The Scariest Words

Originally published in 2012, updated October 2022

OK< so the first really scary words are that this was first published TEN YEARS ago!!  And first update took this thought down to a more text-friendly 2 or 3 words.

What are the scariest words clients can hear? 

Never saw THAT before…

How much were you planning to spend?


Nah, too easy.

It all needs to be cleared out.

It’s the best (whatever) money can buy.



Think about renting those first two years

There’s no way of telling

OK, I’ll have to tell you. 

Decades in this business, have  found these are the throat-clearing, knuckle-cracking, heart-pounding, knot-in-the-stomach scariest words clients can hear:

Just trust me.

Trust-or absence of it-is felt on a cellular level. It’s not the first (or second….or even third) thing you’d say to someone. Rather it’s something you build toward,


The Refreshed Home starts projects with a grasp of the situation, a fundamental meeting of the minds. Working interactively and collaboratively, we develop strategies, budgets and plans of action.

But there is a point  where what the client knows, understands, can visualize or do themselves ends. Which is why they hired me.

“I’m going to need to trust you??”

YES. TRH considers good chemistry to be one of the most important parts of a project, and urges prospective clients to rank it along with price, and ideas.

Projects begin by defining the destination, then work back to form the scope of work.  Home Staging projects in Westchester County tend to be more straightforward than decorating projects, but in either case, things evolve and there will be unknowns.  As focused and organized as you might be, rarely does updating or preparing your house for sale stay on a straight expressway with a clear view.

And things will happen during: delayed this, discontinued that… you could even change your mind a few times!

Trust should be asked for, or expected lightly. But once you get going, you want someone who knows the questions to ask. Who can roll with you. Who can live in the moment, but take the long view as well. Able to navigate the speed bumps, and keep things on track. Someone who’ll advise, guide, and even at times nudge you onto your best path.

And most of all, someone who knows, and appreciates what they’re asking of you.