I talk a lot about the design process (and I looove sharing our before & after transformations), but how do you know if an interior designer is right for your project specifically?
I’ll be completely transparent with you — it’s not for everyone. In fact, I think it’s most helpful if I start by sharing the situations where you shouldn’t hire an interior designer.
Note: If any of these sound like you, that’s completely okay. You can still have a beautiful home; it just means you’ll take a different approach!
You ready? Let’s take a look…
1. YOU WANT TO TAKE YOUR PROJECT SLOW & STEADY
There are a few cases when someone might want a slow, steady project. Maybe they want to spread their remodel over a few years to make sure they have the funds. Maybe they are naturally indecisive (it happens) and want as much time as possible to select materials and furnishings.
If this scenario is ideal for you, that’s completely your choice!
But with an interior designer, we work a bit differently. We are professional project managers who oversee contractors, design phases, timelines, and budget, day in and day out. Our finely tuned systems keep your project moving along seamlessly and efficiently at all times.
And we throw some fun in, too, because hey, why not??
So if you want slow and steady, it’s better to manage the project yourself. If you want the “full steam ahead” approach, then a designer is the way to go.
2. YOU WANT TO GET ALL OF YOUR FURNISHINGS & MATERIALS FROM BIG BOX RETAILERS
One of the great advantages of an interior designer is access to top professional trades, trade-only showrooms, and suppliers. (Our network is your network!)
Since we represent repeat business to our associates, we can leverage our relationships, speak the language of the industry when communicating your needs, and produce better results for you.
Of course, we can always mix items from trade sources with some “big box” purchases (it’s all about balance). But if you want your home decked out solely in West Elm and Pottery Barn, you probably don’t need to invest in an interior designer’s help!
3. YOU THINK YOU CAN SAVE OODLES OF MONEY
Speaking of retail, it’s a myth that clients save money by accessing designer discounts. In reality, margins on products are slim in the retail world. The internet has made the retail landscape flat for clients and designers—often everyone can access the same discounted pricing.
But here’s how you will save…
With a designer, you’ll have access to better quality products that give you a higher value for your money. In our case, we do have discounts we can share on our exclusive, trade-only sources, and these often offset design fees.
It’s also worth mentioning that our finely tuned processes and experience help avoid expensive mistakes. So even if we don’t save you “oodles” exactly, we’ll certainly manage your budget to its maximum potential!
4. YOU WANT YOUR HOME TO LOOK LIKE THE ONE YOU SAW ON PINTEREST LAST WEEK
A designer uses trusted trades to produce that piece that is just right for you and your home…
• Need another 4” on your sofa to scale it right for the room? We design and work closely with our trades to make the perfect sofa for you.
• Does Aunt Marjorie’s knitting chair need some love? We’ll treat your cherished furniture so it can last years into the future.
• Does every square inch matter in your kitchen? We design and build custom solutions for every space.
That’s not to mention the extensive thought that goes into planning your space for your unique family’s daily functions and personality and style.
Pinterest is great for finding inspiration, but if you want an exact copy-cat home, an interior designer isn’t the best choice.
5. YOU WANT TO MANAGE YOUR PROJECT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
If you absolutely love managing construction and design projects, I can support that 100%! I’m one of those ladies too, after all. 😉
As I mentioned before, when you hire a designer, you get concierge level service from start to finish. We manage everything, while you get to go about your life at normal speed (whatever speed “normal” is) and full of mental peace.
So, if hands-on is what you want from your home project, you’re much better off managing things yourself and not investing in full service interior design.
That said — if you want to manage your project and get design advice for furnishings and accessories, our Off the Rack design service is the best of both worlds.
Though it might seem counterintuitive to share these 5 “designer-free” situations, these are truly tricky situations we’ve seen before. But if you know exactly what to expect from the start and whether it’s right for you, well, everyone is happy.
And we want you to be happy, otherwise we wouldn’t be in this business. 🙂
Questions about the finely tuned process I mentioned? Or a space you have big dreams for? Ask us here…
Until next week,