A Tale of a Stubborn Client (and a Very Exciting Shopping Trip)

I am so excited about today! I honestly thought this day would never come!! Okay, let me explain.

You see, four years ago when Matt and I moved to Texas, and really even before I hung out my little Kristi Linauer Interiors shingle, I had a client. Oh, I knew from the beginning that this one would be a challenge. Fun, indeed! But oh so stubborn was this one. Her home was in need of some attention, and while she would accept some of my suggestions with great enthusiasm, other suggestions were met with tremendous resistance. “Perhaps you should consider replacing your kitchen cabinets.” “What?! Oh no! I couldn’t possibly!” “Well, I think you’ll definitely want to consider replacing your flooring. A gorgeous hardwood floor would really warm up the room.” “Replace the flooring? Hmmmm…no…not really what I had in mind.” And so it went.

Take, for example, this fireplace:

I remember the conversation so clearly:

ME: Well, we absolutely will want to paint that fireplace.

HER: Paint the fireplace? With paint?! On brick?! Hmmmm…

ME: Ummm…definitely. That fireplace is an eyesore! It’s ORANGE!

HER: No, it’s not orange! It’s…well…it’s salmon.

ME: Okay, look…I don’t care what name you put on it. That fireplace is ORANGE.

HER: But paint?! It’s so drastic! And it can’t be undone!

ME: Why in the WORLD would you want to UNDO it? It’s ORANGE! Trust me. That thing needs to be buried FAR beneath several layers of paint.

HER: I just don’t know. It’s so permanent.

ME: Yes, that’s the point! There is no way that at any time in the future, you’ll be needing an ORANGE fireplace!

HER: Well, I really don’t think so. I think we can work around it.

(Having lost several other crucial battles, I dug my heels in on this one.)

ME: No, we absolutely can’t. That fireplace will be painted…period. It absolutely must be done, and if you don’t willingly sign off on it, then I’ll do it the next time you go out of town. Either way, it WILL be painted.

And I kept my promise. The next time they went out of town, they came back to a fireplace that looked like this:

Much, much better, don’t you think? Oh, and she loved it, too.

So the rest of the decorating went fairly smoothly…new furniture, new draperies, new paint, the addition of recessed lighting and crown moulding, a new custom entertainment center to minimize the size of that BEHEMOTH television, etc.

But still, there remained the issue of that flooring. Carpet….uggghhh! But she wouldn’t budge.

But, we did make some good progress. Let’s revisit. Here’s the before:

And here’s the after:

Sooo…what does this have to do with today? Well, just a couple of days ago, I got an e-mail from her saying that she’s ready to replace the flooring, and wants to go with HARDWOOD FLOORS!!! Oh my…I’m so excited. I honestly never thought I’d see this day! So today, we’ll be heading to the flooring store to look at some different options, and after that, we’ll be selecting some beautiful area rugs. I can hardly contain myself!

Well, I better step away from the computer and get ready for the big day. So exciting!

(And I love you, Mom! So glad you finally came around! And it only took, what? Three years? Better late than never! I look forward to shopping with you today!!)

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Comments

  1. Lisa says

    I'm having this same argument with my husband about our wall-to-wall 70's fireplace! Ugh. Why are people so adverse to a coat of paint over brick?

  2. Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating says

    Well, we picked out a gorgeous mahogany hardwood floor!! Can't wait to see it installed.

    Lisa, I have that problem with brick and wood. I don't understand it, but most people have the mindset that anything made of brick or wood should NOT be covered with paint. I have walked into SEVERAL homes with ugly, outdated paneling on the walls, but because it's WOOD, the homeowners refuse to paint it.

    My montra: Just because it's WOOD, doesn't mean it's GOOD. :)

  3. Down Pillow says

    Oh gosh, TREMENDOUS improvement on the fireplace! And, they will absolutely love the hardwood floors – major upgrade :)

  4. The Ray Family Adventures says

    Hey Kristi, great work on your Mom's place. I remember it well… amazing what you've done with it. Have you got any good ideas for us? Perhaps we should send you a few pics, or you can always hop on a plane, it's not too far. : )
    Billy Ray

  5. Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating says

    Thanks, Billy! And wow…talk about a CHALLENGE…offering decorating ideas for a home in Iraq!! But hey, I'm up for any challenge. How close are you to the nearest Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Ikea? lol :D

  6. Kristi @ Addicted 2 Decorating says

    Olga, I don't remember the wall color right off hand, but I could probably find out. I do know that it's from Behr (my personal favorite brand of paint).

  7. Olga says

    Awesome, thanks! I have a basement to redo with a similar brick fireplace and furniture colours. I've not been brave enough to consider painting it, but seeing your "after" pictures, I'm thinking about it now!

  8. Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com says

    This is so funny to me, because I, too, worked on my mother for y.e.a.r.s before she finally agreed to part with her rust-colored carpeting and refinish the wood floors below. She finally saw it my way a couple of years ago and absolutely loves the results, AND how easy they are to care for. I don't know why exactly – probably something to do with latter-day inferior finishes – but they used to be considered "a lot of work" to keep up.

  9. Deb @ RoomscapesDecor.com says

    This is so funny to me, because I, too, worked on my mother for y.e.a.r.s before she finally agreed to part with her rust-colored carpeting and refinish the wood floors below. She finally saw it my way a couple of years ago and absolutely loves the results, AND how easy they are to care for. I don't know why exactly – probably something to do with latter-day inferior finishes – but they used to be considered "a lot of work" to keep up.

  10. The Ray Family Adventures says

    Hey Kristi, great work on your Mom's place. I remember it well… amazing what you've done with it. Have you got any good ideas for us? Perhaps we should send you a few pics, or you can always hop on a plane, it's not too far. : )
    Billy Ray

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