Why You Should Hire a Designer?
I have never hired an Interior Designer but as an Interior Designer I want to educate you. Let you know what we do and how we can help you. The first two things I want you to know are:
Number One: An Interior Designer is very different from an Interior Decorator. Of course we both step into each others realms every once in a while, we are very different types of professionals. An Interior Designer should be trained and knowledgeable in all fields of construction, a decorator is not. Designer's should have a clear understanding of spatial requirements, building codes and ergonomics, decorators don't. While an experienced Designer can manage a job site, a decorator cannot.
Number Two: Design does not have to be expensive. When you look at the whole picture, when working with a Designer you end up often saving money. Between special incentive discounts on purchases and ensuring that the correct decisions are made the first time around you definitely save time (time=money).
So now that we are clear on these two things here is my rant on why you should hire a designer?
1. Stress Anxiety and Sleep
Whether it be a renovation or re-design, changing your home is stressful. It could be not knowing where to shop, how to start, disagreements between spouses, and a long list of other things that create the stress. Holding your fingers crossed for the duration of the project won't help. There will always be feelings of not knowing, the questioning and the doubt.
How Does a Designer Help With Stress, Anxiety and Sleep?
Stress: A good Designer will listen to all the thoughts and ideas and translate that into a beautiful design (even if there are disagreements-we are very good at creating compromises).
Anxiety: Your Designer will explain why things should be the way they are, creating piece of mind.
Sleep: Whether it is a paint colour or tile selection crisis a Designer can help you make all material selections and provide assurance when you just can't sleep about it.
2. The Return Line
Not knowing the size, colour or even the correct material to buy is a common problem homeowners have when renovating. I think we can all agree the return line is not a happy place and the wasted time makes the whole experience worse.
How Does a Designer Help?
A Designer measures and remeasures, they have already mapped out the right colour and size before anything is purchased. They make sure they research the product they are suggesting thoroughly. Having to wait in the return line is over!
3. The Unknown
Many homeowners tell me that they listen to a contractor speak and have no idea what they are talking about. Sometimes greedy contractors can gauge you on pricing or tell you you must do something that you don't need to do. You don't have to feel stupid not knowing these things but it is good to have someone who does on your side.
How Does a Designer Help?
In my Design practice I use the term "apples to apples" a lot. What I mean by this is that you will never know if you are getting a good price if you only meet one contractor. My rule of thumb is to meet at least three different contractors. Then I sit down with my clients and compare "apples to apples". If one contractor lists painting for $1,000 and the other contractor writes painting (including trim, doors, ceiling and mouldings) for $1,300 as the designer I would go back to contractor #1 and ask what their price includes. You always want to compare "apples to apple". Having a Designer on your side to go through potential contractors and help with the unknown is invaluable. I hear this from my own clients all the time.
4. The Budget
Having a realistic budget before jumping into a renovation or re-design is extremely important. I cannot stress it enough. Without a budget you really have no idea what you are looking for. A budget is flexible, nothing is set in stone but it is a guideline. Having a proper mapped out budget is something I provide my clients before they even sign a contract. I want people to know what they are spending, I hate money surprises and I think client's go into the job with more confidence.
How Does a Designer Help The Budget?
Discounts and Incentives: Designers are also privileged to receive discounts at various retail stores the discounts range from 5% to 75% off of the retail price. It really depends on the Designer but I split these discounts with my clients 50/50. This helps them financially and allows me to afford the ability to keep up my relationships with retailers and the time I put in to getting my clients the best price possible. A good Designer will also avoid showing you gold when you can only afford silver. A lot of my clients even show me something they love that is super expensive and ask me to find something similar at a more affordable price, if possible.
Creativity: All good Designer's are creative. Whether they were creative at birth or have just learned how to be it something very important when looking for a Designer. My creativity always comes in handy when something doesn't work or fit or go with the space. From repurposing heirloom furniture to creating an expensive look for an affordable price my creativity keeps my clients on budget.
With work, kids, hobbies, sports and vacations all mixed into our lives, time is important. Time is money and unlike money time you can't get back. As Designer's we often charge for our time. The same way lawyers, accountants, masseuses do-so do we.
How Does a Designer Help with Time?
Designers can keep your project going while you are out of country or away for the weekend. When you can't be the eyes on site your Designer can. A good Designer will make sure they only show you materials that are in stock or available (obviously the odd mishap occurs). A Designer will monitor progress and provide constant updates keeping the client in the loop.
There are so many other ways that a Designer can really help you during this time. Please feel free to contact us about our services. Stay tuned for more!