When I’m out and about and people ask what I do for a living, I always hear, “Oh, I’d love to hire a designer, but I can’t afford you.” And that is even before we’ve discussed their project or my fees! So I wonder where they get this impression. (I consider myself stylish, but I drive a 10-year old Honda Pilot, I live in an average house and I don’t wear expensive jewelry or clothes.) So perhaps there is a misconception that designers cost too much, expenses will get out of hand, or that only “rich” people hire designers. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here are 5 reasons why hiring an interior designer can actually SAVE you money when you’re making updates to your home.
- Interior Designers save you time and money by helping you avoid costly mistakes. We all know someone who chose the wrong (fill in the blank). You’re at a party and a friend is lamenting about the sofa she ordered a few months ago. She likes the fabric, but it looks too big in her living room. She wishes she had looked at more options and taken better measurements before placing her order. Someone else chimes in and mentions her dissatisfaction with the granite choice in her kitchen. There was one stone that she just LOVED, but it was over budget, so she settled for something more “reasonable. But, if she had to do it all over again…” I hear these stories all the time. Consumers have great intentions, but are often hasty when it comes to home improvement decisions. Why? They lack the experience, keen eye and time to pull everything together. Most designers truly have a gift for being able to visualize items and colors in a space, and that is why most consumers hire us. Buying and returning a few accessories at Homegoods is one thing, but if you’re making decisions about permanent things like tile, granite, cabinets and carpet during a one-hour trip to the home improvement store, it’s easy to make a mistake. And you often won’t realize it until after it’s installed. A designer can guide you through each of these decisions so that you can happily live with your selections and achieve a cohesive look and feel.
- Designers have networks of incredible contractors. I’m sure you’ve been asked “Hey, do you know of a good (painter/handyman/plumber/etc.)?” So you end up using the guy your neighbor used, but he made a mess, he left cigarette butts on the sidewalk and it took him forever to complete the job. But hey, he was referred by your neighbor, right? Everyone’s idea of “good” is different. So that’s why I often try out contractors on my own home before I let them work on a project for a client. I hire contractors that speak English, show up on time, work hard and clean up at the end of the day. They may not be the cheapest, but I am confident about the quality of their work. And that’s worth a lot to me. Clients appreciate that too!
- Designers can expose you to a wider variety of resources. Designers have access to showrooms and businesses that deal exclusively with the trade, so you won’t end up with a cookie cutter solution. Instead of finding something on your own that is “good enough” for your space, a designer is more likely to find something that fits perfectly. Additionally, designers usually have access to special trade and wholesale pricing from some manufacturers, so this could save you money on the items you purchase if she passes those savings on to you. Just ask.
- Designers have a keen understanding of scale and proportion. I carry a tape measure wherever I go. So when I’m hunting for just the right piece, I take into consideration the size and dimensions of the ideal piece that will make a statement in your room. Having the “right” items means they are in the proper scale and proportion to the room they belong in and they coordinate with everything else. Hiring a designer will ensure that you select properly scaled furnishings and appropriate finishes for the size and value of your home.
- Designers will help you achieve that “Wow” factor that you may not have the courage to attempt on your own. If you’ve ever visited a show house, you know what I mean. You might say, “I never would have chosen that piece/color, but it looks great in here!” Sometimes we stick with “safe” solutions because we are afraid to go outside our comfort zone or we’re overly concerned about how one decision might affect the overall resale value of our home. I say, “To heck with that!” Your home should be a reflection of you. It should tell your family’s visual story. A designer is not there to merely rubber stamp your ideas. Rather, she will be the one to get you out of your comfort zone and say “go for it” when you find the most exquisite light fixture for the dining room.
Let’s face it. We’re all good at something. So if choosing paint colors, selecting tile or managing a bathroom renovation is a little (or a lot) out of your comfort zone, save yourself from all the frustration, stress, and wasted time and money and just hire a designer. It’s SO worth it. Oh, and I know someone I can recommend…