When thinking about how a designer can benefit a client, I find myself thinking about decorating a cake for an occasion. Creating this cake of the correct size and shape, which tastes good, and is beautifully decorated would be an incredibly daunting task for me. There are people who were born with the talent and trained to create beautiful cakes and I would happily hire someone with those skills to make sure that my cake is the best it can be.
People are very willing to spend money on the expertise of a professional for a cake that will be gone after that one occasion, but are reluctant to invest in professional advice when designing a room that they will live in for many years.
An interior designer can guide you through the steps to create a beautiful space so that you can be confident with your decisions and pleased with the outcome in a shorter amount of time. The fees that you will pay for this service are really miniscule when you look at the big picture.
Getting the Biggest Bang for your Buck
There are a myriad of ways that you can waste money by making costly mistakes and a creative and knowledgeable designer will know how to avoid them. Occasionally, one of my clients has started a project before they have sought my advice. They have purchased items that are too large for the space and are not returnable. They have painted rooms the wrong color and have to repaint. They have started a project with a purchase that should have come later, resulting in a more difficult and costly design process.
Working with a designer who is conscious of your budgetary needs will be well worth your investment. They know the quality of products and are aware of the best values for your money. Experienced designers know the reputations of stores and manufacturers for customer service. They can recommend the items or features in your home which require a larger investment and where you can economize.
Saving Your Time and Reducing Your Stress
The amount of work that is put into a well-designed space is not visible to the naked eye. On design shows, everything magically happens in two days with a small budget and the value of your home increases substantially. To really achieve magical results, there is a great amount of thought and planning that goes into the project behind the scenes. It’s not only a matter of repainting and buying a couple of new pieces of furniture. Ideally, every detail is considered so that the results are worthy of a dramatic unveiling.
If you are not a person who would like to spend hours researching to find the perfect item, you are not alone. Many people start a project, purchase a few items, and burn out before the details are finished. They never complete the room and it never feels done. A designer enjoys the creativity and research involved in a project, so it makes sense to hand the tedious details over to them.
Using Items that You Already Have
A designer can come into your space with a fresh eye, and determine if you can use items that you already own. Much of the time, my clients have lived in their home with the same furniture for years and have lost perspective about the possibilities for the space. They feel that everything in the room is wrong and are surprised when to see that some items are perfectly fine as part of the new design, but used in a new way or in a new location.
You may have a built-in feature in your home, a family heirloom that must be displayed, or something that you just can't replace at this time. A creative designer can often blend this into your space or make it a feature. You may have something that you perceive as a negative feature, but as one of my professors once said, “You need to make it a thing of beauty and a joy forever”.
Knowledge of the Entire Design Process
After meeting with you to discuss your needs, your designer will determine the best starting point and work with you through the steps to accomplish these goals. Generally, a designer will start with a floor plan which will indicate which items are needed. There is an order to making decisions which will result in the most cohesive design. At each step colors, textures, scales, and shapes are considered to achieve a balanced, visually-pleasing space. If the process is followed, the project should be completed in the least amount of time and with the least stress.
Finding Resources and Product Knowledge
There are almost infinite choices available when designing a room and it can become very overwhelming. Designers are able to more quickly navigate through all these choices to find online or local retailers that are the best resources for your items. An experienced designer should know which retailers that are easiest to work with and provide the best customer service. They should also know or be able to find out how items are constructed so that you can purchase items of the highest quality for your budget.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
Many of the mistakes that I have encountered over the years are costly to a client and could easily be avoided with the assistance of a designer. One of the most common mistakes is choosing incorrect furniture sizes. When shopping in a furniture store, the volume of that space distorts the size of the furniture and it is very difficult to determine how it will fit in your space. This can become very costly if the store does not take returns or a hassle even if they do.
Another mistake that can ruin a room’s visual appeal is the scale and placement of accessories. Many people tend to buy items that are smaller than the space requires because they are afraid of getting something too big or want to cut corners. These out of scale items will draw attention, look out of place, and be a waste of the time and money. You have to be proud of your choices and invest in things that are correct for the space, bring you joy, and add personality to the room.
Understanding of the Design “Rules” and “Myths"
There are many "design rules" that you may have heard. But, they are not always applicable, and they can intimidate and worry you into indecisiveness. This thinking results in making “safe” choices and a room that looks institutional and lacks in personality. Many established "rules" may have exceptions and some are just myths.
For example, there is the thought that dark colors make a room smaller. Consider that a hospital room is all light, but do you want to live in it? While all white rooms can be quite fashionable, a designer will know how to use the principles of design to make sure that is attractive and comfortable.
A good designer will use proven principles and elements of good design as they apply to your specific project. The principles are harmony, balance, scale, emphasis, and contrast. The elements are color, line, shape, texture, space, and form. These are the only “true” guidelines to good design, so when you work with a designer, the design will be based on real factors that work best with your space and style.
Finishing with Great Results!
If you have hired a good designer who has enthusiastically worked with you throughout the entire process, you will end up with a space where you want to spend a lot of time. Now you can feel pride when you have friends and family in your home.
We spend thousands of dollars on vacations that are over and done in a week. What about your home in which you spend so much time? Shouldn’t it be a place that you don’t feel the need to escape and that brings you a sense of peace? Those little moments when you walk into your special space and feel the joy are good for the soul!
With a designer’s assistance, you no longer doubt your decisions and you know that everything is functional for your needs and worthy of a dramatic unveiling. All you need to do is get that assistance from someone who has the talent and training to decorate that cake!