If you’ve ever watched any home improvement channels, you’ve probably seen those shows where interior designers work with home-owners to completely redo a room or an entire home within a short amount of time, on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately, in the real world, doing so much in such a small amount of time just isn’t possible, even if you do hire a professional interior designer to help you. In this article, you’ll learn some of the pros and cons of hiring an interior design consultant, and you’ll also learn what they can (and can’t) do for you.
How to Tell If You Need to Hire a Pro
If your answer to any of the following questions is “yes”, you should seriously consider hiring a design professional for your project.
- Do you spend the majority of your time working and taking care of your home and family?
- Do you feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day?
- Do you feel overwhelmed by the number of paint and fabric choices that are available?
- Did you begin the redecorating process by buying a few pieces, but don’t know where to put them?
- Do you cut out pictures from home décor magazines, but wonder how to give your home the same look?
- Do you and your significant other disagree on what to do with the room/home?
- Are you tired of seeing the same old thing in the home décor stores, and do you want to go in another direction?
- Do you feel that you need design inspiration?
If you do decide to hire a pro, speak with a few different designers before you make your selection.
The Pros of Hiring a Designer
- They’ll suggest ideas you might not have envisioned; it’s always good to have a fresh pair of eyes on a project.
- They have relationships with upholsterers, cabinet makers, and other vendors, and they can recommend the best as well as get discounts that may not otherwise be available to you.
- A design professional will work with your builder during a remodel or fresh build to ensure that the lighting and floor plans work well together.
- They will use an analytical approach in order to best identify your functional and aesthetic needs.
The Cons of Hiring a Designer
- There’s always the possibility of some of your desires getting lost in translation—and of you ending up with exactly the room you didn’t want.
- They may not understand the scope of your project, and might neglect to provide you with an agreement letter.
- Designers can be “too busy” to give your project the attention it needs (and that you deserve).
- As with other relationships, people sometimes just don’t “click”.
Hiring an interior designer is a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly. After all, you’re trusting this person enough to welcome them into your home—and to hand them your hard-earned money. The ‘cons’ on this list will never be an issue as long as you hire an interior design pro with whom you feel comfortable. You’ll be spending a lot of time with your chosen designer, and your level of trust in them will go a long way in making your project a complete success.
Always ask for references and to see a portfolio of the designer’s work. If their previous designs make a good impression on you, it’s more likely that you will like what they will create for you. If possible, find a designer that can be highly recommended by friends or family and if not make sure that you are able to get some feedback and references from previous clients. You can also visit The British Institute for Interior Design to learn more, find a designer or check if a designer is a member.