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.
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 reno 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 — here’s how that process could look if you hire a consultant. For pricing, some designers will charge by the hour plus cost of materials, whereas others charge a fixed project cost including all materials and labour. 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 space.
After the design is finalized, you might spend a few days or weeks shopping with the designer, or the designer will choose everything for you and have pictures and samples for you to approve. After all materials, products and plans are finalized, then the contractors will start working. The choosing of furniture may come at the very end after all the renos are done.
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 consult, 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.
Here are four things that interior design consultants know that you might not. Whether you hire someone for a renovation, or you just need a furniture facelift, you may find that some expertise is worth the investment.
1. Access to Interior Design Suppliers
While you scour websites and flea markets for a good deal, a good interior designer will have connections to suppliers that can
ultimately save you money in the long run. Not only that, but some stores and suppliers work exclusively with designers and trade professionals. You can’t just walk in and purchase the items. 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.
2. Interior Design 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.
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. A designer who has studied specs and designed 20 kitchens will be able to tell you, from experience, what works in spaces like yours.
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.
5. Project Management
Many designers can handle or arrange for 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 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.