. I can already see Sofa Docs thoughts.

I would never hire a designer because I know how it would go. After 5 minutes I would be telling them " grab your books and get out of my house before I let my dogs loose ". :)

God Bless you furniture guys.

Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: kodydog on November 27, 2017, 09:19:13 AM
IMO a good designers will get a feel for the clients tastes and let them make the final decision. A good designer will not force there style on the client nor will they let the client make a bad decision. A good designer will have expensive sample books you will not find at upholstery shops, Joann fabrics, furniture stores or discount outlets. A good designer will not sell the same fabric to more then one client.

We did a job where the client didn't like the selection the designer made. The designer paid for a different fabric and paid us to recover the chair.

There have been many times we get the fabric and wonder what the designer was thinking. But also times when we sat the piece in the room and could see where it all tied together. On the theater job we recently finished, the decorator chose a light colored vinyl for the base of the banquettes. Both Rose and I felt it should have matched the leather recliners already in the room. I was sure this would be a redo but the client loved it.
Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: sofadoc on November 27, 2017, 09:29:58 AM
I can already see Sofa Docs thoughts.
I've had decorator/designers that furnished fabric from JoAnns and Hobby Lobby. Same crap that any knucklehead could walk in off the street and buy.

I have one that buys high-end fabrics. But she always buys way too much. keeps the excess, and sells it to the next customer. So she's making $100 yd. (or more) off fabric that the previous customer already paid handsomely for. And she uses her professional reputation to convince the next client that it's been chosen exclusively for their decor.

The ID's heyday was back before discount fabric stores began sprouting like weeds. Consumers really didn't know where to buy fabric. Most suppliers only sold to the trade. ID's had that "shroud of mystery" around their service.

ID's now have to squeeze every last dollar from anywhere they can. Often, this means squeezing the upholsterer.

Chris said "In regards to designers. I just don't get it".
That puts Chris in the top 99% of America that doesn't get it either.
Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: SteveA on November 27, 2017, 11:11:22 AM
Decorators / designers are a pain because they are never happy. 
But I would like to think of them as folks who know colors - patterns, textures, more so..... folks with the artistic eye who follow the latest trends - know the recent styles and can make your place look like it is the top of the world. 
On the other side of the coin are the graduates from schools who think they don't need the upholsterer's advice because they know it all.  The problem is that a school can give you a degree but not the eye for artistic design - that is a natural talent of an artist -
When you're spending 100/yard for fabric you want someone who knows it will look good without regrets after the room is set up. 
I stay away from decorators - I'd rather work with a customer like Chris says' - someone who wants to make their own choices -
When a designers vision isn't perfect all the working folks are in the line of fire
Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: 65Buick on November 27, 2017, 01:54:42 PM
Most in the profession want to be called 'designers'.
And, I also see great value in their service. If they have taken the time to learn, they should know what goes well in certain settings. A client can say for example, "I like modern style". Well, if you know nothing, it is not an easy task to make a room beautiful by just throwing furniture in a room. It is time consuming. They should also know where to find good furniture.

Even myself, I see value in design. If I could afford one, I most certainly would utilize one. And yes, the designer is in charge of a whole lot of contractors. It is stressful to deal with the head contractor and making sure the subs do according to plan. To try to pull off a renovation or worse - remodel - with no experience or knowledge is not a smart choice.

There are a ton of people peddling garbage to people who think they are masters of everything. And, they make money doing so. A good designer should avoid all of that.
Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: baileyuph on November 27, 2017, 10:35:13 PM
There is another world out there, it is where the designer is just "over the top" at what they do
and have developed a reputation not many achieve - one comes to mind in my metro area.  She has
earned a strong demand among the wealth, those with multi - million dollar homes and business. Her reputation among that crowd is known and does stand out in the crowd.  I guess that is the answer,
to be successful it takes talent that separates you from the crowd.

I would like to become her upholster!  Wink.

There is a message there, "You have to know the right people in whatever you do!"

Who knows, one of these designers in an area just may become the next star.

Such talent to have may be what it takes.

Plus, Mojo has said all along, it takes good MARKETING!

Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: Mojo on November 28, 2017, 08:01:46 AM
I believe that maybe I am a rarity. If I was a multi millionaire I still would not hire a designer because I would want my tastes and visions employed in my own home and not that of someone else.

All of us have different tastes in decor. I am sure many would not like my tastes at all, especially our music studio. If you go through the pictures of this room I designed I am sure several of you would think I had lost my mind when designing it. How would I have ever projected this image I had for this studio ?

Not everyone's tastes are the same and mine are probably crazy to some.

Here is the album on the finished studio project. In the end I am over the moon with the feel and vision I was after. While probably not anyone else's tastes it hit home with mine.

Title: Re: What are they?
Post by: SteveA on November 28, 2017, 10:20:37 AM
It looks good to me - neat compared to all the crap hanging off of my walls.  First thing polish the fire extinguisher - they come out great -
One of the banjos looks like it is one of those made in Japan many years ago ?  -  and what looks like an old cabinet makers tool chest is nicely preserved.
Studio slash Man Cave ?  No designer could have this vision in their head because they can't relate and they look for symmetry