The Designer Difference: Why We Don’t Shop Retail for Your Home


Written by: Natalie Cox, President | Lead Designer – CPI Interiors

In this post, I’m digging into one of my most frequently asked questions as a designer: “Why won’t you shop at retail stores with me?”

Many clients are surprised to learn that shopping at local or online retailers is not part of our design process. Instead, like many full-service designers, I have close relationships with a wide range of trusted suppliers who are my go-to sources for crafting one-of-a-kind interiors for my clients.

I take this approach for many reasons, but it ultimately comes down to delivering the very best possible experience for my clients. This post will shed some light on a few of the benefits to you.

The Importance of Personalization

As a professional designer, I work hard to create unique spaces that reflect my clients’ personality, preferences, and lifestyle. By tailoring items to your specific needs, I am able to maximize comfort, functionality, and aesthetic appeal for you. Need extra durability to stand up to kids and pets? No problem. A specific seat height or depth for the most comfortable chair? I can do that. A truly unique piece of furniture to elevate your design? That’s where we shine!


Quality You Can Trust

Of course, you can absolutely buy quality pieces at retail stores. That said, quality can vary greatly even from the same store. When I choose items for your home from my preferred suppliers, I’ve had extensive training on their product line, and I know I can trust the quality and durability.

In addition, it’s increasingly important to many of my clients to make sure their purchases are sustainable and ethically made. Through my preferred suppliers, I can prioritize furnishings that align with your values and contribute to a more environmentally conscious home.

The Convenience of Full Service Design

Instead of spending countless hours browsing retail stores and dealing with logistical challenges, clients can rely on me to streamline the process and source items efficiently. But the best part? I bring it all to you!

At your design presentation, I bring along fabric and wood samples, floor plans to scale, pictures and complete specifications for each piece. You get everything you need to envision the completed space without having to leave the comfort of home.

In addition to space planning and product selection, our comprehensive design process also includes project management, delivery and installation. When you work with us, there’s no worrying about placing orders or waiting around for deliveries that don’t show up on time. Our holistic approach ensures that every element of the design is cohesive and well-executed.



Efficient Problem Resolution

Occasionally, we run into a snag – that’s life. Resolving issues with retailers often requires waiting on hold with customer service, packaging up damaged items, and arranging for return shipping. Working with me means that when needed, I have a direct line to my preferred suppliers to correct the problem (and you don’t have to lift a finger).

Maximizing Your Investment

Large or small, every client has a budget. By choosing your furniture and accessories from my preferred suppliers, I am able to balance cost and quality, ensuring that you get the most value for your investment.

And of course, we all know that time is money. Going from store to store or spending hours perusing the endless options online would result in huge design fees for my clients. When I source from my trusted suppliers, I know exactly which ones will be perfect for your style and budget.


Experience the Designer Advantage

When you hire a designer, it’s because you want a higher level of personalization, quality, and service. Our seamless process has been honed over years of creating exceptional interiors for our clients, and our suppliers play a huge part in bringing your dreams to life.

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