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Luckily, there are a few things you can do beforehand to prepare for your showroom visit and that will make your shopping experience much easier.
1) Figure Out Your Budget
Having a detailed budget will streamline your entire shopping experience. Not only will it prevent you from overspending, it will help the designers create an affordable space that works for you.
We even suggest breaking it down into smaller categories. Lighting, flooring and custom cabinets are big-ticket features, so you may want to allocate more for these items than you would smaller design elements. Don’t be afraid to organize everything! Accessories, appliances, hardware, furniture, paint, plumbing and electrical, wall treatments – no category is too small.
It’s easy to go overboard on finishes and upgrades – especially when walking through a glamorous showroom. Keeping to a detailed break down will help you choose beautiful design elements that are still within your price range.
2) Wants Vs. Needs
Before your appointment you should prepare a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Is tile floor heating a necessity or is that more of an extravagance? How important are soft close cabinet drawers or marble countertops? What about dramatic lighting, window treatments or crown molding? Having these priorities in order will help you make smarter decisions and stay within budget. Again, every detail counts.
3) Do Some Research
Before visiting an interior design center, it is important to do some homework. Check out your design center’s website and social media channels to see what kinds of brands, products, designs and services they have to offer. Picking your favorite showrooms online will save you a lot of time during your appointment.
There are also quite a few interactive online tools available that can help you visualize your space. A lot of design centers have their own virtual room programs, but you can also find free design software online.
You should also start flipping through your favorite interior design magazines or watch notable home improvement shows. Which styles speak to you? What are some of your favorite colors, patterns and textures? The more inspiration you find, the faster your vision will take shape. Take notes. Save pictures. Don’t be afraid to create a small mood board, collage or journal. Have fun!
4) Be Prepared To Make A Few Appointments
Interior design takes time – even for the professionals. It may take several appointments to complete a design concept that suits your budget and needs. Be prepared to return to your design center to choose upgrades, pick accent pieces and add the finishing touches.
5) Have A Notebook & Camera On Hand
Superior interior design centers will provide you with everything you need (catalogues, brochures, cut sheets, etc.), but it is still a good idea to take notes and pictures during your appointments. This way you can keep track of all the important details and have a lot of fun in the process!
Today NOW founder Steven G. talks about why – and how – his showrooms make life easier for clients, and reveals why this concept will be the future of affordable high quality interior design.
How do you find the right furniture showroom?
Steven G.: The average interior design showroom is designed to sell product – that is their core business. They are not set up to give you a beautifully decorated home at an affordable price. Customers should always keep this in mind.
Even if these showrooms wanted to provide customers with quality products at lower costs – not to mention giving them the proper guidance throughout the process – interior designers would have to radically change the way they build their showrooms, and that is a huge expense.
Then how does NOW give such a high quality experience at such an affordable rate?
Steven G.: Buying in bulk is the first step. This brings the costs for products way down. Then we are able to pass those savings back to the client. There is, however, much less flexibility in the product itself. When you buy in bulk, what you see is usually what you get. We can make this happen at NOW by Steven G. because we are constantly pushing the boundaries of showroom design.
Is this the future? A top interior designer’s all-in-one, high-end showroom?
Steven G.: We believe the NOW model could be the future of affordable interior design. These showrooms could be the norm all over the country. It has that kind of potential. Personally, I don’t want to expand that far. I would rather focus on my core business – interior design. That being said, our showrooms are making our lives – and our clients’ lives – a lot easier.
Right now, clients have to meet with designers at designated centers, and these places are usually off the beaten path. If I was the client, and I was being dragged from center to center, my head would spin. I would be so confused. How could I make any smart design decisions? NOW is so much easier.
This model – does it only work for certain markets, such as Miami or New York? Or is this something that could work anywhere?
Steven G.: It could work anywhere, in any language, in any city. NOW recently installed model units for rental communities in Washington, and it has been very successful. We’re based in South Florida, so of course it works here, but this concept can work everywhere.
We would have to tweak the product, depending on the area. If you have more traditional tastes and are, say, looking for a sofa with tassels and fringe, then right now we wouldn’t be able to help you. NOW is definitely more contemporary, more modern…but our team of licensed designers can create beautiful interiors in any style. And of course, every location would offer the white glove treatment from Steven G. We pride ourselves on our services. No client is too big or small. NOW is all about providing luxury at an affordable price.
One of the things that makes NOW work is having a top tier, ultra-premium company attached to it like Interiors by Steven G. Where do you see NOW heading? How does it fit into this empire?
As an interiors design firm, it gives us a tremendous edge. We can work on both ends of the spectrum. At INTERIORS, we are famous for our high end interior designs. With the NOW showroom model, we can bring these design principles to new markets. It opens up an entire new world of opportunity.
Even members of the high net worth club want more economical options when it comes to designing their homes – especially secondary or vacation homes. No client should have to sacrifice quality and style to stay within budget.
This is why we opened NOW by Steven G. Our clients have access to high-end interior design – done by professional designers – with a very favorable price tag. So how does NOW do it?
In this interview, NOW founder Steven G. reveals how he discovered the design breakthrough the world has been waiting for.
What is NOW by Steven G?
Steven G.: NOW designs affordable luxury. Our professional designers have created complete interiors at specific price points. Clients can walk through our showroom and select a concept that speaks to them. We provide the best value for fully finished, turnkey design packages.
Why does the world need NOW?
Steven G.: I don’t take credit for inventing the concept. Some of these ideas have been around for many years. But I – unlike anyone else in the industry – have reinvented these old ideas to take interior design (and showroom display) to the next level.
How can NOW help potential buyers?
Steven G.: Think about the vacationer, or the young couple who just moved in together. How do these people get the biggest bang for their buck when it comes to interior design?
How can corporations and businesses furnish entire condominiums or apartments for their traveling executives without breaking the bank?
Interiors by Steven G. has been doing this kind of service for 30 years, but we didn’t promote it, and we certainly didn’t build an entire business on the idea. Three years ago, I decided to build a showroom specifically for NOW. The space has 17 distinctive room settings to choose from. Each room is designed to perfection – complete with furniture, window treatments, artwork, area rugs, wall coverings, accessories, and greenery.
Our clients can choose from any of these complete, custom packages for their new homes. No one in the industry has done this. We are the first!
How about NOW’s success?
Steven G.: Even with little marketing and promotion, NOW’s success has been amazing. We are already overwhelmed with appointments. We have clients who call us and say, “We just bought a small villa, a two bedroom condo, and we need to finish it!” And we’re able to give these clients a complete design concept starting at $35k. No one else is doing this.
When their homes are finished, it looks like they hired a top professional designer – and they did, but at no extra cost! High-end design has never been easier.
How does NOW do it?
Steven G.: We have an exceptional team of licensed interior designers. The team is there to guide clients in the right direction, and help them select a package that best fits their budgets and lifestyles. We even offer the same white glove service as Interiors by Steven G.
The only thing that we don’t have at NOW is factory flexibility. In order to get the best prices for our clients, we have to buy products in bulk. So with NOW, we might have only 3 different types of leather or 5 different fabrics (as opposed to the 300 types of leathers and 500 fabrics at Interiors). But we are only at the beginning of this journey. Who knows what the future has in store.