Shelterpop 
Recently, I was interviewed by, Shelterpop which is AOL living.  You can read the article here.  The topic was providing free design advice either virtually or as part of a retailer's service. This is a controversial topic with designers who blog.  There are some who are adamantly against it and even state that in their blogging and there are others who do it on a regular basis.  Here is my school of thought and reasons for doing Free Advice Friday.  I feel everyone should have the opportunity to live in their "best" space.  If we are truly honest, most people can't afford to hire designers.  I provide this service for those people.  The majority of people who send me dilemmas for FAF are usually young, many are just starting out in new homes, or they are overwhelmed and don't know where to start.  I've read from designers who won't give free advice–their reason for doing so is that it isn't fair to their paying clients.  I would argue that the service I give my paying clients, is a far cry from free advice.  Not only it is not on the same page, it isn't even in the same library.  I have never had a paying client question this practice and several like to make comments on the FAF solutions.   A few of my FAF subjects have even turned into E-decorating clients.   I think giving free advice promotes good will, and is one of my ways of giving.   I figure if some of the heavy hitters like, Vicente Wolf, Phoebe Howard, and my friend Paula Grace can do it, I can too.  It is a great solution when you meet someone at a cocktail party (soccer game, grocery store etc) and they find out you are an Interior Designer. What follows many times is a question about a decorating dilemma they are having.   Without seeing a picture, it is sometimes very hard to comment.  I always tell them to go to my blog and submit their situation with a pic for FAF.   I like win-wins.  It does take some time but I really enjoy doing it.  However, it may take me awhile to post a solution from the time it is submitted, because ultimately, my paying clients do get priority.  I don't think I'm going to change any minds, but I thought this article provided an opportunity to address my reasons for giving decorating advice.  Thanks, to Marilyn Zelinsky, contributing writer AOL Living for the shout out. 

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