Hiring an Interior Designer - a Luxury or a Necessity?

A couple of months ago I had an electrician come to my house to give me advice on whether my patio built-in lights could be fixed.  He spent about 10 mins looking around and 10 mins chatting to me.  The verdict was that there was no easy fix.  I handed him £60 (his minimum charge) left with my non-working lights and no plan to move forward with.

This, along with similar experiences in the past, made me think yet again why people so happily pay an electrician, a plumber, a decorator, but when it comes to considering an interior designer, this falls into the category of luxury and something that ordinary people can’t afford.

I would argue that at a push you could paint your own home, and although, probably not to the same standard as a professional decorator, it could be done. And sometimes an untrained eye might not even spot the difference. And then you would probably redecorate again in 2-3 years’ time. 

A lot of the choices an interior designer helps you with are going to be there for years and years to come – thought through lighting, efficient layout, built-in storage, wooden floors, kitchen design, smart window treatments, etc, etc.  These are all the things that last for a very long time and don’t date if done right.  “Design adds VALUE faster than it adds cost”, said Joel Spolsky, and I couldn’t agree more.  Or another good one by Red Adair – “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur”.  Or do it yourself, I would add.

Great spaces do not happen by accident.  It seems so easy to put together a room… And yes, there is Houzz, and Pinterest, and lots of DIY home design magazines.  Yet most people struggle with this and can not make it happen.  Turns out there is much more to creating that perfect space than simply finding a Pinterest image or a Real Homes magazine tear out. 

There is scale and proportion, and balance and rhythm and texture, colour, light and pattern to take into account.  All those elements that, when considered and applied skilfully, turn a bland room into a functional, beautiful and comfortable space. 

Just think of all those times when you would bring a new chair home only to find out that the upholstery colour was off, the size was wrong or the style just did not work. You can consider yourself lucky when you can pin-point your mistake. But in most cases, people can not even figure out why a chair (or any other piece of furniture) does not work.  It just seems off, and that's it!  Yes, the chair can be returned, but the problem is still there: what kind of chair to get is still a puzzling mystery.  And that chair is only one of the hundreds of decisions you need to make when renovating your home. 

A professional can make things go so much smoother and easier.  Basically, all you want to know is IF your ideas are right. And if they are not, you want to know WHY. That's exactly what a designer gives you: objective opinions based on your situation (your room, your needs), what's current, the products that are available, how to marry a new piece of furniture with the existing pieces, and so on. Or if you genuinely don’t have a clue you want the designer to put options in front of you.  And don't worry!  A good designer won't let you make a bad decision and won't show you any bad choices! 

Just think of it this way.  If you make ONE bad purchase decision - that would have already paid for a designer. And if you are on a budget, you have no money to waste on mistakes.

And let’s face it – a property is most people’s biggest asset.  Do it once, do it right with the help of a professional and see what it does to the value of your property.  You might be in for a nice surprise (but it wouldn’t be a surprise for your designer).

So here is the truth - hiring an interior designer is absolutely worth it in the end. I would even go as far as to say -  think of an interior designer in the same way you think of a decorator, or an electrician, or a plumber.  It is not a luxury, it is a necessity!  And that is an unbiased opinion….

 

Speak to you soon

Elena

 

PS If there is anything you want to ask me about just drop me a line.  I would LOVE to hear from you..