Do you watch HGTV? If so, you have seen many TV shows depicting homeowners and so called interior designers working magic in very short periods of time, with very small budgets. The reality of these TV shows is that very often the so called designers are actors with no formal interior design training. The depictions of what can be done with $1,000 and a day are not at all realistic.
In the ‘real world’ what can a professional interior designer do for you? Some believe that an interior designer is a luxury for the super wealthy. Many are surprised to discover that designers can work within small budget and assist with projects as small as choosing the optimal paint color for a powder room. The ASID North Chapter (American Society of Interior Designers, Phoenix) states it well;
“Your home. Your ideas. Your lifestyle. Our job is to understand.”
Most people who are thinking about changing their interior environments aren’t lacking in taste or style. In fact, they usually have fantastic ideas about what they want. What they don’t have is the expertise to make the vision into a reality. They lack the know how to pull it together, and are overwhelmed by the myriad of options to choose from.
Some Pros of Hiring a Design Consultant:
- Will help you see the ‘big picture’ and suggest ideas that you may not have thought of, in other words, bring a different dimension to the design,
- Has relationships with professional craftspeople and vendors to refer to you (i.e., painters, cabinetry makers, fabric workrooms),
- During a remodel/new build, will work with the architect/builder to insure the lighting plan is suited to the overall furniture space plan and the desired functionality of the spaces,
- Uses an analytical problem-solving approach to the project that identifies your needs both aesthetically and functionally.
- Some Cons of Hiring a Design Consultant:
- You didn’t have the necessary dialogue up-front with the designer, and now she/he has created a room that doesn’t reflect your needs or personality,
- Fails to prepare and present a detailed letter of agreement to you and doesn’t understand the scope of the project,
- The designer is too busy and isn’t giving your project the level of attention you need her/him to.
- The chemistry between you and the designer is just not working well.
There is a difference between a decorator and a designer.
Decorators are unaccredited and can be anyone from salespeople at furniture stores to someone who simply figures that he or she has a flair for color and design. Registered interior designers, in contrast, have graduated from an accredited program at a college, and most often are members of ASID which has education and professional experience requirements for its’ members.
If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you should consider hiring a professional Interior Designer to move your project along.
- Is every minute of every day filled with work, kids, and volunteer obligations? Do you feel as though you just can’t add one more thing to your busy life?
- When you look at fabrics and paint, are there so many choices that you just don’t know where to start?
- Did you start to redecorate your room and buy a few nice pieces, but just don’t know what to do with them?
- Are you and your spouse/partner having trouble agreeing on what to do?
- Do you want your home to be “one-of-a-kind,” unlike anything you’ve seen before?
If you do decide to hire a professional designer, speak with 2-3 qualified designers before you make your final decision. Don’t forget, one of the best ways to find a designer to work with is to ask your friends and family for referrals.