Some people have a preconceived idea about interior designers. Some think “a designer is not for me” out of a sense of inverted snobbery. Others think that a designer will rack up huge expense and that they will end up with something that the designer likes rather than a home they want.
And for this reason most people will attempt to remodel or redecorate a room themselves, hence the booming DIY or Do-it-Yourself trade. Sadly the outcome is often dull, disappointing, mundane or even worse.
Here are a dozen or so reasons why you should talk to an interior designer.
A good designer is a good listener. Some designers have a reputation for doing things their way – or no way. However a good designer really will make sure they understand your motivation, desire and aspiration before proposing anything. If you try a DIY approach to design you’ll be surprised how suddenly friends and family are all “experts in design” and telling you what’s best for your home! A good designer knows how to focus on YOUR requirements and to cut through the clutter.
An interior designer can save you money. “No way”, you say, “what about their fees?” It is true that most designers charge fees or absorb their fees into the overall quote for a project. However engaging a professional designer will save money because:
- designers have trade accounts and so can get materials and furnishings cheaper than you can,
- a good interior designer will avoid serious style errors (e.g. mismatched fabrics, paints & furniture) which are often the consequence of a do-it-yourself approach to design, and which you would eventually regret and redo at additional cost,
- if your designer is also a project manager you will save valuable hours in your busy schedule. No need to take time off from work to manage tradesmen in your home or to await deliveries, or to give up valuable weekends or holiday, sacrificing your golf clubs for a paint brush.
If you want to do your own decorating or remodelling, you need time, a lot of friends willing to volunteer their time, or you need to pay tradesmen to come in. If you do not want to live in a partly completed house for months or even years (who honestly does?) then a quick job needs professional project management.
To completely revamp or remodel a lounge, for example, you need to coordinate, painters, electricians, curtain makers & fitters, furniture makers or suppliers, carpet suppliers/fitters. And you will need someone to add the finishing touches to the room with pictures, lamps, artwork, plants and so on.
If you have the time and dedication to do this on your own you will have the satisfaction of having completed a project all by yourself, but time is often not as available as you might imagine. We have seen far too many partly completed projects often years after they started; half finished bathrooms, lounges with wiring hanging out of walls, kitchens with old & ill fitting flooring and so on. These have all started with the initial enthusiasm of a typical DIY project but failed to reach a clear goal.
When you engage a professional interior designer you are buying into their experience and knowledge. Try asking them “How many homes have you worked on?” and then ask yourself the same question!
Any reputable designer will show you examples of work and provide you with customer testimonials. Ask for references, prior clients you can phone to get an honest opinion on your potential designer.
Most designers will be properly trained in their profession (not all, so that is a key question to ask before you hire) and therefore have a strong grasp on all aspects of design, decorating, furnishing etc. You might feel comfortable slapping on a few coats of paint or re-arranging the furniture but are you so sure about everything else?
If you need other trades such as electricians, plumbers, carpet fitters you will probably turn to Yellow Pages or Google. On the other hand your interior designer will be working with and managing these people on a regular basis and will have selected a good support team around them.
Style and Vision
Did you know that 9 out of 10 people cannot visualise a finished room design when all they can see is an empty shell of a room or an architect’s plans? Fortunately people with this skill often become interior designers!
A good designer works with the client to help them visualise the final design and then works back from the goal to build the plan. A good designer will work with the client to help them unravel what they really want, even if they outwardly have never articulated their thoughts. Often the designer acts a mediator between couples who have distinctly different opinions about decor and who may have differing degrees of assertiveness.
By contrast most people undertaking DIY projects look at a room incrementally from the starting point, so perhaps taking one step at a time (dictated by available time & budget) without each being part of a coherent master plan. Not surprisingly the end result of a sequence of DIY projects and a project led by an interior designer are quite different.
Yet another reason for hiring an interior designer instead of relying on Do-it-Yourself!