You’ve probably seen those shows on HGTV, where an amazing design comes together in an hour or less, right? Or, do you remember that show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, where they’d build a whole house in seven days for a deserving family? And of course, you’d cry at the end because it was so magical? Okay, I did, and it was hot tears of joy:
What you don’t see behind the scenes are the many, many people hustling to get it done quickly. In reality, design takes months, and sometimes years (depending on the size of the project). Have you ever kept track of what the people are wearing throughout an entire HGTV show? Usually, their clothes change with the seasons, proof that their project is taking longer than just a few weeks!
Thank goodness for television editing, so we can watch months fly by in one hour. Saves on how much ice cream I need to buy for my weekend Rehab Addict fix!
Let's Slow Down
While there are a lot of things you can do to give your home a quick re-fresh (which, p.s., is one of my jams) what I’m really talking about here is a full makeover. And in that case, slow design is the best design. I don’t mean time-stopping slow. I just mean, the process will last much more than a few weeks. And remember, it all depends on the size of the project.
Before you run away, let me try to illustrate this with an example:
Let’s compare fast food to home cooked food. Fast food is made pretty quickly, or pre-made so that the heating up process is quick. But what is the result? It’s kinda thrown together, salty, and has lots of weird ingredients that make your stomach feel like you could fry chicken in it. No offense to my fast-food eating friends, because I LUUUV Burger King cheeseburgers! And Egg McMuffins. :)
On the other hand, home cooked food is generally made a lot slower, using non-pre-cooked ingredients. The process involves adding a pinch of this and that (don’t forget love), timing the cooking process perfectly to get the right texture and temp, and then all the ingredients are put together to make a meal that leaves your tummy and intestines happy.
Slow design is a lot like home cooked food. Great detail and attention (and love) are given to every aspect of the project, with every nuance considered so it reflects you and your needs.
Some Real-Life Reasons for Slow Design
- First and foremost, the most important reason is you. Heehee, I don’t mean you are slow. I’m saying that I need time to get to know you. I need time to ask you lots of questions, to fill in the blanks where I’m missing something, and to listen to you. And of course, I don’t want to rush you through the process of figuring out what you want and like. You might not actually know what you want. It takes time for us to figure that out together.
- Secondly, each person is different, so I won’t use all of the same pieces for you that I did for another person. Which means meaningful time spent, hunting for that just-right combination of loveliness that will make you happy.
- Third, each client has a different budget, and different "priority needs”. That means I will adjust where money is spent, in terms of items of importance, for each person’s design.
There are other reasons for slowness, which are less sexy. Like backordered, or the dreaded no-longer-available items, issues with delivery, lead time on custom pieces, and sometimes really yucky stuff. Like a race-car bed gets delivered instead of a regular queen, for the master. One of those things is expected at some point, and it’s worth mentioning. Okay, maybe not exactly the race-car bed scenario, but you just never know! Anyone else think that would be a little bit funny?
How Much Time Does a Decorator Need?
Your decorator or designer will work hard to keep to the schedule and make deadlines (when out of control factors don’t come out to play). We don't want the process to be slower than necessary, for your sanity and comfort. But in the name of slow design, here's a helpful tip; if your deadline to redecorate a few rooms is “in time for the holidays”, get in touch with a decorator at least four to six months in advance, especially if you want custom pieces. That way, the new, custom family sofa will be there in time for the whole family to crash on!
Thanks for stopping to chat, friend! I hope this helped you understand the benefits of slow design and will ease your mind when your decorator estimates the timeline for your project!
Have more questions about timelines for a specific project? Send me a note with your project goals! I’d love to help you make your home holiday ready!
In a pinch and don’t have time for that? No worries! We can still spruce up your space a bit to make it work for you. No fretting, let’s chat!