Should You Hire an Interior Designer?

Written by Adrienne Morgan

On December 25, 2020

First, a quiz:

How do you maintain your hair style?

  1. I cut or color my own hair. Why pay someone to do it?
  2. I go to a retail chain hair salon, whichever one is close by and I don’t need an appointment.
  3. My hair stylist is the best in town. Expensive, but worth it!

You find yourself involved in a complicated legal matter. What do you do?

  1. I do it myself online using free templates and I represent myself in court if need be.
  2. My brother-in-law has a buddy who is a lawyer. He’s no Alan Dershowitz but his billing rate is great!
  3. Alan Dershowitz is my attorney.

Your “check engine” light came on. What’s the plan?

  1. I go straight to Auto Zone. The kid who works there looks up the parts I need then I make the repairs myself.
  2. I’m going to try Midas. They sent me a coupon in the mail!
  3. I call John at the dealership. He tells me they’ll take care of everything next Tuesday and I’ll get a brand new loaner car to drive, no charge.

I’m sure you get my point, dear reader. As with many things in life, when furnishing or building a house, you can do it yourself or you can hire an expert. And there are all kinds of experts to choose from, depending on your needs and budget.

Can you believe this is a newly built house?

Three Approaches

I have seen truly amazing homes which were done completely by the owner who had no formal training. They had a hidden talent and lots of free time. Lucky them! But this is very rare.

There are many furniture stores, tile shops, and large home builders offering free interior design these days. This route is great for some people.

But if you’re seeking a truly special look, feel and function for your and your family’s home, and if you don’t care to juggle all the moving parts of a design project, hiring a qualified interior designer is going to be crucial.

Professional interior designers don’t work for free. It is not a hobby for us. You will pay for our talent, experience and abilities because we are experts at what we do. And it’s true that you get what you pay for.

Color is one thing that designers really understand

What Does an Interior Designer Do?

The relationship you have with the person who will design your home should be an intimate one. She’s going to need to know all about you and your family before she designs anything. She will ask you personal questions. She may give you a questionnaire, so you can really take your time and dig deep when you answer her questions.

Interior designers create a home that’s tailored just for you and your family. Your lifestyle, your taste, your needs, goals and desires. The better you can communicate these things to your designer, the more delighted you’ll be with the results. Don’t hold back!

The Talent

Interior designers are extremely creative. They must have imagination, vision and courage. They’re highly intelligent people who have a unique ability to be a master of a multitude of specialties, an artist, a manager, a problem solver, a negotiator, and they do all of this sometimes back breaking work (ever had a contractor meeting at a muddy jobsite where you carted 35 pounds of stone samples and took measurements at the same time?) —with an air of glamour!

One of today’s most talented designers, Kelly Wearstler

The Experience

Whatever your design dilemma, a good interior designer has been there, done that. Probably many times. She knows from experience what works and what could be a disaster. She can actually save you money by saving you from making costly mistakes (ever select what you thought was the perfect grey paint color, only to discover once it was done that it was actually purple?) If she advises about something, you’ll be doing yourself a favor to take heed. Trust her. Deep down, she’s a people-pleaser who more than anything else wants you to love your home!

The Vision

Designers can visualize exactly what a space is going to look like. It can be tough as a client, who isn’t able to look at a mood board and visualize the complete space. So, designers sketch, draw, draft, and render pictures that will help you see. Ask your designer about 3D color renderings which are done using state of the art technology and even animation. They can be so realistic!

This is a rendering! I promise

The Rolodex

An experienced designer knows all the best tradesmen, contractors, workrooms and upholsterers. They know the fabric and materials manufacturers like old friends. They have the sources that you want! So you’ll receive the highest quality possible for your budget, on time. Because your designer would only use the most professional and reliable trades. Then she’ll manage all of those trades so you’ll never have to lift a finger! Just ask your designer for a weekly report on the comings and goings of your project. Sit back, and relax. It’s being handled for you!

The Problem Solver

I don’t mean to make your designer out to be a magician. They only appear to be like that on HGTV. In real life, problems will inevitably happen. A designer will know what to do. So don’t freak out when a hurricane delays every one of your tile deliveries. Between your designer and your builder, everything will be worked out. Be patient. Be cool. Trust them.

Look at you guys, just loving your new home

So should you hire an interior designer? Hopefully I have helped you to decide. If you have a question or comment, please leave it below and I will reply.

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