We all admire the gorgeous spreads by famous designers in the various shelter magazines, but many people think that working with a designer is out of reach for them, and only for the rich and famous. In reality, that’s only part of the story, and a good interior designer can help people at almost any budget level, whether you want a complete remodel from top to bottom, or just some advice on what colors to use. Many very good designers are perfectly willing to consult on an hourly basis just to help give you some tips, get you started, or help evaluate what you’ve already started and point you in the right direction.
There are many benefits to working with a designer, other than a fabulous end result, and they start with how a good designer can actually save you a lot of time and money in the process of getting there, regardless of what your budget is.
What, you ask? How can hiring a designer save me money? Aren’t they all really expensive?
Well, yes, fees can indeed be high, if that’s all you’re looking at – but when you consider the degree of expertise, experience, and professionalism a professional designer brings to the table, along with the creativity and eye and ability to make it all happen efficiently, and end up giving you exactly the space you’ve been dreaming about, that will truly make your heart sing, and the mistakes that are avoided, all while meeting extensive building code requirements, most people think it all balances out and is actually much less expensive in the end.
If you look around, too, and ask people whose taste you admire who they used, and research well online as well as in shelter magazines, you’ll find plenty of excellent interior designers who offer a wide range of fee structures. Even if you can’t afford the stars, there will still always be someone else who is just right for you who can bring it all in at a cost you’re willing to pay.
First and foremost, a designer has an extensive network and range of resources available, most of which only work with “the trade”, and therefore which clients would never have any access to start with. This not only means that you will end up with something truly unique, but also that a lot of time will be saved because the designer already knows where to get most of the kinds of things you will likely want in your home or office. S/he will have already done all of the research you’d spend weeks or months doing, sussing out the best products and tradespeople, developing relationships with suppliers that typically result in better pricing and service, etc., so that her time can be devoted to customizing a solution for you, and getting your project completed far more quickly and efficiently than the average client could ever do.
Time, as we all know, is money, so a designer’s bringing in top workmen and craftspeople who are up on the latest techniques, tools, and materials will also save money by saving time, often allowing work to progress much more quickly and simultaneously than it might with older or less efficient techniques and tools.
Because a professional designer will approach the project in a methodical way, starting by measuring your space and creating a floorplan before going shopping, as well as any pieces you already own that you plan to keep, she will also already know in advance exactly what size and type of pieces will fit and work in your space, and will have a comprehensive overall plan, which she will have developed with your input and gotten your approval on. This narrows the options dramatically, and allows her to focus like a laser only on those items, and not to get distracted by the vast range of other choices out there. It also enables her to customize pieces that may have other dimensions than what is needed, which most high end manufacturers do all the time, so that they are exactly right for you.
How many times have you gone furniture shopping and gotten excited about a new couch or rug, only to get it home and realize it’s just too big, or the wrong color? And then you usually have to just live unhappily with it, or get rid of it and start all over again, both of which end up costing you psychic energy as well as additional money. Or you find something you love, but then it starts to fall apart or look shabby in a year or so, or worse, in as little as a few months? Or the new lamp you bought still just doesn’t give you enough light to read by, and you don’t know how to fix the situation? Because a professional interior designer thoroughly understands the requirements of the space, and how to scale things appropriately for both your own body as well as your space, and has extensive knowledge of fabrics, finishes, proper furniture construction, lighting design, building codes, construction, flooring, space planning, color, etc., etc., these kinds of errors are dramatically less likely to happen. It gets done right, the first time.
High quality, well-made goods and workmanship may certainly cost more initially, but in the long run, they will definitely save you money because you won’t have to replace them anywhere near as often – if ever. Really good furniture will last a lifetime, for example, and often multiple lifetimes, so it’s entirely possible that your children and even your grandchildren will still be using it, and it’s a good bet you’ll still love it years down the road yourself. When you look at the long term costs of owning anything, including repair, cleaning, and replacement costs, these are what is called the “life cycle costs”. The less often you have to replace something, the less expensive it is in the long run, regardless of the up front costs.
This is another major place the designer can save you money, because she will understand the life cycle cost tradeoffs for each option, and be able to help you understand what the cost savings – or increase – might be for each possible choice. And as a side benefit, this is also a much more green approach.
Also, you are probably an expert in your own field, and can most likely make a lot more money continuing to work at whatever it is that you do instead of trying to deal first hand with all of the hundreds or thousands of little details a successful design project entails. Your work is probably a lot more fun for you than sorting through technical specs and detail drawings of bathroom fittings and cabinetry, or spending endless hours on the phone and in email following up on hundreds of details with potentially dozens of sources.
Hiring an expert to design your home or office can take a big load off of your shoulders, both in terms of time and energy, and will leverage both. Basically, we do all the legwork and bring it to you, which frees you up to do whatever else you do best or would prefer to be doing with your time, whether it’s closing another deal, taking a trip, or just spending more time at home with your family relaxing or playing. Now how cool is that?