Why you should consider hiring an interior designer & when do it.
Updated: May 12, 2020
I have often come across clients who at first were hesitant to hire an interior designer. “What value can you add?” is the most common question that is asked and in a very round-about way. Often an interior designer is hired halfway through a build- which is not the most optimal time to get the professionals in- but rather late than never! An interior designer can make a world of difference to not only the aesthetics of a project, but more importantly the function of spaces & the layouts, the cost of the project, time saved and they give you access to a plethora of professional contractors, specialists and subcontractors. Not to mention you will come out with a design that has the ‘wow factor’, but more importantly something that is customised to you, how your family works and your specific lifestyle. This sounds like a win-win to me. Here are the top 4 Reasons why you should hire an interior designer:
They will save you money.
Interior designers will not only prevent you from making costly design mistakes, but they will be your corner when or if things go wrong. Building sites are rife with stories about design mistakes and mishaps, either in part on the client’s selection of finishes & hardware or shoddy workmanship or poor architectural planning. An interior designers’ job is to thoroughly examine your architectural plans within the context of human ergonomics and functionality. Their foremost role is to make sure everything fits and that everything functions. In fact, interior designers are often hired after there has been a costly design mishap on site and clients need someone to recognise mistakes and come up with creative solutions to solve them. Whilst you do pay a fee for an interior designer, the money saved by avoiding potential construction and architectural design mistakes, poor contractor execution or mismatched finishes will save you a ton of money in the long run. Designers are also used to working within a budget, so they know where every penny is being spent and can direct the budget towards the most important aspects of the design or stretch the budget in a creative way. Interior design is a delicate balance between art and science and an interior designer’s eyes are trained to pick up design problems and measurement issues you are guaranteed to miss.
They will save you time
An interior designer will not only pick up existing problems in the planning phase but will also anticipate possible obstacles that may arise during the building phase. Whilst they will need time to plan your space, it is probably the single most important step in the building process. As Brian Tracy said, “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent return on energy!’. They are professionals in their art, so their ability to create solutions to spatial problems is much more effective; like the financial savings an interior designer will resolve mistakes before they even happen or find quicker solutions to fix the existing ones. Another time-saving aspect of an interior designer is that they project manage various vendors to do their work on time and up to standard, they co-ordinate with other professionals to execute the design as swiftly as possible, not to mention, they often referee disagreeing spouses to resolve design conflicts in the most peaceful way possible.
You Are going to have more resources, access to professionals and trade-only materials.
Hiring a professional interior designer will give you access to subcontractor, specialists and builders who are vetted by and recommended through experience. The building industry, unfortunately, has a rather tainted reputation to the general public, a myriad of stories have been told about disappointing execution, fraud, theft and poor time management within the building industry, an interior design will only recommend vendors and professionals who they have had good experiences with. Designers are very particular about the execution of their work and know just the right people to execute the job especially if the client does not know who to use or if the design is complex. Designers also have access to trade-only materials like specialist finishes or furniture items- you are guaranteed to have something that is unique.
You are going to have the wow factor
Interior design is not the glamorous, simple quick job reality TV series make them out to be. It is a labour of love and a detailed representation of the client’s lifestyle and personality. Not only will the spaces be tailor-made for the client’s needs, but the functional aspects will be designed and executed in a bespoke professional manner that will make your space sing. People can always tell when they have walked into a professionally designed space- there is just that special 'something', that je ne sais quoi, if you will. The attention to detail and over-all visual continuity will give your space a feeling that that it is custom made that fits exactly right, not only will it look good, it will function well too.
The best possible time to hire an interior designer is right from the beginning to achieve the best possible result. For a new build the interior designer should work with the architect from the start to create the most spectacular design for the client. Most architects focus solely on the exterior of the building, I often receive plans from clients where very little attention has been given to the interior functioning, the most common errors are guest toilets are too small, pantries are placed AFTER the scullery- which is a bit bizarre considering pantries are used before and during the cooking process, kitchen stoves are usually shoved into the most awkward areas as if the architect hasn't cooked a day in their life, and bathrooms, built in cupboards and window placements are poorly considered from a functionality point of view- not to mention the fact that plug points are in the wrong place or there are too few, and very little consideration has been given to the lighting plan or furniture plan which predicts technical elements like plug point design & lighting as well as how effectively the space functions- clients either end up with a great looking exterior and badly functioning interior or only realize changes need to be made when they are standing in a half-finished building - this at a massive additional cost & extra time. For a renovation, the best person to start with is an interior designer as they can advise you on whether you will need the services of an architect. The sooner you can include an interior designer the better- elements like window placement, layouts, space planning, built-in designs, ceiling designs, lighting and electrical layouts require a lot of dirty work and are costly to do more than once- so get the designer in ASAP!