Sunday, February 3, 2013

Live and Learn...

Hi Everyone...hard to believe that January is over...and Spring is not that far away. 

Back in August, I embarked on a very time consuming and tedious process to update and redecorate my house in The Keys.  I shared some of my fabric selections on My Keys House Makeover.  Being a "closet" interior decorator, I spent many hours researching different fabric options, paint colors, furniture styles and everything else you can imagine.  What made this even harder was the fact that I spent the last 6 months of my life on the road, only home about 8 days a month.  

My husband and I bought our house in The Lower Keys back in 2004.  At that time, the house had been fully renovated in 1997 due to the very unfortunate visit that Hurricane George made on it...in 1997.  So it was in pretty good shape..new kitchen, bathrooms, etc.  We basically painted, re-carpeted the bedrooms in a wall to wall sisal, emptied out the Pottery Barn catalog and called it a day.

In the beginning, we used the house a lot..it is a 3 hour drive door to door from my primary house...but in the last three years...with my travel schedule for my job - I'm sad to say I only go about three, maybe four times per year.  The good part is my husband goes frequently for his cherished guys fishing weekends and my family and friends use it when they can.

Anyway, I decided after the 8 years...it needed a bit of a refresh, not too major since my husband and I are planning a substantial renovation to this house prior to retiring, which is not going to be for a while. I thought some fresh paint, new furniture, slipcovers and accessories could probably get me through another 8 years...when we are ready to do the major work.  So with that, I called upon my trusted decorator to help me select the new look for my house.  After I finished my research, I turned over the project to her...with all of my fabric and paint swatches that I collected...along with my thoughts and inspirations for what I wanted. Hours and hours were spent researching what I wanted. 

Well, after countless months of trying to get this project done, I've finally come to accept that I've been duped.  This person whom I trusted, unknown to me, was experiencing financial problems.  Because I had worked with her many times before, I trusted her and paid her for a lot of the project before it even started.  Yes - I know that was dumb.  And even worse, after I wrote her a nice sized check to begin the project in August, she started pressuring me for more money saying that if I prepaid for things...she would give me a better discount.  I wasn't even asking for a discount.  I fell for everything, including her showing up at my house and me giving her cash to help her out with "her upholsters".  To make matters worse, I gave her cushions from my furniture and a dining room chair for the slipcovers.  

So here I am...for 5 months she's been stringing me along...fabrics on backorder, she has the flu, her mother is sick, etc...giving me all kinds of stories...I've finally told my husband the sordid mess (minor the cash part of course, because he would get mad at me for being so dumb!).  So now I'm starting over.  I have a house in The Keys painted to match fabrics that I don't have the swatches for...(yes very dumb that I handed everything over to her) missing cushions on my sofa and chairs and worse - a missing dining room chair.  My husband has been trying to deal with her and has now also given up.  She's been lying to me since October and now he sees what I've been going through.  So I guess the moral of the story is - go with your gut and trust your instinct.  I knew something was off and I didn't listen to my inner voice that said this is not right.  

So with that - I'm starting over a little more cautiously, much wiser and with a tighter budget.  I've never had this happen to me before and am trying to decide if I should file a complaint in small claims court or just chalk it up to a very bad experience.  Not sure what to do.  My gut says to just move on and learn from this expensive mistake.  Any advice on what you would do? 

So in starting over...I've decided that I'm going to select completely different choices than I had.  I guess that means the new paint job goes since everything was matched to colors in the fabrics.  So here are some of my inspiration photos as I begin the process for a second time of My Keys House Makeover...a little wiser but with a smaller budget.  As you can see, I am really loving the color red right now. 


Have a great week.

22 comments:

Chic Coastal Living said...

How exciting! I can't wait to see the finished project! Love the inspiration photos you chose! Xo Have a lovely weekend!

Tery H said...

So sorry to hear you were taken in that way! How horrible! I do think you should report her to the Better Business Bureau or some place so that if the next person does a little background there will be a red flag. Was she licensed wih the ASID?

Love the red! Wish you had the time to decorate it yourself as you have great taste and you wouldn't cheat yourself! All your inspiration photos are beautiful and I can't wait to see he finished project one day!

Good luck!

Debbie said...

I agree, at least report her to the Better Business Bureau! and shame on her!
The colors you've chosen are wonderful! They are going to give the place the feeling of warmth, and happiness.
I give you credit in moving on with your plans, instead of just letting it all go.
All the best to you.
xxoo

Mary Ann at classic•casual•home said...

Obviously you are a caring, lovely person with high moral standards...so you would never think something like that could happen to you by someone you trusted. Makes me MAD. You have some charming ideas...can't wait to see what you accomplish with out her.

Jane said...

What a shame your "decorator" is so untrustworthy. Shame on her...and so sad for you. Even if you choose not to pursue her, this should be reported to the BBB.Hopefully this would help others not be taken in by her...

Love the colors you have chosen in your inspiration photos! I am a huge fan of red and orange in a coastal home. They add life to a soft palette.

Maya Nagel said...

I love all the colors and pics!! It's going to look so fabulous. So sorry that happened...I would report her for sure. But as you say, go with your inner voice!
Maya @ Completely Coastal

raisingahappyfamily-momof8 said...

what a struggle! wow..stinks for veyone.
but your photos are indeed inspirational...have fun!!!
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.
love the red!

Heaven's Walk said...

Oh Debbie....what an awful thing to have to deal with during a renovation! I can't even imagine someone doing that to you! Depending on how much she's taken you for, I would certainly take her to small claims court. Someone has to teach her that this is NOT the way to treat people! Maybe you could at least recoup your cushions and chairs.

I love the red with the turquoise you've chosen. A little beach boho look is so much fun! I hope that your new decorator is more honest.

xoxo laurie

longtodolist said...

What stress!! Nothing makes me madder than when someone takes advantage of someone else for their own gain. How do they look at themselves in the mirror everyday? How do they sleep at night knowing what they're putting someone else through? That entitlement mentality "well they have money and it won't hurt them..." Made worse since she wasn't a random stranger!

I say you have to do what you can to alert others of her scam so they don't have to go through what you have had to. Better Business Bureau, small claims court, filing a police report for her blatant theft - whatever it takes to stop her and let her know she can't get away with it. I'm sure you are not her only victim. There's strength in numbers if you can find them and unite. Geez, an ad in the paper warning others a possibility. I'm mad for you. She could at least give you your chair back!!! Ugh.

longtodolist said...

...alert the suppliers, companies she uses for her "business", alert any places she uses for advertising her business about what she has done - but first let her know you will do all of these things plus file reports unless she returns your items and makes restitution on her own.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

I'm sure the whole thing was very stressful! But I really love all of these inspiration photos. The colors are fantastic and are restful yet playful!

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Sarah Navina said...

I like your red and white color combination. I saw very rarely like this color combination, Its looking very unique. And beautiful stuff in the rooms. I also want to buy like this beautiful furniture for my new house and i have visited many furniture online stores but its very hard job to find stylish furniture.

Sandy said...

Hi, this is my first time here. I found you while visiting Laurie from Heaven's Walk. So sorry to hear that you had to learn a difficult lesson about trust. So many times, I've ignored my intuitive sense that something wasn't right. It's good that you are moving on. I love red too and have been trying to minimize it in my rooms since slowly converting to a more calm coastal look. After seeing your inpsiration photos, I'm ging to figure out a way to keep some of my red although a floral pattern on my couch hardly looks coastal. Wow love the red and white striped couch in one of the photos. I think red fits in beautiful with the coastal decor. Love mixing all the different natural textures into the room too.

Sandy said...

After reading some of the comments from your other readers, I agree that you need to report this person to the Better Business Bureau to alert others. The woman needs to be accountable for her actions and getting the negative word out about her will help.

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Blooming Rose Musings said...

I so applaud you for moving on and not letting her burst your creative spirit. Red is one of my very favorite colors and I love the inspiration photos you have shown us. Now that you are doing it yourself it will reflect more of your personality and will inspire more and more of your creativity. I am so sorry all of this has happened to you. I had it happen to me with a tax person. It was awful. Moving on is the best thing we can all do. I am looking forward to seeing what you accomplish and your design ideas.
I haven't been blogging in a few months but hope to start again in the next week or so.
Wishing you all the very best.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Sorry to hear you were dupped! I would take her to small claims court and report her to the Better Business Bureau. By taking this action you may keep her from doing the same thing to someone else. If there are no consequences she will probably continue to take advantage of others.
Best,
Sherry

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NanaDiana said...

I am so glad to see this post here. I missed it somehow the first time around. Please let us know how it is going now. I am sure happy to see you here-I've been wondering about you- xo Diana