Stagers-Re-Designers-Organizers OH MY! Tips #2 How To Choose The Right Person For The Job

OK: You are finally able to make plans to change and improve some part of your home. You have several areas you want to address, but with all the HGTV buzzwords, what-WHO?-are you actually looking for?

There is so much overlap in public perception, the first step would be to start a conversation with a likely candidate.  Here’ s what I’d ask next: 

2.  Are they adaptable?  Is the skill set and range of experience wide enough that as a project develops they can stay with you, or, if it makes a seismic leap, do they have a network they can refer you to?

Professionally I was first trained as a Decorator, then as a Stager. I’ve worked in Westchester and Fairfield county homes since 1981, and there is little that I haven’t seen.

the refreshed home is at its core, an information and service firm. Part of the business model was to learn as much as I could about almost anything structure-related: product, systems, technique, construction, you name it.

NOT to do it, but the more I know and understand, the better I can be at what I do best: come up with feasible solutions, work seamlessly with any trades, and be a better advocate for my client.  In recent years I’ve:

  • Taken a home-building course in the woods of MA
  • Audited numerous real estate CE classes
  • Attend a wide range of trade shows
  • Taken AIA and ASID CE classes on a regular basis.

I also belong to a BNI group that is 85% trades. Unlike any of the other 35 groups in Westchester County,  every week I hear two dozen tidbits of info on topics like why paint fails, how to restore tubs and tile, and why you want to insist your sofa in storage be stored horizontally, on padded racks.

Several weeks ago I was in a large and beautiful home that had been purchased as a short sale, I was there to help the new owners re-calibrate the house to their family and lifestyle.  The original owners had spared no expense in decorating this home. Both speculative financial professionals, they over-extended themselves, and literally had to abandon the house. VERY unfortunately it was during the winter, and unattended, pipes froze and broke.

Walking through with the new owner, the shower in one sons’ bedroom had a musty smell and a persistent mildew issue which she attributed to the grout needing to be steam-cleaned. But conversation revealed one of the pipes that broke was in the wall behind the shower…and the son had asthma that had gotten worse, yes, since they lived there.

Because I know one of the best mold remediators around, I knew the questions to ask, and  turns out there were some mold issues behind the tiles, as well as some funky things growing in the air ducts. Both of which have since been remedied, and everyone in the house is breathing better.

NEXT: Do they play nice?