You’ve got a beautiful home that you absolutely adore, but there’s that one room that just doesn’t feel quite right. Or maybe it’s time to spruce up the interior with a new look. Or perhaps your new home is being built and you want to get a jump on planning the interior decor. Should you hire an interior designer or do it yourself?
In this first article in a three-part series about hiring and working with an interior designer, we share five very good reasons to hire an interior designer. In articles two and three, respectively, we’ll delve into how to find and hire an interior designer and how to work with one to get the best results.
But before we go any further, it’s important to distinguish between an interior designer and an interior decorator. An interior designer is a licensed professional who is able to manage projects involving construction and architecture. Interior decorators make aesthetic improvements, but no structural changes to a space. Interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.
Reason #1: Expertise
You may have excellent taste and an eye for design, but an interior designer has something more: training and experience. Their considerable experience enables them to immediately know what is missing or can be improved — and how to best do that. What you have to research, they already know. Or as Jennifer Visosky explains, “We have spent thousands of hours researching and perfecting our craft and in 15 minutes can find what would take you 20 hours.”
We have spent thousands of hours researching and perfecting our craft and in 15 minutes can find what would take you 20 hours.Jennifer Visosky, founder & creative director for Frame Design Co.
An interior designer can also help you set realistic expectations or help you make decisions when you’re unsure. Maybe what you’re imagining isn’t possible or doesn’t even exist. They can let you know how much it would cost to create that bespoke product or present you with viable and pleasing alternatives. They know the difference between a good idea and an idea that’s just meh. They draw on their understanding of behavior and movement to create spaces that are as functional as they are beautiful. Interior designers also know all about building codes and safety regulations.
Reason #2: Resources
Interior designers are design insiders. They have a network of manufacturers and contractors at their fingertips, which means they have access to all the human and material resources necessary to get the job done right. As insiders, they can buy goods and materials that aren’t commercially available, not to mention they get a significant trade discount.
Reason #3: Project Management
Can you think of any substantial DIY home project you’ve done that didn’t turn into a drag? If not, we’re impressed! But you can probably think of at least one, because managing these kinds of projects takes all the fun out of it. That’s another reason why interior designers are so great. They take the reins and handle the whole project from start to finish, so you don’t need to worry about ordering material or hiring a contractor or overseeing the budget. “The interior designer is able to work as a client’s advocate, aiding to achieve goals within a budget and timeline,” says interior designer Irina MacPhee of Pastiche of Cape Cod.
he interior designer is able to work as a client’s advocate, aiding to achieve goals within a budget and timelineIrina MacPhee, interior designer for Pastiche of Cape Cod
Reason #4: Save Money
Of course, a designer can ensure that you stay within a set budget, but they can also save you money in a number of other ways. First, they are experts and have a broad understanding of all the options available to you. Perhaps you had your heart set on marble, but your designer knows of another material that looks just as good at a fraction of the cost. Second, as mentioned above, interior designers don’t pay retail. Even if they do mark up the cost of goods, it will still cost you less than what you would pay if directly purchasing. Third, their expertise can help you avoid expensive mistakes. Fourth, even if something does go wrong, a professionally licensed interior designer will have the insurance to cover it.
Interior designers aren’t just for the wealthy. “I think the biggest misconception about working with a designer is that it will cost an arm and a leg, but a good designer should end up saving their client money by choosing the right high-quality elements that never go out of style,” says Homepolish interior designer Kerry Vasquez. “I really believe a good designer is worth their weight in gold.”
Reason #5: Added Value
If or when you sell your home, having used a professional interior designer is a selling point and increases the value of your home. You can take it a step further by specifying to your interior designer that you want the project to increase your home’s value, but a good designer will do that without any specific instructions. Interior designers know the easiest and most affordable ways to increase a home’s value, if that’s specifically what you’re going for. Yes, they are designing for you, but they are also committed to the overall improvement of your home.
For the last 16 years, Rachel Kinbar has been a writer of articles, blog posts, white papers, essays, infographics, web copy, sales copy, scripts, poetry, lyrics, and more. She has keen research skills that she applies to a wide variety of topics, and she especially loves topics related to design, history, and sustainable living.