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Snubbed by interior designer

(35 Posts)
DavesBonnyLass Wed 13-Jul-16 13:36:00

We're looking for an an interior designer to help us decorate a master bedroom and en suite, two double bedrooms, small sitting area, and small home office. I wrote to one and explained a little about our project, that we had some of the furnishings already, and that we'd never worked with a designer before and needed guidance from the start. She replied and asked for our budget. I wrote back saying it was between £10-16K, depending on flooring and artwork, etc where we'd splurge. She responded, saying, "Don't want to be rude, but my fees would put a big dent in your project...hope you can find someone else."

Well, I think she WAS rude! Our budget didn't include fees since we've absolutely no idea how it would be best to work (flat fee, by room, size, mood boards only, etc.) Sounds to us like she can't be bothered with budgets/people below her class? She's SOOOO skilled she can't work with "common folk"? Is our budget really that skimpy?

What do you ladies (and gents) think?

Mwahmwhah Wed 13-Jul-16 13:42:38

Well if she normally charges an amount which would swallow up the majority of your budget, what is she supposed to say? Do you want her to reduce her fee? She has been honest, you just don't like her reply. It is just a fact that some designers are expensive - way beyond what a lot of people can afford.

Is the design beyond your own capabilities? Houzz are good for ideas. You can also use that and other forums to help with DIY problem solving and design ideas.

OnePlanOnHouzz Wed 13-Jul-16 14:00:36

I agree - very rude !!!
So my suggestion would be go to someone like these ladies ...
They are on Houzz too - but seem very reasonable and have a great eye for detail ... Certainly not they type to turn their nose up at your project !
Hope they can help you !

peggyundercrackers Wed 13-Jul-16 14:03:44

I don't think she has been rude - you want to do 6 rooms but only have a budget of max 16k, if she took 1k per room that only leaves 10k. shes been upfront with you and you know where you stand, its better this than start the project and then you realise you cant follow it through.

She probably get lots of enquiries and is fed up wasting time with people who she knows wont follow through so she cuts to the chase and it saves her lots of time.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 13-Jul-16 14:05:18

I would say design fees would be about £5k on what you've said so that would be a lot of your budget.

BothBarrels Wed 13-Jul-16 14:17:33

Why not just respond asking what her fees are and then you can work out whether you can afford it.
I don't think she's being rude exactly but I do think she could've worded it better. Starting a sentence with, I don't mean to be rude is like starting a sentence with, I'm not racist, but...the person usually goes on to say something rude or offensive.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 13-Jul-16 14:27:03

'Don't want to be rude' is rude, because it implies that the enquirer has said something slightly out of whack.

If she had said, 'Unfortunately my fees would put a big dent in your budget' it wouldn't be as cringey because it wouldn't imply the OP was at fault.

Floggingmolly Wed 13-Jul-16 14:32:42

I agree; the "don't want to be rude" thing always comes across as a bit sneery, whether it's intended that way or not.

hesterton Wed 13-Jul-16 14:35:48

She knows she charges a disproportionate amount for your budget. She's being straight with you. I think you need to respect that - and don't feel defensive. It's still more than most of us have to decorate our homes.

Why not get a few really good design books and have a go yourself? Interior design ers are a very pricey way to go.

mouldycheesefan Wed 13-Jul-16 14:38:39

Find a different one. Mine charges an hourly rate and has saved us a fortune in avoiding expensive mistakes.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Wed 13-Jul-16 14:42:04

I do think though, it's not worth taking personally.
In the process of doing up our house, because it's listed we have sometimes had to get quotes from craftsmen which turned out to be way out of our budget and when we realised how much certain things would cost we had to rethink bits of our project because we just couldn't afford to spend that much. It's no reflection on you, it's not worth getting it all tied up with issues about class and snobbery, it's just the numbers don't match - say 'thank you for your time' and move on.

NannyMarmalade Wed 13-Jul-16 14:48:52

An interior designer I know charged £20k to design the interior and source the furniture, fabric artwork etc for a modest sized flat in London. The project took several months and the fee didn't even include the purchase price of the items sourced. The result was lovely though and ended up in a magazine .

Perhaps the designer you approached could have worded her reply with a little bit more sensitivity.

DavesBonnyLass Wed 13-Jul-16 15:53:29

I had told her in my original email that we had no idea how designers/she worked. Was it hourly, by room/size, percent of furnishing budget, putting together mood boards only, or doing all sourcing and shopping, etc.). Also, that the budget was therefore only for furnishings. Figured we could talk about fee structure later. I also (wrongly) assumed that designers could work with lots of budgets, just like lots of other trades do. It wasn't as if I had approached anyone on the "Top 100 Designers in the UK" or anything! Oh well! Not going to bother to write back, but will be more careful about who I ask to quote in the future!

Thanks for all the opinions! This was my first post to mumsnet. You're a nice lot!

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 13-Jul-16 16:17:05

I think a good designer will go through costs upfront but I do think generally they are pretty £££.

However, you can get them to do designs and moodboards for one room and then carry that theme through out your other bedrooms for example.

Gowgirl Wed 13-Jul-16 16:49:00

I will send dh round......he's got a good eye for decor-- and it'll save him starting another fuckng room-- grin

hesterton Wed 13-Jul-16 17:58:51

Ooo can you send him to mine?I'd love a tasteful eye and frank opinion on my skirtings, alcoves and cornices.

QuintessentialShadow Wed 13-Jul-16 18:04:18

10-16 k for 6 rooms, including flooring and artwork??

She must have thought you live in a different reality to her.

She was not rude.

Swifey Wed 13-Jul-16 18:06:05

Hi there, I've PMed you smile

CalmItKermitt Wed 13-Jul-16 18:08:14

Good god is that how much they charge??!!

They must see people coming!

Artandco Wed 13-Jul-16 18:11:27

She was a bit rude, however she was just being upfront I suppose

£10k for 6 rooms is quite small if your wanting flooring, walls, and some furniture plus all the actual decorative stuff. Without fees. Yes you can do it yourself easily for that, but those wanting designers usually want a properly finished look to each room so the designer can't save so easily.

redhat Wed 13-Jul-16 18:12:22

I don't think she was rude but that's a fairly small budget for 6 rooms if it includes flooring and artwork and you are not DIYing unless you already had most/all of the furniture. Surely better that she is up front about the cost.

I can't see that what she has said has anything to do with thinking you're below her "class" at all confused

wobblywonderwoman Wed 13-Jul-16 18:14:39

Could you purchase some interior design magazines and create some mood boards yourself.

I think its a decent budget but why give it to someone else. It will be your style then.

Have you any photos? Can we help.

Truckingalong Wed 13-Jul-16 18:15:41

Her email defo has an air of the snots about it but I wouldn't give it another thought - just move on. See it as a lucky escape! Imagine working with someone with a bit of a 'tude. Back to the mood drawing board and find someone else. Put a standard email together and fire it out to a number of IDs and see what you get back.

Swifey Wed 13-Jul-16 18:19:37

Your budget is fine by the way, a designer is not a good designer if they can only work with huge budgets! smile

Swifey Wed 13-Jul-16 18:26:23

Oh, sorry, if you are new, that means I have personal messaged you! wink

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