I often meet people who want to make changes to their home but are apprehensive about where to start.
Many clients struggle to identify their own design style and/or the overall look they are seeking to achieve.
Some believe they do not require, or want to involve a professional designer, so undertake the work themselves.
Interior design is as much of a recognised trade as that of an architect, plumber or carpenter. Most individuals wouldn’t attempt to fit a bathroom without engaging the services of a skilled tradesperson.
Indeed, an interior designer worth their salt, is a highly skilled professional that has come from a recognised, qualified route, rather than experience alone.
One of the key roles of an interior designer is to help a client identify their design concerns, aim to resolve them and deliver a project that exceeds expectations.
The top concerns of clients considering hiring an interior designer range from:-
Inability to express their design wants / needs;
Invasive, impersonal process;
Being forced to ‘go with’ a design idea they don’t want;
Lack of involvement;
I have lost count of the people I have met that seriously believe interior design is solely about cushion arrangement or shopping, and therefore draw the conclusion that it would be a waste of money to pay someone else to do that for them.
Of course, there is an element of sourcing and styling involved but a reputable designer can offer a complete turn-key solution saving you both time and money.
Such services can include: a full colour consultation, the drawing up of concept boards and drafting of detailed 2D and 3D room visualisations, the sourcing of bespoke furniture, so you can fully understand what can be achieved within the space in question.
Key to this process will be identifying your likes and dislikes, and understanding how you / your family aspire to use the space.
An interior designer will draw up detailed electrical plans, source fabrics, upholstery, lighting, art and bespoke furniture / joinery some of which may not be available to the retail market. They can negotiate trade rates on your behalf and manage the project on a full or part time basis. It is only once all of this is complete, that the ‘pulling together’ and dressing can take place.
The number one area of concern by clients when considering an interior design service is that of cost. Of course, there is a fee for design services but part of the initial conversations will be determining exactly what you can afford and how involved you want your designer to be.
A good designer will listen to your requirements and will mould their service to meet your particular needs and any financial parameters set. They should encourage you to share ideas, concerns and aspirations for what you would like the final outcome to look like.
A reputable designer will translate your vision, maintaining and encouraging dialogue every step of the way, in order to achieve a concept design that is ultimately yours.
A skilled designer will bring an element of creativity and inspiration to your project and stretch the idea boundaries.
They look at things from a more detail orientated perspective than you, an architect or builder might, and will be considering every element of the design from colour, furniture placement, room flow, lighting needs and the overall impact.
They will consider the project from all angles and assist with the decision making if needed, creating a seamless journey from concept to completion.
My ultimate goal as a designer is to pay attention to my client’s needs, the architecture, period and proportions of their property, take note of favourite possessions or pieces of furniture and create something in keeping with their personality and lifestyle.
Importance is placed on design that will look equally as good in ten years’ time as the result of being well balanced, regardless of style. The idea is to enhance the space, not take away from it.
A good designer will enter into a written contract with the client, agree the budget and schedule of works prior to the project commencing, and always carry full Professional Indemnity Insurance.
Designing or renovating your home should be an enjoyable experience. If its not, you are with the wrong designer!
Of course, there may be challenges along the way, but with the right designer in place, these will be identified and resolved quickly and efficiently to ensure the project is not compromised.
The focus should be on offering a collaborative, intuitive approach in order to create thoughtful, stunning interiors that will be treasured for years to come.
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