November 2012

When to Hire an Interior Designer

Author: Gregory Vaughan

Your home should be a reflection of you. Your personal style, lifestyle needs, and general attitude towards living all go into the mix of colors and fabrics and furnishings that make a house a home. Take a good look around your house. Does it look like you? Or is it lacking personality and interest? Is its function conducive to the way you live? Or is it totally out-of-step with your family’s needs? It may be time to hire a professional.

An interior designer can help you transform your living space. Whether you are building a new home, remodeling an existing one, or just updating the décor in a room or two, chances are the process will go more smoothly with the help of a professional interior designer.

Establishing and Adhering to a Budget
There is a misconception that hiring an interior designer is an indulgence only the wealthy can afford. Believe it or not, often the price of hiring a designer more than pays for itself in the end. Once you factor in the savings on your time, aggravation, and worry, hiring a designer can actually save you money and help you avoid costly mistakes.

An interior designer can help you establish a realistic budget for the scope of your project and advise you on which items to splurge on and which ones for which you can find less expensive alternatives. This will not only stretch your dollar, ensuring you get the most bang for the buck, but also get you the look you want. Plus, who doesn’t want expert advice and assistance on putting it all together? The result will add value to your investment while enhancing your enjoyment of home.

Defining your Style
Does your home truly reflect your personal style? Let’s face it. Anyone can log on to one of the myriad lifestyle vendor websites and order a sofa or slap some trendy shade of paint on the walls. But will that really work for you? Most likely it will not. And just because you may have a great sense of your likes and dislikes, there is no guarantee it will translate to successful décor.

There’s so much more to a well-designed space than simply filling it with your favorite things. Many people find they become overwhelmed by the process of selecting finishes and combining all the elements. Having a professional on hand to help you navigate this vast sea of possibilities is crucial in establishing a direction for the décor of your interiors.

An interior designer will interview you to assess your desires, tastes, and needs and then determine what finishes and choices work best and fit your budget. An interior designer can help you plan a space to fit your life and layout the necessary components to bring it to fruition.

Identifying and Solving Problems
You may already know why a particular space in your house isn’t working for you, like not having enough closet space. Or you may not know why something just doesn’t look or feel right, like a lack of architectural detail or charm. Sometimes it is an awkward space flow or inefficient layout. The problem could simply be dated décor.

A professional interior designer can quickly identify problems and provide you with solutions. Designers are trained to address awkward spaces or difficult rooms. They will suggest storage solutions, create excitement in featureless rooms, and solve problems of poor traffic flow and awkward furniture arrangement. The designer brings to the table an understanding of how color, scale, and light will affect a space and may present options the homeowner had not previously considered, offering a fresh eye and perspective.

Pulling it all together
You are too busy to do it all yourself. Pulling together a room can take months, and entire house, a year or more! Unlike design shows on television, design schemes are not pulled together in five minutes or entire projects completed in an hour. While on TV it appears that you can remodel a room in an hour or build a house in a weekend, the factual truth is there are countless designers, trades people and crews working behind the scenes to pull it off smoothly.

A designer will spend time asking you questions about your lifestyle, personal tastes, likes and dislikes, and special considerations to better understand your needs and desires to determine the best solutions. The time, energy, trips back and forth to home improvement and furniture stores, and not to mention stress, could all be managed with an interior designer.

Most designers can offer one-stop shopping for clients with their vast resource libraries offering a variety of fabrics swatches, furniture catalogs, window covering samples, wallpaper books, paint chips, and address books full of talented and reliable tradesmen at their fingertips. It is one thing to research items online when decorating, but it pales in comparison to having actual physical samples on hand along with some professional advice and feedback when compiling a design scheme. Also, many designers have access to items and products that are not found in stores.

Coordination and Project Management
Interior designers have experience coordinating contractors, subcontractors and artisans in a timely fashion. This ensures that the project progresses in a logical manner. Designers will know to schedule the painters in advance of the carpet installers and to make sure all contractors are finished on time before any new upholstery pieces or furniture arrives. This is an invaluable service for absentee owners who are working on vacation homes and need work completed in time for scheduled renters as well as permanent residents who want to minimize remodeling headaches.

There is an art to successful interior design. Rooms and spaces and entire homes that flow together do not just happen by accident. Functionality and beauty do not always easily coincide. It takes skill and knowledge to take your ideas and visions and turn them into a reality. Hiring an interior designer is an invaluable part of your building process and protects your real estate investment.

The process of building or remodeling should be a fun endeavor as well as a rewarding one. A designer can help you find pleasure in the sometimes hectic and daunting process.

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