The role Interior designers play is often an underrated one. On the surface we appear to be merely home decorators, and since most people are capable of decorating their own home our services are often overlooked. But what we actually are, are visual planners and most importantly, expert listeners. Highly skilled in envisioning the spacial layout of a house or room and custom fitting it by taking the time to understand your thought process and lifestyle.
Any design process requires a holistic approach for it to be most effective for you. Most architectural firms today enlist the help of interior designers at the beginning of any project because they understand that while they are experts in designing the foundational structure, they rely on the interior designers' skills to design the interior spaces to the highest level of comfort and aesthetic quality.
Visually planning a space may seem simple, but beyond the vast number of choices available for something as simple as choosing a lighting fixture, there are also countless considerations, both minor and major, that are often overlooked that usually end up costing much more in re-designs. Working with a designer who has a deep understanding of how the entire architectural/renovation/remodel/buildprocess works, what products to choose and source is not only cost effective, it is a huge time saver for you.
Building a home or renovating can be an exciting, but daunting task. After you have chosen an architect and have blueprints in hand, its actually up to you to visualize what all the flat boxes, symbols and numbers mean. For many, it's almost impossible to visualize the flat plans in living 3 D. An architect will generate Computer Aided Drawings (CAD), but its still up to you to retrofit your lifestyle into the new spaces. This is where designers come in - helping you navigate, room by room, asking questions about how you intend to use the spaces so we can bring your aesthetic preferences to life:
Do you entertain?
Do you love to cook?
Do your kids have special hobbies?
Will your family be growing soon?
Do you plan to have overnight guests?
All the things you maybe just haven't considered, or are unsure of how to incorporate into a design. It is so crucial to think those things through before any plan is in process or walls are built in an effort to avoid the dreaded "Change Order".
I often meet with people who have spent months, and even sometimes years, trying to piece together a renovation or remodel project on their own, only to be sidelined by the confusing (and costly) bits and pieces.
A great example would be my clients who, after spending a full year building their home, consulting with me to assist with some "mistakes" that were made during the build. None of their furniture fit the spaces, rooms didn't function well, windows were too large and even switches and outlets were in the wrong places! We were able to fix just about everything, but it was quite costly, and could have been easily avoided. This is why hiring a designer during the architecture or planning phase is so critical.
A good interior designer will prove their worth not just in cost and time savings, but more importantly as a trusted consultant who can effectively translate your vision into a reality that exceeds your expectations. Choosing a designer with whom you have a good rapport is key - it's important to find someone who you can be open and honest with and who also has an even temperament. You may not realize it now, but you will need someone who is good at solving problems and not easily ruffled when a crisis appears. (And count on it, there will be fires to put out!). Whether it's a simple room re-decoration or an entire home renovation, an interior designer will always be a valuable asset.