When you hire an expert in any field you expect that will things will be done the right way along with also that will the mistakes that will you would certainly have made won’t happen. You are paying for the years of experience along with also knowledge that will only a real expert can give you. So, what happens if they mess up? What happens if their mistake costs money? from the creative industry the item’s a bit tricky because, by nature of what we do, we are creating something for the 1st time, every single time, along with also the amount of unknowns are huge.
Unless you want something generic, then you run the risk of some fatalities due to experimentation. Houses are old along with also tricky, colors are subjective, along with also often no matter how much time went into the most perfect-to-scale renderings sometimes you get from the space along with also the item feels off. As a designer, I’ve been on the mistake-r end of this specific yet I was only inspired to write this specific post after being on the victim side – the client side of which I won’t elaborate on.
I didn’t hire an Internal designer of course, yet the item was a creative design of sorts. the item gave me a definitely not bad perspective on who should be paying for these mistakes, along with also, furthermore, the item gave me such a better perspective on how I can handle mistakes as a designer.
Yet not all mistakes are created equal. First off there are a few different kinds of mistakes:
1. The “You should have known better” mistake – otherwise known as a “functional” problem. These are the mistakes that will any designer that will bills more than $125 an hour should not be creating without helping to cover the cost of rectifying, in my opinion. This specific could be mistakes on function, measurements, or ordering/timing issues. We have made some of these from the past yet don’t so much anymore because we triple check all of these things. Examples: buying sconces that will don’t fit once you open the door, a sofa too big to get into the house, a sink not centered under the kitchen window, cabinets that will open the wrong way along with also can’t fully open, a bathtub too wide to put toilet in properly to code, or a rug that will can be way too little for the room, etc.
Don’t get me wrong, these mistakes still can happen yet in my professional opinion everyone (designer along with also client) should put on their “reasonable” hat along with also come together to figure out the best way to cover the cost with the designer admitting the mistake along with also being willing to fix the item. Maybe they will forego billing the hours the item takes to fix the problem, along with also if the item’s a piece of furniture that will was a functional problem (not just stylistically) along with also can’t be returned, then I think the designer should help sell that will item along with also order a brand-new one. Apologies need to be made along with also motions to fix the mistake should happen quickly. the item’s just like life, people, when ya mess up, ya fix the item.
I’m sure I’ll get some backlash through various other designers, yet I’m definitely trying to put myself from the clients shoes. As a client of a landscaping project, if that will designer had recommended, ordered, along with also delivered some trees that will would certainly not be able to live from the allocated place due to sun or soil reasons, then I would certainly expect not to have to pay for those costs to return them even if I had said “Sure, I like them.”
If they had been planted along with also they died then I would certainly have been extremely bummed along with also would certainly have held them accountable. that will can be why I, a person who doesn’t know anything about plants, hires them, expert in their field along with also don’t do the item myself. the item’s fine to be wrong, sure, along with also mistakes will always be made yet when you recommend along with also buy something that will doesn’t “work” due to oversight, then I think the item’s your job to help cover the costs to fix. yet not always …. keep reading.
I don’t have any personal examples of This specific through my design company along with also we racked our brain to think of one, yet we couldn’t. We typically catch along with also fix before they’ve been installed, so we don’t take photos along with also very little time can be wasted.
2. The “who’s fault can be the item?” mistake – This specific can be the most fun one (opposite) as everyone can be scrambling to figure out how the item went wrong along with also can be secretly praying that will the item wasn’t their fault. Usually these happen when there are subcontractors involved along with also there can be some sort of communication issue or a subcontractor was less skilled. A few examples –
My master bathroom tile:
When the item was first installed the tile along with also grout looked like that will (above right). As the client (along with also designer) in This specific case, I hadn’t specified for the grout/tile line to not look stupid along with also wobbly, yet I thought the item was generally implied. The tiler was the real deal along with also did a seriously beautiful job, yet then I saw that will line along with also was like hey today, that will’s not not bad. the item was definitely distracting. I showed my contractor along with also, while he didn’t think that will the item looked as bad as I did, he understood that will the item should look better.
Ultimately we had more tile so the item was fine, along with also I believe the tiler came back along with also broke open the tiles, added that will tiny line of tile, along with also I didn’t get charged for the labor. today if we had to buy more tile for the item, I think that will I would certainly have asked that will they split the cost with me because while the item wasn’t specified that will This specific line not look like that will, the item also seems like a no brainer that will they would certainly. If I were a real stickler I’m sure I could have gotten them to pay for the broken/replaced tile yet I’m not, so I didn’t. the item felt reasonable to me to just fix the item.
My Master Bedroom Wallpaper:
When first installed, the item looked great. I had a professional painter prep/skim coat the wall months before for wallpaper along with also a VERY professional wallpaperer install the item. All was not bad.
Until one day the item commenced doing This specific:
the item looked like garbage. Again, This specific was for me along with also I was the client yet had I been the designer, I have no idea what I would certainly have done. So much money wasted:
Cost of custom wallpaper $1200
Glue-ing/trying to fix – $300 (he gave me a deal because he felt bad)
Stripping/repainting – $800 (the item took days since the item had been glued).
So. that will’S fun. The wallpaper installer said the item wasn’t his application. He said the item was either that will the paper was too thick or the walls weren’t cured (they had been skim-coated along with also painted months before). I called Astek (who made the paper) about the paper along with also they said that will the item wasn’t the papers fault, along with also I spoke to my painter along with also he said the item definitely should have cured by then.
The mystery factor can be that will at the time we didn’t have that will not bad of AC (replaced today) along with also the item was in a room that will got hard afternoon light. So the item could have been a heat issue. Regardless, if I had hired a designer, I would certainly have been looking for someone to to help fix the problem. I’m not one that will looks for fault, yet yes, you’d also want to find out who did what wrong along with also how this specific could have been prevented. yet, ultimately, since there was no way to find out why this specific happened, the cost would certainly have fallen on the client.
Next up can be the built-in bench mishap through Sara Sugarman’s Nursery Makeover.
When we first proposed a bench, we feared the item would certainly be expensive yet I knew the item was the right thing to do. Ginny did some drawings along with also we received a quote through a dude that will we had recently hired to do a cheaper project along with also he did a fine job. Since Sara lives in a rental she didn’t want to spend $1500 on a built-in (my estimate through a not bad cabinet dude). We told her she had two options if she wanted a built-in: hire a risky dude for $0 or the real deal for $1500. She chose the risky, less-experienced dude.
What he did was fine yet not awesome (right photo). He wasn’t finished yet, yet I could tell up close that will the item wasn’t up to par along with also Sara was pretty unsatisfied as well. Furthermore I thought that will the design of the bench was going to be flush with the closet – to ensure the item would certainly be deeper. This specific was a mis-communication between Ginny along with also I, as she didn’t know that will was my expectation along with also I didn’t catch the item when I approved the drawing.
Before our dude could spend more time on the bench, we told him to stop along with also that will I’d pay him for the labor/materials up until that will point which was $300. I wasn’t billing my time on this specific project anyway (the item was a “for press along with also portfolio” only) along with also I was billing Ginny at a friends along with also family rate anyway so we didn’t feel bad about that will. I believe we ended up splitting the $300 with Sara. Had I billed my time I would certainly have not taken the item off because I told her the item was a risk along with also she went with the item anyway. If I has said, “this specific guy can be awesome, trust me!!” then I would certainly have felt terrible along with also probably would certainly have helped cover more of the cost.
Meanwhile she ended up hiring our expensive guy who charged $1500 yet the item’s pretty impeccable along with also the drawers function beautifully.
3. Another kind of mistake can be the “Trust me the item will look not bad yet the item looks definitely bad” mistake.
I can’t believe I’m putting this specific on the internet. Remember the Captain America Sofa (below)? This specific was a sofa that will we bought for The Fig House through the thrift store for $100. We (I) had the (not so) genius idea of upholstering the item in outdoor fabric with outdoor foam to live mostly outdoors (we needed some pieces out there). I chose all the fabric for 14 pieces on one day along with also the item was a shit show. I basically just tagged each piece that has a swatch of fabric along with also a safety pin. This specific one was a huge piece along with also, without boring you with the details, I clearly messed up along with also upholstered the item in a hideous fabric, or two. along with also then the skirt … dear god.
The item was kinda perfect for our circus themed party, yet the item was hideous for any various other occassion ever. When we had all the furniture delivered we unwrapped This specific along with also my face went white followed quickly by a whelp, that will sucks. Steve, the client looked at me that has a “Henderson? can be this specific a joke?” look on his face along with also we all commenced laughing. I ended up taking the cost of the sofa, fabric, along with also upholstery off of the invoice – losing around $1200. He never approved this specific design (hell, I don’t think I even did) along with also everything that will was wrong with the item was my fault, so I felt the most reasonable thing to do can be cover the costs along with also try to sell the item.
I think the key here can be “reasonable.” Also I couldn’t sell that will thing for the life of me (shocking) along with also ended up donating the item to a thrift store for a write off. I lost $1200 at least (I probably didn’t take from the cost of delivery/pickup, etc).
This specific next one happened very recently. We have a brand-new client who moved into a house with these curtains already up. They wanted them to be gray yet the size along with also fabric was fine, so they asked us to look into dying.
While we have dyed some things before, we had never for a client along with also not This specific much. This specific felt rather risky to Ginny which she vocalized, yet they wanted to proceed. We found a place in Orange County that will does This specific along with also all yet guaranteed us that will there would certainly be no issues, yet we didn’t get that will guarantee in writing.
We took them down there along with also two weeks later picked them up along with also had them reinstalled:
As you can see there was shrinkage – a lot. along with also the fabric, which we realized was actually definitely cheap, was permanently gauzy along with also wrinkly in a way that will didn’t fit the style of the house along with also ruined the pleating. They were totally ruined. today, thank god they hadn’t purchased them along with also that will they came with the house, yet they are still bummed. We are today working with them to replace the curtains, yet since the item was out of our control along with also we advised against, the risk was theirs to take.
If we had to do the item again, we would certainly get in writing that will there would certainly absolutely be no shrinkage along with also have gotten a sample of one first – although if one got ruined then I’m not sure how we would certainly have fixed that will one as we wouldn’t have been able to match the fabric so well, etc. The client was bummed yet can be grateful that will I’m wielding my Website power to help get them replaced at a deep discount (thank you, Decorview).
Next up? The tale of the “off” paint colour.
When we were sampling colors for The Lorey’s living room, we fell in love that has a particular paint colour. They gave us a sample card with the paint on the item along with also the client chose This specific one below. yet after the room was painted, the item looked like a different colour – the item looked super blue. At first, I cringed thinking that will the item was our fault. Colors are tricky along with also we knew that will they didn’t want the room to go too blue, yet the room looked blue. I thought that will we hadn’t obsessed about the item enough along with also that will there were more undertones that will were blue that will we missed.
Then we put the sample against the wall along with also they are actually very different in tone – in various other words, the sample was off. You can see the item from the picture on the left – the sample can be much warmer than the wall colour its in front of. In a way the item was the paint company’s fault, yet obviously I couldn’t make them pay for the labor to fix the item. Ultimately we took off a couple hours of design time (saving them around $350) along with also they paid the $350 to contain the item repainted (our painter gave them a not bad deal since he had JUST painted the item). They are reasonable people, as our we, so we both chipped in to fix the mistake as neither of us were to blame.
One last one (as This specific just happened). We received a faucet for a kitchen install super damaged.
Obviously not our fault, yet there were ramifications. The plumber was booked to install the day the item arrived, which meant that will he couldn’t do his job. He ended up not charging us (thank god) because he can be a lovely, reasonable person, yet he was bummed. Then the item took Ginny 1.5 hours to track down along with also order a brand-new, undamaged faucet (the company was super non-responsive along with also we had to follow up like 10 times). This specific stuff just happens along with also when mistakes are made, often the item takes time to fix them along with also if the mistake isn’t ours then we bill that will time regardless. the item’s a bummer for the client, yet unless they want to rectify the item themselves then we have to bill that will time.
As you can see, every single mistake can be different along with also the outcome can be never that will clear. What can be clear to me can be a few things:
1. When you hire artists, you get something unique along with also beautiful just for you – something they’ve never done before. Therefore, no matter how much experience they have, there will be tweaks, returns, along with also style disagreements. This specific can take some time, along with also if you are being billed hourly, then time can be money. yet hiring a generic designer that will shops for everyone online along with also takes no risks gets you a generic home.
2. Functional mistakes should be admitted to along with also rectified with as little cost to the client as possible. This specific can be why if you are a budding designer you should absolutely try to work for a larger designer first so you can make along with also watch mistakes before you are the one paying for them. These mistakes happen along with also they aren’t the end of the earth, yet the item’s your job to admit to them along with also fix them (along with also then you certainly won’t make that will mistake again).
3. Work extremely closely with your contractor or architect at all times. Show them every single spec for every door, faucet, along with also pedestal sink before you order them along with also then both of you check them in when they arrive immediately to make sure you didn’t accidentally get the left facing tub instead of the right along with also then cause weeks in delay. This specific can be where you catch the problems that will could turn into mistakes. Congruently bring from the homeowner as much as possible to get them to sign off on everything.
4. Leave a paper trail along with also get everything you can in writing. Especially if you are doing something that will you haven’t done before, admit that will along with also then ask along with also receive every answer via email. Don’t let your ego get from the way along with also then make a mistake because you wanted them to know you could handle the item.
5. Be transparent. This specific can be a general life rule of mine, yet the more honest along with also transparent you are the fewer bad positions you’ll be in in life.
6. Be reasonable along with also use common sense – for BOTH parties. I know that will legally there might be times when you don’t have to cover a cost along with also legally times when you do, yet like I said, designing a house can be extremely nuanced be fluid along with also flexible throughout the whole process.
When you hire someone, you should expect a level of professionalism, yet you should not expect perfection. Mistakes will be made. Sometimes your instincts are wrong, or your eye can be off along with also you maybe got overly excited about that will custom mural of Biff through Back To The Future in your client’s den along with also maybe the item should come down.
I’ve never had bad clients that will have ok’d something then changed their mind along with also expected me to cover the cost of the item, yet I have heard of this specific happening. Many designers contain the clients pay for everything directly or they have them sign a contract per purchase – so if you are a designer along with also are worried about that will, then that will can be a not bad option for you. Also get insurance, on the bad chance that will something huge has to be torn out that will can be deemed to be your fault, the item’s always not bad to have insurance to cover that will.
Ok, fellow designers, today its your turn. Do you agree with me? Do you think I’m dead wrong? I know there are some horror stories through clients along with also even more advice along with also potentially differing opinions through designers, along with also I’d honestly love to hear them. I’m not saying this specific can be THE LAW, nor am I saying that will we as designers should just roll over, take the item, along with also lose money. A lot of the item also depends on how much you value your relationships with your clients along with also if word of mouth can be important to your business.
along with also if you have been on the client side along with also worked that has a designer who has made mistakes let me know. How did they deal with the item along with also did you feel that will the item was fair?
Weigh in, folks….
*Liked This specific post? Well here are some design mistakes you can avoid: My Biggest Design Regrets – along with also What You Can Learn through Them, Design Mistake: Anything “Antiqued” or “Faux Old”, Design Mistake: Painting a little or Dark Room White, Design Mistake: The Generic Sofa, Design Mistake: The “Too little Rug”.
Tags: #Common Kitchen Design Mistakes #Emily Henderson Design Mistakes #Graphic Design Mistakes #Interior Design Mistakes #Kitchen Design Mistakes #Kitchen Design Mistakes to Avoid #Top 10 Decorating Mistakes #Worst Decorating Mistakes