Interiors by MSB Architects participated in the Washington County Home Builders Association Home Show in early March. This extremely worthwhile event allowed us to be in front of a live audience of folks looking to update, renovate or build a new home. They visited our booth eager for ideas and inspiration. And free chocolate.

Our goal in being there was not just to “sell our wares” but to inform and create awareness about the use of a professional decorator. We highlighted ways decorators help solve problems and along the way, dispelled some misconceptions about working with a decorator.

Here are the top three takeaways from our experiences at the show:

Most people confuse the difference between a design professional and a contractor.

The question most asked after, “What do you do?” was “Do you build what you design?” To be fair, we were at a home builders’ show. We explained that we design home interiors and exteriors based on the look, feel and function clients want, then work with contractors to ensure the finished product reflects the unique intent of that design.

There is still an ongoing debate about hardwood flooring v. carpeting.

Surprisingly, even newer homes have finished hardwood floors that have been covered with wall-to wall-carpet. Homeowners then grapple over whether to pull up the carpet when they will eventually end up covering it with another carpet. As a general rule, if you like the look of wood and still yearn for softness and warmth underfoot, use area rugs to create zones. Don’t forget to leave wood floor “borders” and “pathways” to highlight the beauty of the wood.

Interior decorating services are seen as fluff. Expensive fluff.

Happily, we had the chance to dispel this one quickly. We reiterated that interior decorators do not just add pretty things to your space. We make your space livable, using furniture and finishing touches that you find beautiful. Plus, we prevent costly mistakes by making sure the perfect, non-returnable sofa you love will fit through your front door!  And, we’re happy to spread your costs out over time, working with you room-by-room or as an hourly design consultant.

Time and chocolate well spent.

When all was said and done, Interiors by MSB left the Home Show feeling our efforts were well spent. Homeowners left our booth reminded that interior decorators not only help navigate an ocean of design decisions, but also make sure you get the room you always imagined!