Should You Show “Before and After?”

For many years I have advised against showing “before and after” photos on designer websites for one reason: They are almost always poorly executed.

The concept is obviously tempting, but the images I have seen too often display “afters” that really didn’t change much. Sure, a wall is painted and there’s some more furniture, but little imagination was applied.

Let’s look at an example. I don’t know whose work this is, so forgive me if you’re reading this and I’m using you as the example of poor implementation. It’s a risk I live with!

This is the time for me to say, “Remember, I’m not an interior designer…” but as they say in the sports world, “C’mon man!” Is there an interior designer or decorator (or hobbyist) on earth that couldn’t have done that?

So, seeing too many that look like this, I had just generally advised against trying to pull off the “before and after” magic on your website.

Until yesterday. That’s when I was visiting with Edge member and coaching client, Armina Kasprowicz from Detroit. She’s recently changed her website (much of it based on our coaching calls) but I wasn’t aware that she had added the “Before and After” tab. Prepared to be disappointed, I checked it out and…Wow! I was blown away but before I tell you why, let’s take a look at just one of her samples:

Now that’s what I call before and AFTER! You see, rather than make some decorating changes, or even do upgrades or renovations, Armina completely reimagined the use of the space in a way that truly impacts ME as a design client. It changes my feelings about my home and about myself in ways that far exceed mere interior design. I’m not in the market for a home project right now, but Armina’s pictures gave me an entirely new way of thinking about various spaces and, you know what? Now maybe I am in the market because I am “seeing” things in a completely new light. Here’s another one:

And thus I’ve changed my tune. So much so that I am encouraging Armina to conduct a direct mail campaign to her top communities just with comparative photos like these. There’s a lot to like about Armina’s website and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind you taking a look at There’s a lot to like about her very successful solo practice as well. She’s thinking of making “the leap” to a larger sized firm…but hopefully I talked her down. I’ll have to save that for another day.

1 thought on “Should You Show “Before and After?””

  1. Sandra Lynn

    As a former Homes Editor for Southern Living Magazine I can tell you people LOVE before and afters! However, I agree with you David, it takes creativity and execution for the B&F to be successful.

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