For a lot of homeowners, things like HGTV and Pinterest are complete Godsends of information and designs. It’s possible today to log onto a site like Houzz or Pinterest and see thousands of designs for any room of your home, many of which you may be tempted to copy for your own space. And while this is fine, and in part what the sites exist for, there is also a real problem that comes from this. By finding a design created for someone else by a design pro, and attempting to copy it without design assistance of your own, you could be running into several problems.

How It Starts

Often, it starts out innocently enough. You plan a kitchen renovation, so you start with a consultation with a design pro. Often during the consultation, the design pro may say something along the lines of, “What kinds of designs are you drawn to?” which will, in turn, lead you to take a look at websites and magazines featuring different styles. This is fine and normal, but too often instead of bringing those designs back to the design pro and explaining that this is the look you like, homeowners are attempting to just copy those designs by hiring a Building pro to do the job. They wrongly assume that this could save them time and money on the job.

How It Ends

By bypassing the design pro and going straight to a Building pro with another design, you end up with several problems. The first of which is that the design is most likely not taking your home into consideration. Your floor plan, color scheme, architecture, and variances that could make this design turn out very different than the one pictured.

The second problem is that sometimes Building pros will do what you tell them to, not what is best for the job. So instead of warning you where there could be a potential issue, as a design pro would, the Building Pro simply builds according to the plan. Only later when your home doesn’t pass code because of space considerations, or you find that the new kitchen isn’t as user-friendly as it could be, then you realize that this is an issue.

Finally, design pros can advise you on how to make a design truly fit your lifestyle. They understand things that will make the room function better for you – not for the person whose kitchen it is you’ve seen a photograph of. You’re unique, and so is your home. You need a design that will fit these criteria. By essentially stealing someone else’s design, it would be a little like wearing your neighbor’s shoes; you might be able to get your foot inside, but the fit could leave you with blisters or bunions after you’ve worn them for a while.

How to Avoid the Problem

Start every design with a design pro. Design pros not only help make the project turn out better, but they can also actually save you money by making recommendations that can positively affect your bottom line. If you want to move more quickly, by all means, choose a design-and-build firm that can handle everything at once but don’t skip this critical step.

Keep looking at Pinterest and Houzz, then show your design pro the things you like. Your design pro can use this information to make you a more personalized design that caters to your tastes as well as your home and your lifestyle.


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