Last Thursday, The New York Times Home section ran a story, The $300 Makeover. I was glad to see that the article addressed the issue of how people have become increasingly upset with the way their homes look and function now that they are spending more time there, during this recession. But by inviting five high-priced interior designers to redecorate one room each for no more than $300, and not including a budget decorating specialist in the group, they threw down the gauntlet, especially since the group are all “accustomed to spending five and even six figures on a single room.” Are you surprised to learn that only one succeeded in staying under budget, even though they were all permitted to use “free materials” (read: expensive stuff) from their offices? Not I.
Now, if the Home section wanted to show how to transform rooms without spending money – a real picker-upper of inestimable value, especially during tight fiscal times – they should have come to the experts, as they have several times in the past: my firm has been featured doing just that for almost 30 years as have the members of the Interior Refiners Network, across the U.S. who we trained and certified. Unlike the high-priced designers, we have actually been affordable and accessible throughout recessions and good times.
Therefore, what was the point of the story? Was it to show that expensive interior designers are not capable of decorating on a budget (and does it matter since more than 90% of the population is unable to afford their fees)?
I can’t understand why The New York Times would miss this opportunity to show its readers that it really is possible to fix up their homes -without spending money – if they are going crazy with the way their rooms look and function, simply by using what they have properly.
What do you think?