Last week, I briefly discussed how I typically approach client projects. Every project and scope is different, so it’s not always black and white. For the most part though, I really try to keep the design services I offer as streamlined as possible.
As we head into the New Year (2021 can’t come soon enough) and potential projects might arise, I think it is important to consider why one would want to hire a designer in the first place.
Time. We all need more of it right? Nothing will really expose your true personality like a construction project that has gone over your desired deadline. Ha! Truthfully, there are so many decisions to make throughout a renovation or new build. Not just actual finish selections, but material transitions, lighting considerations, millwork details, the list goes on. Not having these details thought through in advance can often keep a trade from being able to complete their portion of the work and thus, the delay your job.
Having a designer in your corner who anticipates issues and knows how to think through critical details is key. And as decisions arise on your job, there will likely be moments where decisions need to be made on site, on the spot. So yeah, having an interior designer in those instances is pretty important too.
A majority of contractors don’t want to also play the role of designer – they have enough on their plate! And I think most people underestimate the amount of time sourcing finishes, fixtures or furniture takes. It’s only through experience that designers can really be efficient when selecting these things. Ideally, they know exactly where to source materials for your desired aesthetic, at your budget, within your time frame.
Sure, even though you are paying an hourly rate, you could also argue that you are saving a significant amount of time and as a result, saving your project deadline. Not to mention, avoiding potential costly mistakes.
Having project experience is also an invaluable tool because it allows you to feel confident about your decision making. No matter what comes your way, it’s extremely likely your designer has encountered a similar situation before or at least has the skill set to find a solution that suits your project needs.
Experience is also handy when furnishing as well. Having an understanding of scale, balance, color / pattern, and how to define spaces with furnishings, is something that should come naturally to an experienced designer.
There is also a whole level of material selection that takes experience too. Like knowing which fabric is best for drapery, or suitable for upholstery. Certain sized tiles are best for certain applications and countertops are an entirely different can of worms. A lot of this can also boil down to how well a designer understands their client’s needs as well.
I think more than anything though, I’m thrilled when potential clients want to hire me because they value an original, elevated look. They understand that a professional can see and understand details they can’t, and they trust the process. It’s really easy to walk into Restoration Hardware and buy a whole vignette showcased in the store and ship it to your house. We all know that’s not unique though – and your home should be a reflection of YOU. I preach that a lot, but it’s true. I want every project to feel unique and intentional, just like the clients who live in them.
Maybe I am biased, but I think there is a lot of value in hiring a designer. Furnishing, renovating or building a home is an investment, and with any investment – having a professional on your side is always a good thing. If you have questions or want to discuss a project you have in mind, reach out so we can chat about it!