My client just left our store a very happy lady. We have completed a renovation on her business and I have gotten to know her very well in the process. I am thrilled that she is walking away from this experience satisfied and excited about her renovation project but more than that, I see someone who has grown in confidence having tackled this job and seen the successful outcome.
If you were to ask me, the predominant emotion I see in people who are renovating or building I would have to say fear. Fear of the unknown, of making a mistake or just not understanding the process and who to turn to for answers to questions. As someone who is in the home improvement business I can often take for granted who to call and what questions to ask and forget that other people do not have this insider information. Sometimes the simplest queries can cause fear – such as who goes first, the painter or the floor tile? Does the flooring get installed underneath the new cabinets?
Last week I was on the hunt for a lawnmower which in and of itself may not seem like a big deal except that I have never bought a lawnmower in my life – that has always been a ‘man’ job in my mind. Off I went after researching the Internet to look for best price and options not sure about anything except that I needed to get this item soon before my neighbours begin judging me for having an unkempt lawn.
When I was Googling different lawn mowers I was focusing on price and options (gas versus electric) and I must admit that colour also drew me – I was really keen on the black and bright green machines! When I got to the store I was hit with something unexpected – the size of some of these machines was overwhelming. I quickly realized that despite my best efforts to get information I had overlooked an important thing – some of these monsters wouldn’t even fit in my shed.
That single fact narrowed down my choices considerably and actually made it easier to make my final decision. Believe it or not, it also took some of the fear out of choosing the wrong lawnmower as some of the questions were answered for me due to the size of my shed. I wish I had a lawnmower and space planning expert in my back pocket to help me with this decision as it would have saved me considerable time and thought.
Often, customers will shop and shop because they are afraid to make a mistake when often they are shopping for products which will not even practically fit into their homes. Shopping for solid hardwood when you live in a condo which requires the engineered option, looking for tile which is too large for your space or looking for appliances when you don’t have accurate cabinet openings wastes your time and energy and honestly takes all the fun out of purchasing.
If you need a guide, a Sherpa to escort you up that huge mountain you can rely on a professional designer to work through even what you may perceive as silly questions. Sometimes it can be as much about the practical answers as the end product that help you decide and can calm your fears. How big is your shed?
Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.