Teresa Burnett: Worth the Wait

January 8, 2013

Over the years I’ve been struck by how often I’ve heard the same phrase from potential clients who are anticipating dipping a toe in the decorating waters. Scarred by a bad experience with a designer or the results of a well-intended DIY-project gone wrong, the details of the stories are always different but the narrative begins the same: “If we had it to do over again…†No matter what the project, budget or scope, the determination to avoid regret is universal.

As a designer coming into this level of hesitation, I’ve always found the best way to minimize present concerns and prevent future regrets is to make the significant investment of time that is mapping out a solid plan, revising that plan as necessary, even if that means a project will take longer, and–most importantly–managing client expectations about the amount of time their project will take. The need for quick gratification almost always leads to an enduring discontentment, something the pros, and their seasoned clients, know well.

In the Fall issue of New England Home Connecticut, Greenwich designer Linda Ruderman admitted that even after living in her home for years, “It’s still evolving.”

Photo by Laura Moss for New England Home

Boston blogger/designer extraordinaire Erin Gates shared this work-in-progress picture of a bathroom that was part of a Beacon Hill design project she’d been working on for more than a year at the time. By the looks of the subway-tile in the shower and the iconic Scalamadre wallpaper I’m going to guess the finished project was a success.

Photo courtesy of Elements of Style

The following before-and-after shots come from clients who revisited past design projects gone wrong, and in the end, were happy they did.

A “before” shot of a regrettable kitchen. Photo by Teresa Burnett

The “after” shot is world’s apart. Photo by Teresa Burnett

A vanity with a dated, DIY-look. Photo by Teresa Burnett.

The same space with a professional touch. Photo by Teresa Burnett.

The best things in life are worth waiting for.

-Teresa Burnett

Teresa Burnett is principal of Willow Designs based in Norwell, Mass.  As a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design Interior Design program, Teresa has a strong background in all design styles. Extensive travel to the cities, countryside, manor homes and museums throughout the United States, France, Italy, England, Ireland, Mexico and tropical locations continues to inspire and inform Teresa’s design aesthetic. Teresa is past President of IFDA (International Furnishings and Design Association), New England and past member of the IFDA National Board of Directors. She can be reached at [email protected].