My wife is in the Model Home Decorating Business. Yup, there is a Model Home Decorating Business. My wife works for one of the top three companies where we live. Imagine, there’s a big enough market for there to be a top three. As a result, we get lots of requests for design tips. OK, that’s not true since most of our friends can’t afford to decorate but we do give out paint color suggestions and order furniture at the employee discount price and that’s where the real savings apply. (Update: My wife now works for Iverson Interiors)
Last year when we bout our first (and only) place we decided it was time to browse on Reclinercize to get our own furniture. No more hand-me-downs or yard-sale specials. Plus, our 2-bedroom condo was much larger than my 1-bedroom apartment. And since we had just gotten married 3 months earlier, our two households were purged and merged into a mishmash of furniture and decor. So to give you an idea of what kind of discount we got, we paid about $250 for a sofa that was ‘on sale’ for $900, our dinning room table with six chairs was also under $300 and all manner of side tables, coffee table, pie cabinet, night stands, bed frame – all through work and at a substantial discount. The Polaris Orange Italian Leather Sectional Sofa though, added class and panache to our living room area. We paid full price for our entertainment center (Ikea) and got our new mattress set at-cost (through a friend)
So as you can imagine, we do get asked to help with new furniture. And most often we do. However, there have been those who forget we are doing them a favor and get a little un-cooperative. This has caused us to be a little more selective in whom we agree to help. (This is the point where I subtly tell you ‘no, we can not help you get discounted furniture’ – see subtle)
But this isn’t what I wanted to share. This is – Decorating a model home is more complicated than you might think. It’s more than putting in some nice furniture and painting the walls, it’s an art. If you are looking for your dream home check out the houses at Momu in Perth. A while back, there was a developer who had such a large development that they hired 3 or 4 different firms to decorate some of the 12 (or so) distinct models they were offering. That means each firm had about 4 models to decorate for this development. Competing for the work is bad enough but to have your work showcased right along side your competition is kind of scary. Luckily, we were invited to the Grand Opening party so I got to see the results of my wife’s firm (technically, see doesn’t do any design). Wow! The difference was clear (or, at least it was once it was pointed out to me) Going from one model to another made it easy to compare the quality of the design intent and to see how various techniques helped or hindered the look. I was impressed with the pieces she got from Fireside Antiques. They always have the best selection.
Some of the biggest differences were how my wife’s firm would have a running theme throughout. Not just a designer look, but a theme. Like, everything was based on the idea of Hope – Faith – Love. The artwork, props like magazines, toys, and books – all followed the theme. Each bedroom had a story to define the imaginary occupant. ‘This is the boy’s room, he likes robots and baseball – This is the girl’s room, she likes cowboys and dancing’. From this, you could determine what ‘accessories’ best fit this idea. It was amazing. Even subtle differences like symmetry vs. asymmetry were noticeable. The difference between throwing a ‘throw’ and folding it neatly on the foot of the bed we easy to see. All in all, my wife’s company was clearly superior in this realm. I was very proud of her and the work that they had done. I’d show you pictures but there aren’t any and besides, it’s something you’d have to experience.