Have you ever played a video game against a child? You know, that unique experience of being utterly humiliated by getting whooped by your favorite niece or nephew in what looks to be a simple game?
I tried to avoid a recent match claiming to not know how to play the game, only to be cajoled into participating by the angelic face of a normally sweet & loving child. He said it was easy. He said he would show me how to play as he popped off a few on-screen bad guys. So I agreed. After all, I had high score on Pac Man “back in the day” so I was feeling pretty confident.
After about ten minutes watching him navigate the controls and maneuver in and out of the on-screen scenes like a ninja, I asked him some questions about the functions. He started talking me through the details of the game and the controller like he could do it in his sleep, lulling me into the belief that this was so simple a kid could do it. So he handed me the control and offered what I thought was a respectful deference to his elder: “Here. You go first.”
Rock on. I was pumped. If this 8 year old was so adept, then this 40-something was going to kick some serious ass. (Sorry for the cussing, but I was getting into character for this game and killer ninjas don’t say kick “butt”.) And then? Bam. 2.5 seconds later. I’m dead. Smoked. Muerte. Offed. A casualty.
So then this normally generous & loving child grins a grin he thinks I don’t see…and takes the controller from me. And bam! bam! bam! Bad guys are coming around every corner and he is dropping them like flies. They are moving at speeds that I doubt even a real ninja could manage. I adjust my glasses. This KID is anticipating every. single. move. And almost an hour later, I get my second turn.
I’m committed. I’m ticked off. I’m gonna whack these bad guys. And 6 seconds later…I’m dead. Smoked. Muerte. Offed. A casualty. Again. I hand the controller back to my formerly favorite nephew and walk away. He plays for another hour.
So why do the kids always win in scenarios like this? Because they have better reflexes? No. Better eyesight? No. Because they are faster? No. Smarter? No.
It is because they have played the game before. And more than likely they have played quite a few times before you joined them in playing the game. Their secret is that they know the playing field and can anticipate the road ahead.
Using a professional interior designer is like having your own personal ninja for making your house happier and more efficient. Granted, we will more than likely not save your actual life, but we are very familiar with the playing field of interior design. Even if we have never stepped foot into your house, we know size, scale and proportion and how it is influenced by various architectural styles. We know what finishes will hold up in a home filled with raucous children or inhabited by young professionals (note: red kool-aid and red wine stains are not so different when making design selections). We know what vendors offer the best solutions, and at what price point so your budget is not destroyed within the first 2.5 or 6 seconds of entering the game. At ML Interiors Group, we know what steps to take and in what order.
And the anticipation of where the “bad guys” are during the process of design? Yeah. We have seen them. Maybe not all of them, but an interior designer with experience has definitely crossed paths with most. And I’m happy to say, that at ML Interiors Group, we have created processes within our business practice that eliminates these joy killers before they rear their ugly heads. We also avoid the land mines and unexpected flaming arrows that can arise during the process. That is a benefit of hiring a ninja. I mean an interior design professional. Practically one in the same.
What kind of bad guys, flaming arrows and land mines do interior designers really come across? Most people think we just make spaces pretty and don’t solve problems. It’s because most of these battles are “fought” behind the scenes.
Here are a few:
- Understanding what style the client really wants, even though they don’t know exactly what they want or how to describe it.
- What order to proceed with renovations.
- Whether honed or polished marble is the best solution for the kitchen countertops. Is marble even the best solution? What about quartz? Or granite? Or Dekton? Or Caesarstone? Or laminate? Or concrete? Or butcher block? Or recycled glass? Or stainless steel?
- The best paint palette to select for long term satisfaction.
- The right fabric to select for comfort AND durability.
- Blending trends and traditions.
- Sizing of furniture and it’s placement.
- How big you actually can make your countertop island without it crashing down around you.
- What materials can be placed in right environments.
- What walls to knock down.
- Counter depth appliance or standard
- Ordering all of the exact details for each individual item. For example, window treatments require the following decisions and specifications:
- Fabric selection – color, style, weight and usage
- The fabric repeat / pattern size and if it is railroaded
- Pleat style at the top
- Length of each panel
- Width of each panel (and how many panels)
- Functioning or non functioning
- Color / finish of hardware
- Length of hardware
- Number of brackets / loop brackets
- Number of connectors
- Color / finish / style of finials (or cap)
- If rings are needed, how many are necessary
- Any special trim or custom detail
- What materials / colors to use throughout the house for a uniform but stylish result.
- And where to spend and where to save with your selections.
- Tracking each and every item from the initial order to arrival and installation.
Whew! That is just what I thought of in 5 minutes while writing this post. But if even these obvious and “simple” decisions are even slightly off, it is likely that you will need to replace or repair in the future. Getting these details right the first time will save you time and money. Using a professional in any field is key for your best results. Need surgery? You enlist a team of professionals who know the playing field and will anticipate any life threatening issues that may arise during the procedure – and now to overcome. Have you ever tried giving yourself a haircut? You might be able to trim your bangs, but what about the sides and back of your head?
Proprietary knowledge, specialized skills and years of experience provide a value of their own. So while the claim of saving your life might be a little dramatic from an interior design standpoint, saving your sanity, time and money could technically extend your life AND make it much more enjoyable! We will even create a place to store those video game controllers out of sight….
Give us a call. We are not so ninja-like that we disappear. We are here to serve. 972-248-4733
Originally posted in September 2016. Updated in August 2018.