Orit Srour Designs
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Tell us a bit about your business.
Prior to the pandemic, like most designers, my business was predicated on charging a flat fee and marking up purchases. While this is the industry norm, I’ve always found that the process can be intimidating for many people. Prices can feel excessive, and some feel a lack of control when projects escalate and snowball.
Then the shutdown happened, and I began receiving inquiries for my services over Zoom. Some people were renovating; others were simply refreshing rooms and had design-related questions. I thought: Why not offer consulting services at an hourly rate and allow clients to hire me based on their specific needs and budget? So essentially, I am now a concierge design consultant.
How exactly does it work?
Although I often work on a project from start to finish, with this approach there is more flexibility. Clients can determine where they need me most in the process. For example, if a client is renovating a kitchen, they might need the most help in the beginning when they are choosing floors, cabinets, stone and paint. For many people, it is a challenge to pull those things together and create cohesiveness and harmony in the design. Another client might simply need help making paint color choices or choosing furniture with the proper scale.
How have clients reacted to your new business model?
They love it! I hear all the time about how my approach has removed stress. Clients also like the fact that the process is swift. The client and I carefully review the options. Typically the goal is to elevate the style and aesthetic of the home. And then together we make decisions. Sometimes I need to go to the home once. Other times I go a dozen times. It just depends on the scope and scale of the project.
What is your “secret bullet” as an interior designer and consultant?
I’m a really good listener. I try to understand clients’ needs and the way they live. A house for an empty-nester couple has different needs than one for a couple with young children. Both can be chic and beautiful, but certain factors need to be taken into consideration. For the empty-nesters, it might be what we can do with an empty room so they can use it. For the young family, we have to pay more attention to stain-resistant fabrics, rugs and countertops. From “to the trade” showrooms to online retailers that make knockoffs, there are a plethora of options out there for every budget. I find them, and we collaborate. Collaboration is key.