I love color, but had never thought of doing a color consultation for people’s homes. In fact, the first time I visited a client’s home it wasn’t even as a home stager!
After closing my marketing communications firm years ago to do something more creative with my life and career, I discovered floorcloths.
Literally, “art you can walk on,” these hand painted “rugs” offered me endless possibilities for experimenting with color and designing patterns, which I love to do.
My first visits to clients homes were actually to design custom floorcloths and accessories for them. Color consultation, home staging and interior redesign services came later.
I redecorated the kid’s bedroom you see here around 2002 and chose all the colors and hand-painted all the accessories including the stool/night table, lamp, floorcloth, and the clock and jewelry box on the dresser. This project grew into one of many color consultations I did at the time for clients.
It’s amazing what happens once you’re inside someone’s home.
I quickly discovered that once a client has you in their home, and they see you as a creative/design person, there is no end to the kinds of help they want or the questions they’ll have.
This is true whether you’re there for interior redesign, color consultations, or as a home stager.
Your clients will ask your opinions about whether they should tile the kitchen back splash, what color to repaint the dining room, or what type of bedding they should buy for the master bedroom.
In the early days, I readily admit thinking, “Who am I to answer these questions? I’m not a trained interior designer or color consultant!”
The trick is to not say this out loud. Remind yourself that the reason you’re there in the first place facing these questions, is that the other person recognizes your talent, even when you’re feeling insecure about it yourself!
How cool is it to have someone else validate and appreciate your creative talents?
If you’re a naturally creative person— and you love houses and all the things you can do to decorate them— it’s a true joy to watch how your range of services can grow, often without you even trying! You might start out as a home stager, and quickly find you’re doing color consultations or professional organizing (assuming you want to offer these services).
To see how your services can grow naturally, check out this experience that Staging Diva Graduate Monica Bunde of Create Home Staging (ON) had with a recent client when she thought she was only there for a color consultation:
“A recent success for my home staging business was when a simple color consultation turned into a decorating and shopping experience. My client recently moved from the Toronto area to Windsor. They had used a home stager to sell their home who was very helpful and my clients understood the importance of home staging.
So they decided to hire me for a color consultation in the new house.
We went through the entire house and chose paint colors for everything. They took a few months to get the house painted and then called me back for additional decorating work and to help shop for accessories, artwork, draperies and a rug. We had a wonderful time shopping and decorating.
My client is going to call me back once everything is set up so I can take some photos for my home staging portfolio. It’s great how one meeting turned into additional opportunities!
With Debra’s guidance and the Staging Diva Training Program, I feel very confident taking on additional projects like color consultations and decorating work. Debra teaches us how to market our assets and strengths and how to get paid to do it!”
Color consultations easily turn into decorating projects and shopping excursion too
What you may not realize if you haven’t taken the Staging Diva courses, is that you can get paid for all these services, even shopping!
Sometimes our clients pay us in advance for our time, including giving us the money we’ll shop with, and we choose everything for them. Other clients will want to visit the stores with us. They pay us for our time and we guide them in their purchases. I’ve done it both ways and when you enjoy the personality of your client, a joint shopping excursion is really fun.
Have you had one project turn into additional work with the same client? Perhaps you’ve staged their home and then decorated the one they’re moving into, or had an experience like Monica’s. Please share your comments and experiences below.
By the way, if you’re a Staging Diva student or graduate, I’d love to feature your business in an upcoming story. Check out this easy-peasy way for you to submit your info!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
Debra Gould created the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program, with over 7,000 students learning how to make money from their creative talents. Debra has written 5 guides including the Staging Diva Ultimate Color Guide: The Easy Way to Pick Color for Home Staging Projects.