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Old-school advice on finding the right builder, architect, engineer, etc.

What you're about to read is not news. Let's call it history - with a side order of advice.

15 Years Ago...

15 years ago, when I started my interior design career, designers had physical portfolios - binders filled with sketches, plans, and photographs of their work. We also had a written list of "references." 

I asked former clients to "act as a reference." They let me add their name and phone number to my list and agreed to talk to potential clients who called to ask about me.


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Designers don't ask for references any more, and consumers don't use them. They go online and read reviews from third-party websites like Houzz. The good and bad is all right there for everyone to see. That's a change for the better. 

Here's the advice...

I'm not ready abandon in-person references, and I don't think you should either. Potential clients got a rich and nuanced view of what to expect if they hired me. They got to ask follow-up questions and hear unrehearsed answers. Plus, past clients enjoyed sharing their lessons learned with someone who was just starting down the renovation path. 

So, ask your architect, builder, engineer - whatever flavor of professional you're considering - for an in-person reference, and follow up. Make the call.

If you're here because you're thinking about working with us, see our online reviews here. Even better, email me if you'd like to talk to a real person who has worked with us.

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko


Jackie Lopey, Certified Interior Designer & founder of Wide Canvas
She didn't know it, but Jackie Lopey's days as an advertising executive were numbered when she bought and renovated a 1950's bungalow. She soon went back to school and started her own design studio. Jackie is an award-winning, certified interior designer and the founder of Wide Canvas, a kitchen and bath design studio in Reno, Nevada.

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