“Only Rich or Posh people hire Interior Designers, right?” WRONG!

ADVICE, HINTS & TIPS ON WHY YOU SHOULD HIRE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER.

MONEY TALKS!

Yes, people often focus on “cost.” But what is the cost to you of not doing anything? Or trying it and getting it wrong?

An Interior Designer rightly deserves to be paid for their services, and you shouldn’t under estimate what you’re actually getting for your money. Their years of training and learning. The service you purchase from your Interior Designer will last long after their work is done!

A solid room design will last at least 5 years if you’re not a slave to current trends that will go out of fashion as soon as they come in. A good way of seeing the value for your money is to divide the designer’s cost of their service over 1,825 days- and the price will start to make more sense!

One price doesn’t fit all people & projects, and therefore an Interior Designer will probably have a range of packages and services to suit different client’s needs, which will be discussed with you at length. Try and avoid asking an interior designer how much it will cost straight away, instead ask them about what packages they offer.

A lot of clients or potential customers hugely underestimate the price or extent of a project- so a good Interior Designer will break down costs and help them see what is needed or absolutely necessary.

Also ask the Interior Designer if they price per project or if they charge per hour, which may add up to a lot more and be hard to keep track of.

An Interior Designer might also offer the chance to spread the cost of the project over several payments.

WHAT THE INTERIOR DESIGNER NEEDS FROM YOU.

A good Interior Designer will focus on getting to know you and your space. They’ll discuss your likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests to get an idea of who they are designing this space for.

They’ll need to discuss your current space, what you need, what you want (which can be 2 very different things!) and maybe mostly importantly, WHY you’re looking to change it. This will then help them to advise you on which package or service suits you best. If you feel that an Interior Designer isn’t listening to you, or that they’re trying to force you into a higher price package that you don’t need, then walk away! Go with your gut.

When first contacting an Interior Designer, it’s a massive help to send photos and as much information as you can give them about the current space. I understand that clients don’t want to waste their time and are keen to know prices upfront- but please bear in mind that there’s so many factors to the Interior Designer’s pricing structure that they probably won’t be able to give you this information up front.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD INTERIOR DESIGNER?

A good Interior Designer really wants to help their clients achieve their dream home (or commercial space) and their motivation won’t be to push you into a sale that doesn’t suit you.

They will listen to their clients in order to create a design that best suits them, but they’ll also demonstrate alternatives and push your comfort zone boundaries- so try and go with the flow and keep an open mind. A good Interior Designer will push their client’s boundaries and comfort zone. A great Interior Designer will know when to stop!

They’ll take time getting to know you and finding out if you’re a good match to work together. A good Interior Designer will turn down offers of work if they believe they’re not the right person for your project- so don’t take it personally as they’ll actually be doing you a favour!

HOW TO FIND A GOOD DESIGNER.

I would recommend an internet search of designers in your area. If they’re in your area, or within reasonable travelling distance, then costs will be kept to a minimum. Have a look at their websites and Social Media chanells. Instagram and Pinterest are very visual and you’ll get an idea of the Interior Designer’s personality and creative flair. 

There are also lots of websites now that act as a match making service between clients and customers- and an internet search will help you find these. Most of these sites require the Interior Designer to pay to accept your details once you create the job. Therefore, if an Interior Designer contacts you through a site like this, please don’t ignore them. Instead explain that you’ve found another designer you’d like to work with or explain that the project isn’t going ahead, etc.

Word of mouth is often the best form of advertising- do you know someone who has used an Interior Designer? Would they recommend them? Can they offer you advice about the whole process? Also check out a designer’s reviews and testimonials- but don’t discount a newly qualified professional who may not have these yet!

Most professionals will have a relevant qualification in Interior Design- such as a Degree or Diploma. But while qualifications are important, there are other factors to consider. A good designer will have a personal style that appeals to you, be versatile, welcome your input and be reliable and trustworthy.

Contact at least 3 designers so you can compare their services- but remember not make your decision basely solely on perceived cost. You will get what you pay for. If you decide that you want to work with an Interior Designer but can’t afford their costs up front, then ask if they offer instalments for payment, and remember the advice about thinking about the long-term cost over 5 years as mentioned earlier.

WHAT ELSE SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR OR CONSIDER?

  • Is the Interior Designer insured? Don’t be scared to ask to see a copy of their insurance document. If an Interior Designer refuses or states they don’t have such insurance in place then this should be a red flag.
  • If there’s something you’ve seen that you like or want, or an item that you want to base your whole scheme around then don’t be shy about telling the designer this. They will hopefully appreciate the legwork you’ve undertaken and realise that it’ll make their job easier.
  • Make sure your communication is open and honest. Be confident about telling your interior designer if there’s something you don’t like. They’re not going to take it personally, and they want you to be happy with the finished outcome. After all it’s you who’s going to live with it or use it. Discuss any concerns with the interior designer BEFORE work starts as correcting mistakes afterwards will undoubtedly cost you money.
  • Misunderstandings over costs cause the most headaches in designer-client relationships. Be realistic and don’t underestimate costs of services. Some prior research should help you with this. Talk to your designer as there may be alternative ways to achieve what you want on your budget and they should be accommodating towards you.
  • Enjoy the process! Reach in and enjoy the journey. It should be fun and easy to work with an Interior Designer.

What IS Interior Design…?

WHAT IS INTERIOR DESIGN?

Interior Design is a magical mix of art & science that understands people’s behaviour in order to create functional but beautiful spaces within a residential or commercial building.

A common misconception is that Interior designers are “just decorators” which is certainly not the case. Interior designers use a lot of principles to configure how and where items fit into a certain room to optimise the use of space and light to best fit the client’s needs.

There is a distinction between designing a space and the “fun part” of adorning a space with pretty colours and beautiful things.

In short, Interiors designers can decorate, but decorators do not design.

WHY IS INTERIOR DESIGN SO IMPORTANT?

Whether you realise it or not, we are all affected by our surroundings.

In the UK, the majority of people spend most of their work & leisure time indoors- within an estimated 70% of our time spent within our own homes.

Our interiors influence our mood and wellbeing from the moment we wake up until we go to bed.

WHAT WILL AN INTERIOR DESIGNER DO?

An Interior Designer’s aim is to deliver interiors that match a client’s brief, providing them with a space in which to live or work that is both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. They understand how to plan a space, how to make use of colour, how to choose appropriate furniture, how to make use of lighting and how to work to a budget. They need to provide a realistic timeline for the project, communicate clearly with clients and be willing to overcome any issues in a flexible & creative manner.

An interior designer will plan and supervise the design of your residential or commercial space, which will most likely include the decoration and furnishings. Each interior designer works differently, but in essence they will draw up plans on paper or through computer aided software, create mood boards and colour schemes, offer either consultancy, design only or full project management which will include arranging and directing subcontractors if required.

CAN I NOT JUST DO IT MYSELF?

Maybe you could. There’s a lot of DIY home makeover shows on TV and with Instagram and other social media people are being more visually stimulated than ever.

Some people have a natural instinct for what looks good, a clear idea of what they want and the time and resources to make it a reality.

However, if you’re not up to date with the latest trends or products, or you are kept busy with your career or family or just don’t want the stress of having to think about and implement your project yourself, then seriously consider hiring an Interior Designer.

Interior Designers are trained is varying aspects of design, art and architecture and can work with a variety of styles. An Interior Designer may or should recommend something that you otherwise haven’t or wouldn’t have considered, causing you to push your boundaries and you may end up loving it!

Interior design is considered a luxury service by many in the UK and something that only “posh” or “rich” people invest in. But Interior Design is for everyone- no matter your budget.

When you consider the improvement that this will have on your mood and wellbeing, and then think how this could improve all aspects of your life, you’ll start to think about it differently.

If after reading this article you want to know more then please email me on victoria@quirkandcolour.com or call me on 01273 004235 and let’s have a chat about my favourite ever subject!

If you’re still not sure, then CLICK HERE to take our quiz to see how your home is making you feel!