Value Based Design & Decorating Continues to Trump Market Place Hype at Turnbull Interiors

What do skin care products and interior decorating have in common?

Last week I mustered up the courage to take back a newly launched, moderately expensive skin care product that turned out to do the exact opposite of the manufacturer’s claims which by the way were adamantly attested to by the sales person who “sold” it to me. Fortunately, my purchase was easily portable; obtained from a reputable store; and ironically I discovered Iwasn’t alone with my dissatisfaction when the cosmetic manager openly shared that she too had the same experience. Lucky for me I got my money back and was set free to try another venue to stay “forever young”!!

While it felt good to be “off the hook”, I quickly realized that my situation was reminiscent of numerous stories related to me from the victims of “product oversell” and “under-delivery” in the interior design & decorating industry, where costly mistakes are often more difficult to deal with. Finding our way through the maze of products and services saturating our marketplace today takes nothing short of sharpshooter focus and combat stamina. It’s like a consumer minefield as we try to discernamong manufacturer and retail claims of superiority for goods in one product category afterthe other. There’s no doubt in my mind that our society today is living with an underlying expectation that there is always a source for “getting things cheaper”. However, there’s a big difference between “cheap” and “good value”, and it is the misrepresentation of “good value” in our industry that drives me crazy!

Knowledge, skill and experience – The proof is in the results

It’s one thing to sell merchandise based on in-store inventory options and manufacturers’ claims, and quite another to have real product knowledge, and yet another to actually care about the difference. And care we do at Turnbull Interiors. I can tell you there’s nothing more heartening than revisiting clients who are still enjoying the timeless investments they made with Turnbull Interiors even as far back as 15 to 20 years ago. Good design combined with our quality selections in finishing materials, furniture; upholstery; draperies, window treatments and area rugs, stand the test of time and deliver lasting performance and enjoyment despite the comings and goings of fads and trends. Our success is built on solid knowledge, skill and experience, which ultimately provides our clients with the leadership they can trust to make value-based home decorating decisions. Not to be confused with “high price, our hallmark of quality is ultimately measured by performance over time, no matter what your preference.

The High Cost of “Cheap” – Don’t Be Fooled

In her fascinating and eye-opening book, Cheap The High Cost of Discount Culture (which I highly recommend) – Author Ellen Ruppell Shell reports that neuroscientists have discovered that the very anticipation of a “bargain” sets our neural networks aquiver” “The manipulation of price can confuse us, block the thinking part of our brain and ignite the impulsive, primitive side, the part that leads us to make poor decisions based on bad assumptions” She challenges us to ask why we will drive five miles out of our way to save a dollar on a tank of gas.Or why we will snap up a sweater marked down from $150 to $50 but will pass up the very same sweater selling for full price at $50. She proposes “that in the world of Cheap, “design” has become a stand-in for quality in which global furniture retailers offer consumers the look they 'have been coached to' love at a price they can live with, by designing not just for low price, but to low price.Designed for easy construction, uniformity; cheap production and transportability and ultimately disposable, with the result that they have made desirable, and even lovable objects nearly devoid of craftsmanship. What’s more, this reality has arrived with alarming environmentaland social implications that are both insidious and alarming .”

Selling upholstered furniture that requires you to stuff pillows behind your back to sit remotely comfortably; or implying that you are ordering quality or custom furniture when it's actually factory production packaged with slick new marketing hype; and substituting inferior cushion foam and materials; are some of the ways that sofa manufacturers have responded to demands for lower prices. Similar cost-cutting has obscured the value of fine cabinetry, living & dining room; and bedroom furniture to simplistic styles and wood substitutes to compete with the growing influx of cheaper imports whose main production criteria is based on lowest price and flat-pack shipping specifications with little environment or quality considerations.”

Value Based Interior Design & Decorating – The Turnbull Commitment

We are all victims of consumer overload, as we constantly receive media messages targeted for magazine sales and TV ratings, that repeatedly try to convince us that somehow our worthiness is tied to the trendiness of our home furnishings (not to mention our youthful appearance). Our perception of value is continually distorted by slick marketers who understand “that what we eat can sometimeshave more to do with where prices are positioned on a menu than actual food content” It’s littlewonder that consumers are actually overpaying for inferior quality goods, at the expense ofreal value, and that is definitely a false economy.

After 23 years of consistently providing value-based design & decorating, I fully believe there are still many of us who want performance driven goods, but like the skin-care product for which I was willing to pay a little extra, we must “get our money’s worth”, and that means providing productknowledge based on properly researched information, not marketing hype, and goods that aremanufactured with integrity in design and construction.

At Turnbull Interiors we have addressed cost-effective pricing not by reducing quality, but by reducing operational overhead and looking for new ways to partner with our suppliers to ensure that our clients continue to receive the best possible market value on all the goods and services we offer. We provide tangible leadership based on sound training and hands on experience which includes the knowledge of how to research and find value opportunities for our clients. We practice environmental responsibility and firmly support the principle of “Shop Canadian” first. To this end we are proud of our connection with Leda Furniture Ltd., and the many other suppliers you will see linked on our website: Turnbull Suppliers

We look forward to providing you with continued value-based interior design &decorating built on real knowledge, skill and experience.