By Renée Biery

listen on apple

listen on spotify

listen on google

Add-on’s, renovations, and new construction homes can seem intimidating to take on. How do you even get started? How do you find and manage contractors? What surprises should you anticipate coming up? How long do these things take?

In this podcast, you will learn all that and so much more!

Featured on the Show:

Renovation Management for Interior Designers – Expanding your business with a lucrative service

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • Why designers shouldn’t do work for free

  • Pros and Cons of show houses

  • Homeowners learning to respect interior designers as a legitimate profession

Doing Favors for People – Do They Pay Off for a Designer?

As an interior designer, have you ever had someone ask you for a favor? Like, helping with their project with the expectation that it will be free? Maybe you think doing favors could help you – especially new designers that don’t have a full portfolio.

But today, I want to talk about why designers shouldn’t be working for free!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to doing a favor for friends or family as long as it is my choice and I’m not pressured to give this favor. 

Most designers are givers by nature. I definitely am! As designers, we want to share our knowledge. So when I am over at friends’ houses or parties, inevitably, I find myself giving advice to the homeowner when they ask me questions. But I let them know this is off the cuff and NOT how I typically work.

Designers like to get to know their clients, ask lots and lots of questions, and do a lot of research. So spur-of-the-moment questions really won’t get homeowners their best, fullest answer. And in today’s episode, I share examples of how I have handled this when it comes up and how I know some other designers handle these questions when they come up in conversations too!

Another example I discuss in today’s episode is showrooms or show houses, vignettes, and volunteering time to charity. Is this something worth doing? Will you get clients from it? 

I never did, but I did get an amazing experience from it that I don’t regret doing!

And the last example I discuss is as designers when you are reaching out to people for marketing purposes, they may ask you for free work.

So, for example, many designers reach out to realtors, contractors, and architects, and if you find them asking you for free work, it could be because they want to see how you work. And they could also tell you that if it goes well, they will refer you to their other clients. 

It seems reasonable, right?

You are trying to establish a referral relationship with someone. You’re trying to work with that person, and they want to test you out. That does make sense on some level. The problem with that is that if they get the work for free, they will not value the work that you’ve done and will expect more from you in the future because you were willing to do it in the beginning. 

So I really hope this episode empowers designers to NOT do work for free, helps you get a better understanding of show houses, or helps you as a homeowner to respect interior designers as a legitimate profession!

As always, you can reach me at or DM me on Instagram @devignierdesign if you have any questions or topics you’d like me to cover in future episodes.

Like this Episode?

follow the podcast

want to be a guest?

Fill out the form on the inquiry page under the podcast tab and we'll get in touch with you!

leave us a review!

We love hearing from you about your thoughts on the podcast, you can leave a review on apple!

You can find us anywhere! Click the icons to find us on the podcast platform you use!