What An Interior Designer Knows That You Don’t

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A person's hands make notes on a notepad with a pink sticky note.

Over the last two decades, popular design trends have shifted, moving away from faux DIY chic towards sleek and authentic. After all, the year 2000 was twenty years ago! Much has changed, especially when it comes to how people choose to design their homes. You may think you have the necessary skills for picking out your own furnishings. But you might not know certain things that only a trained interior designer would know, as I=it is difficult to keep up-to-date with all the industry trends on your own.

So, when is it sensible to hire an interior designer rather than doing it yourself?

Well, the Furnishr team is a bit biased. If you’re not doing a big renovation and just need some nice furniture, we believe that the easiest way to furnish your home is to hire us! If you want to give your space a facelift, you might choose to do a renovation. That process can be very time-intensive. For instance, here is how that process could look if you hire a consultant.

For pricing, some designers will charge by the hour plus the cost of materials, whereas others charge a fixed project cost including all materials and labor. They might begin with an on-site consultation to understand your needs and requirements, budget, timeline, etc. Then they come back to propose a few design concepts and bring some samples of materials. Some interior designers will draft a few drawings of your living spaces.

After the design is finalized, you might spend a few days or weeks shopping with the designer. Alternatively, the designer could choose everything for you and have pictures and samples for you to approve. After all the materials, products, and plans are finalized, then the contractors will start working. The furniture selecting process may come at the very end after all the renovations are done. As you can see, hiring an interior designer can be an extensive and costly process.

If that sounds like overkill, perhaps you just need a furniture facelift! This process is much simpler and faster. At Furnishr, we do a free design consultation, followed by a brief collaborative process with your floor plans and your design preferences. The best part? In one day, Furnishr delivers, sets up, and cleans up your entire space. That’s our promise to you. Furnishr is the one-stop shop for all your furnishing needs.

Whether you hire someone for a renovation, or you just need a furniture facelift, you may find that some expertise is worth the investment. If you’re still unsure, here are five aspects that interior designers know that you might not.

1. Access to Suppliers

Everyone likes a good discount! You may consider yourself extremely good at bargaining or couponing, but sometimes those skills may not be enough. Often times, you end up settling on a less attractive piece of furniture that is cheaper than the one you had originally hoped for. Not only that but as much as you are able to scour websites or flea markets for a good deal, an experienced interior designer will have connections to suppliers that can ultimately save you more money in the long run.

Additionally, some stores and suppliers work exclusively with designers and trade professionals. These are items that you can not just walk in and purchase. This gives designers special access to pricing as well as particular styles. An interior designer can find what you need while potentially saving you time, money, and novice mistakes in the process. Renovations can be expensive so don’t settle for less and consider reaching out to a professional.

2. Product Knowledge

You should pick an interior designer who has either training or work experience. This gives them knowledge that an average Joe like you may not have. For instance, what do you know about the durability of different materials? An interior designer worth their money will have worked with existing brands and products. They will know which items hold up over time and which ones use cheap paint that chips off. You might like the look of a rug, but you may not have the trained eye that can spot a cheap material that will wear out within six months. A trained professional is also able to find the right material that will match the tones and functionality of your ideal dream house. After all, aesthetics should be the least of your worries if all your furniture isn’t lasting as long as you hoped it would.

3. Technical Knowledge

Especially if you’re doing a renovation, a designer can help with the necessary technical knowledge and industrial experience to deliver the space of your dreams.

They know about the functional aspects of a space and structural standards (eg. How deep should a counter be in a kitchen? How many pot lights to install for a 600 square-feet space?). Trying to guess at these figures yourself could become a costly mistake later. If these aspects have not crossed your mind, perhaps it’s a better idea to hire some professional help. A designer who has studied specifications and designed 20 kitchens will be able to tell you, from experience, what works in spaces like yours. This can be a huge time saver rather than performing tedious measurements yourself.

4. Outside Perspective in Design

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to interior design. Once you choose your furniture and paint, it can feel intimidating to redo anything, even though your tastes and your life are totally different now. If you’re designing a new space for yourself, it makes sense to have help getting out of your own head. 

An interior design consultant can help you imagine a new space with new designs that reflect your current interests. It sounds counterintuitive, but a good consultant can help you design something better and more personal than you could imagine yourself.

Pinterest can be a really great platform to spark creativity and inspiration in creating your own room design. However, you shouldn’t try to recreate these rooms. At the end of the day, this is your home. Rather than striving for a room that looks like an Ikea showroom, interior designers have the expertise to create a unique room layout that matches your individuality and needs. Their extensive experience allows them to have a greater idea of the style you are looking for, even though you may have trouble articulating it at first. If this sounds appealing to you, consider investing in a design consultant.

5. Project Management

Many designers can handle or arrange for the installation of your furnishings if desired. Just imagine if someone else could handle the entire delivery, rather than you bouncing from shop to shop trying to cram pieces in your rented moving van. This alone could be worth the price of hiring a design consultant.

They will also handle the coordination of multiple design aspects if you’re doing a full renovation. That is to say, certain things must go in a specific order. The floors should be installed before all else but may go in parallel with lighting installations to shorten the schedule. An experienced interior designer will know all that and their close working relationships with contractors and suppliers is often beneficial to scheduling flexibility. They know how to plan the paint schedule, and will keep detailed floor plans to make sure nothing goes awry.

A major perk of hiring help is that your design process can be done in a single effort, rather than drawing it out over months and slowly losing interest. With an interior design consultant on board, you can briefly concentrate all your energy on designing your space and then reap the rewards. An interior designer will be your single point of contact for every part of a redesign.

They can hide a lot of the chaos and headaches from you so you can enjoy the process and the result. If you’re someone who doesn’t need to be overwhelmed by additional decisions and chaos in life, then a designer is almost always necessary.

So, what should I do?

It’s a big commitment to redesign your space, we get it! You’re balancing cost against the outcome, and you want to come out ahead in the end. This generation has been lucky enough to benefit from amazing design inspiration, from Pinterest to interior design & renovation reality TV shows. Some designers, like Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonney, are fervent defenders of trends.

But design is not just about having a good eye. A good designer has a good eye, but also access, knowledge, and connections beyond your experience. So before you plan your big move, think about the strengths that an interior design consultant could bring to the table. Is a renovation really necessary? Could a high-quality furniture facelift do the trick?

Check out Furnishr’s solution to “enjoy your dream home, set up in just a day” — you can book a free call with one of our designers to learn more. And good luck with this very major step in your life! We know you’ll do great.

>> Maybe your space isn’t in dire need of a facelift after all. Try some of these DIY projects to refresh your space instead. Please leave a comment down below! We would love to hear about your experience working with an interior designer or home renovation! Thanks for reading!

2 COMMENTS

  1. I hadn’t ever thought about the durability of different materials and that an interior designer will have worked with existing brands and products. Personally, I think this would make them worth the money because your interior will last longer with help from them and will not need repairs that cost money. I’ll have to look more into residential interior design services.

  2. I want to make sure that I get my home designed nicely. I didn’t know that it could take so much time to handle this myself! I think it would be a good idea to get a professional to handle my design for me. A good interior designer would make this whole process a lot easier.

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