Have you ever been mid-project and you think, “It would be so nice to not have to make another decision and just let someone else do this for me”? I tend to have those thoughts when I’m trying to DIY a project and I’m on hour 74 of pretending I know how to reupholster a wing back chair (spoiler alert: I don’t).
There are some times in life when hiring a professional makes really good sense to protect your finances and your sanity, and if you’re in one of the three situations below, an interior designer would be a great fit.
You’re building a new home
Building a home is a wild ride. The highs of finding the property, the lows of how long permitting takes, the fluctuation in material costs, the “when are we ACTUALLY moving in” questions. On top of it all, there is a real thing called “decision fatigue” that happens well before the 12th trip to the tile showroom. There are so many details to account for, and if you’re not teamed up with a design professional, some of those decisions will be made without intention or in a rush, or be decided by the contractor. We worked on a consulting basis with a client who was doing a new house build. Her contractor consistently second-guessed her decisions (purely from a personal taste perspective), would ask her for a decision on important design details mere days before he needed to order or install an item, and did not give her a heads up on decisions she would need to make going forward. It was incredibly stressful for the client and it was hard to watch her be bullied by her contractor.
Most contractors are not like this, but the bottom line is that contractors don’t want to be making those decisions about the design. They want to implement.
So, why hire a designer? Great design is important, but it is equally important to know how that design is going to happen. A good designer should have a clear, comfortable process in place to keep your experience as stress-free as possible. She can help guide your choices as she marries your goals for the space with her ability to mix and match design elements to make your space truly fabulous.
Hire a designer:
If you don’t: you may be scrambling to make decisions on the fly for your contractor and end up with something you don’t love.
If you do: your most important home decisions will be made up front and be in your contractor’s hands ahead of his schedule. Let your designer go to bat for the design decisions. Many designers have great working relationships with their contractors and have established trust in the design choices and process.
Lot 35 Homes handles both the construction and interior design elements in house, and from our experience, a project that has design services at the start of a project is about a billion percent easier on the contractor and clients.
You’re planning a big renovation
Renovations are SO MUCH FUN. The process of turning a less-than-ideal home into the perfectly relaxing, comfortable, and beautiful space is incredibly rewarding. But be warned: renovations are their own kind of beast. Opening up walls isn’t always like Christmas morning. Sometimes Renovation Santa delivers a rat nest or water damage. The trickiest part of a renovation is balancing the budget with the unexpected. The more work you can do on the front end of the project the better. A designer will help you think through what’s actually possible and not cost-prohibitive in space. Perhaps you think extending the living room out a bit would be great, but not realize the square footage you gain wouldn’t be worth the expense. The designer will also be able to help you visualize what a space will look like and how it could actually function for you and your family. When you live in a space full-time, it can be really hard to picture something different than it is. A designer will give you a fresh perspective and help you think through things that may not be on your radar.
Hire a designer:
If you don’t: you may end up going waaaaay over budget, have to change the plan mid-project, or live in a construction zone much longer than necessary as decisions are being made as the project goes along.
If you do: you can feel confident investing in your reno as the design decisions are made up front which helps give much more accurate construction costs and keeps the project moving along. Plus, you end up with a KILLER space.
You’ve redecorated and rearranged furniture and it still doesn’t feel quite right.
To the window, to the wall, the sweat runs down your….face…as you rearrange. Again. That wall has been empty since you moved in because you can’t quite figure out what to do there. You’re ready to invest in a new sofa because the one you got when you were first married has seen better days (since the kids decided to eat popsicles on it and make forts daily). The rug was the training ground for the new puppy and no amount of Febreze can remove that special smell.
But how do you pick things that will last, look good, and fit your budget?
A designer has access to thousands and thousands of products outside of the stores you may typically go to for furniture and décor. She invests time in researching and testing furniture that is good quality and fits in with her clients’ lifestyles. She understands warp and weft, rub counts, different types of fabrics, furniture construction and materials. If she doesn’t know the answer to something she has vendors that she can reach out to for more info.
Most importantly, she will help you FINISH A SPACE. There won’t be any unfinished business. You’ll have a completely lovely space that you can trust fits your home, your style and how you live in your space.
Hire a designer:
If you don’t: You may end up losing interest or get busy and never actually finish your space. “Get something for that empty wall” may be on your to-do list perpetually. You may end up buying furniture only to realize it doesn’t fit in the space very well, or doesn’t look how you’d hoped. (FYI: returning furniture is a PAIN).
If you do: walking into a completely finished, beautiful, styled space is pure bliss. Every moment you spend relaxing in your space with your loved ones, or hosting game night and feeling so proud to invite people over is worth every penny you spend on a designer.
My advice is to hire a designer! If you’re planning a new build, a renovation, or are so ready to have a completely furnished and styled space, reach out to a designer in your area. You can use this post to help direct the conversation about their processes and services to make sure you find a good fit for your project.