Ah, the most common question in my Instagram DMs - sharing sources for the pieces in the projects I post! This topic is always such a balancing act, mainly between my natural habit of generosity and loyalty to my amazing clients. You see, it's in my nature to bend over backwards to help people. It's just who I am. But my clients make a big investment in me and my services. So when you want to know where you can get the rug that I shared from my client's bedroom, it puts me in a weird spot where I feel torn between helping you out, but also honoring the investment that my client has made.
The analogy that rings the most true with me is thinking of Madison Nicole Design like Target, in terms of their business model. They commission contracts with many, many companies and vendors to purchase their products, and then carry them throughout the country in all of their stores for you to purchase. All you know is that you can get an item at Target, and you wouldn't ask a store manager where the company purchased a certain candle or that set of dinnerware or their toilet paper. Madison Nicole Design works with a smaller list of vendors, but the process is the same - we curate and shop for quality furniture, art, lighting, and decor with a variety of trade vendors, and our clients purchase those items to create their dream spaces and pay us for the access and energy invested in finding them. I have to respect that for them and for the future of my business!
Read along below for my do's and don'ts on sharing sources.
LIMITED QUANTITIES, NO LINKS, TRADE ONLY SHOWINGS
We invest a lot of time and energy and money into attending national furniture markets every year to keep current with different vendors and their offerings, and these markets are only open to design trade professionals. Some of these vendors only sell to interior design professionals, and are not sold to the general public. Because of this, there is often no link to be able to send, even if I felt I could share! We source from these vendors though, because we are able to provide a more custom look for clients with pieces that aren't widely available.
DON'T TRUST PAINT COLORS ONLINE
I'm asked about certain paint colors often, and I am hesitant to share because your actual environment plays a major role in what a paint color truly looks like in your space. Keep in mind our projects on social media are based in Central and Southern CA, which has its own light quality. The perfect mushroom colored paint you see may actually read green for your space in the Midwest, for example. And as much as we try to stay true to color, images you see are also edited by our photographer, so we always recommend paint suggestions are taken with a grain of salt. Sample cans are your best friend!
DO MIND YOUR MANNERS (YES, EVEN ONLINE)
One aspect of social media that still irks me is the disconnection with the fact that real life humans are behind your favorite accounts. I can't tell you how many times I get messages that read, "rug?" or "chair?" in my DMs. Imagine walking up to someone on the street and literally saying "purse?" or "shoes?" They would give you the most confused look!! And my inbox is full of messages like this!
Remember to show some courtesy and send messages you would be comfortable asking a stranger in real life! I am firmly on the side of restoring manners to social media, and I hope you are too! Helpful hint: I'm much more willing to share sources with friendly people!!
DO SHOP MY PAGE FOR ALL RETAIL SOURCES!
I share a lot of things I love through my shop page, so please check there for some of my favorites. I try to keep it updated with some links from current projects, and I also have a section specific to things in my own home!
I hope this gives you a better holistic view behind the curtain of sourcing. Be nice to the designers you follow... I have had so many conversations with other designers discussing this exact struggle. It's not an easy one, especially in the age of Instagram + Pinterest. We're all doing our best, and just know that when we don't share all the information, it's not to be rude, and our intentions are still good. You would want your investment protected and not given away freely if you were the one who just went through a year long remodel that you spent your hard-earned savings on too!
Is there anything I haven't covered that you want to know more about? Let us know in the comments below!