Renovating a space or designing a new build is a big task, and the debate on whether to hire an interior designer comes as part of the deal. It is possible to do it by yourself, but I am definitely pro-designer, even when it comes to smaller things. It can be difficult to trust a stranger with your home – it’s supposed to be a space where you feel safe and comfortable. But in the long run, the professional option is your best bet, and here are some reasons why!
An interior designer can help you avoid expensive mistakes
A DIY job can look just as good as a professional one, but an interior designer can recognise when things are going wrong and stop them in their tracks. It’s far too easy to blow your entire budget trying to fix one mistake, and someone who is professionally trained will be able to help you save some of your money while still finishing what needs to be done.
*Interior Finishings: Metrie
Photography: Elaine Mark/D & M Images
Design: Atmosphere Interior Design
Builder: Valentino Homes
Most designers know tradespeople who are trustworthy and professional
Like a little black book of builders, electricians, plumbers, and architects, a lot of designers will have people that they trust and have worked with before who they can recommend to you. There are a lot of people out there willing to take advantage, so having a network of tradespeople is a valuable tool. Plus, a lot of designers are more than willing to find someone else if a contractor fails to do their best work.
They can handle the talking between contractors and vendors
Unless you’re a seasoned pro, it’s likely that there are a lot of things that you won’t know to ask about. Designers have the experience of negotiating with contractors and vendors, and will generally know what kind of things they should be asking. They can then relay any important information to you, and be the go-between for technical knowledge.
Your usual life will be able to carry on, fairly uninterrupted
Planning, design, construction – a design project can take months to finish. Depending on the scale of the project, it may even take over a year! Hiring a professional means that you can still go about your day without having to worry too much. They do all of the legwork, and present you with options that you can choose from. You won’t be coming home from work and facing piles of paint samples – someone else will!
Designers can be on site to make sure everything is going to plan
Sometimes there are things that change from the blueprint to the actual house. Some sections may need to be shortened to fit water pipes, sometimes a fireplace won’t be able to go exactly where you want it. Most designers will make visits to the work site and chat with the building foreman and contractors about what’s going on, and they’ll be able to handle any essential changes that might be made.
They know what questions to ask to get your dream design plan
The design process seems simple, but it involves a lot of interpretation between designer and client. There’s a lot of decisions that have to be made, and your designer can generally create a plan from a few simple questions. Each stage of the design process can require different questions, and your designer will be able to narrow down your perfect plan from your answers.
They make sure your renovation/construction is staying on schedule
One of the worst things that can happen is when a project takes longer than expected to complete. I’m not talking about weeks, I’m talking about when you were promised a finished home one month before your baby was born, and two months post-baby, you’re still living in your parents guest bedroom. Your designer has many lists, and will not casually accept any late finishes – they know exactly who to yell at in order to get things done.
Designers can handle the shopping and organise deliveries
This is a service that not all designers will offer, so remember to ask about it if you think you might need it. A lot of designers can take charge of purchasing the items you need for your space, and can arrange for delivery to match up with your schedule. If you’re lucky, your designer will go to the store and bring everything to your new home for you. Some may even construct your IKEA furniture!
And they know what to do if something doesn’t turn up
This is something that can happen with even everyday items: missing packages. It can be a big source of stress, but it’s a task that your designer will handle for you. They’ll make all the calls and find out whats going on. And if your package can’t be delivered, your designer will be able to find a similar item and purchase that with the money from the refund. It’s a sad truth – sometimes things just go wrong.
They allow you to focus on the fun stuff
When you hire an interior designer, you’re basically offloading all the work onto them, and letting yourself do things like pick out colours, and go shopping for pillows. There’s a surprising amount of technical work that goes into interior design, and a professional will handle all the hard stuff so that you can focus on picking out your favourite new homewares.
Designers work to bring your dream space to life
I’ve noticed that one of the most major doubts about hiring a designer comes from the fact that they might create a space that they love, and you hate. My tip for this is to shop around, look through portfolios, read testimonies, find out what the designer loves. Find someone who resonates with you – their personality, their work style, and the homes that they’ve created in the past should all be things you consider when choosing someone to make your dream home a reality.
Designers know building codes, so you don’t have to
Building codes can be complex, but they’re also extremely vital when it comes to any design. There are restrictions on a lot of things, and your designer will be able to work in the finicky details without breaking the law. Everything from outlet placement to load-bearing walls needs to be considered in a design, so having a professional around is not only cost-effective, but it’s also extra safe.
Finally – they can turn a nerve-wracking process into something enjoyable!
Design panic is a real thing. I have personally experienced it over picture frames. Having a designer at hand can help soothe your nerves. They can say “What about this height?” and show you the perfect height for your curtains. They can ask “what if you went for this cupboard handle?” and suddenly you have clarity. Just having someone around who knows what they’re doing is a huge relief, and it allows you to enjoy the process of creating your perfect home!
I hope this post provided you with some answers on whether you should hire a designer! Remember to read my post on Designer vs Decorator, to make sure that an interior designer is what you actually need. It’s a little about both of the fields, and you’ll get to peek into why I chose a career in interior design, and a few resources in case this post inspires you to become an interior designer!
*Thank you to Justine of Metrie for providing the correct credits for the second image! I love connecting with other people, and having them be lovely and thoughtful makes me proud to have shared their work.