What to Do About Accessories

Today we’re going to talk about how to do accessories. We all know that accessories are like the “icing” on a design. Until that’s put into place, it’s not camera-ready or polished, and it’s not where we want it to be.

We want to do accessories, but if you include them in your original Letter of Agreement, it’s likely that the time required to do it would be too expensive. It would cause an imbalance, and it would be challenging to sell the job. The other side is doing it for free at the end, which is not a viable option.

Where do you go from there?

First, I want you to leave accessories out of your Letter of Agreement. You can just put a statement at the bottom saying that you’re doing all the pieces, and accessories will not be included unless you “trip over” them. If you find something perfect as you’re putting the furniture together, you can include it. But you don’t want to put the time to do accessorizing in the original Letter of Agreement.

What you should do instead is to at least get an acknowledgment of accessories in the budget. The amount of that budget will depend on the level of the job. In your agreement, you’ll state that you’re not including accessories. However, when you do your budget, you’ll want to include a figure that takes them into account. You may not get total agreement to do it, but at least get an acknowledgment of it.

How do you calculate what that number should be? It’s up to you, and how expensive the job is. It could be 50% to 150% if you’re doing something really nice like art. It should be at least 20-30% of the furniture budget. Keep in mind that the time you take to do accessories could be as much as it takes you to do the entire room. That’s why you want that piece separated out.

Watch the video above where I explain how you can plant the seeds and invite clients to hire you for the additional service of accessorizing. I also share how many hours to bill and how much to collect upfront so that you don’t become the “bank of design.” You shouldn’t make any of those purchases using your own money. Then, I give you the steps to take with the big reveal of your project to clients. You will also learn how you can get paid whether your clients accept all the accessories or need items returned.

Until next time, design something beautiful and get paid what you’re worth.

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