Pros and Cons of Hiring an Interior Designer

Do you watch HGTV? If so, you have seen many TV shows depicting homeowners and so called interior designers working magic in very short periods of time, with very small budgets. The reality of these TV shows is that very often the so called designers are actors with no formal interior design training. The depictions of what can be done with $1,000 and a day are not at all realistic.

In the ‘real world’ what can a professional interior designer do for you? Some believe that an interior designer is a luxury for the super wealthy. Many are surprised to discover that designers can work within small budget and assist with projects as small as choosing the optimal paint color for a powder room. The ASID North Chapter (American Society of Interior Designers, Phoenix) states it well;

“Your home. Your ideas. Your lifestyle. Our job is to understand.”

Most people who are thinking about changing their interior environments aren’t lacking in taste or style. In fact, they usually have fantastic ideas about what they want. What they don’t have is the expertise to make the vision into a reality. They lack the know how to pull it together, and are overwhelmed by the myriad of options to choose from.

Some Pros of Hiring a Design Consultant:

  • Will help you see the ‘big picture’ and suggest ideas that you may not have thought of, in other words, bring a different dimension to the design,
  • Has relationships with professional craftspeople and vendors to refer to you (i.e., painters, cabinetry makers, fabric workrooms),
  • During a remodel/new build, will work with the architect/builder to insure the lighting plan is suited to the overall furniture space plan and the desired functionality of the spaces,
  • Uses an analytical problem-solving approach to the project that identifies your needs both aesthetically and functionally.
  • Some Cons of Hiring a Design Consultant:
    • You didn’t have the necessary dialogue up-front with the designer, and now she/he has created a room that doesn’t reflect your needs or personality,
    • Fails to prepare and present a detailed letter of agreement to you and doesn’t understand the scope of the project,
    • The designer is too busy and isn’t giving your project the level of attention you need her/him to.
    • The chemistry between you and the designer is just not working well.

      There is a difference between a decorator and a designer.

      Decorators are unaccredited and can be anyone from salespeople at furniture stores to someone who simply figures that he or she has a flair for color and design. Registered interior designers, in contrast, have graduated from an accredited program at a college, and most often are members of ASID which has education and professional experience requirements for its’ members.

      If you answer yes to any of the questions below, you should consider hiring a professional Interior Designer to move your project along.

      1. Is every minute of every day filled with work, kids, and volunteer obligations? Do you feel as though you just can’t add one more thing to your busy life?
      2. When you look at fabrics and paint, are there so many choices that you just don’t know where to start?
      3. Did you start to redecorate your room and buy a few nice pieces, but just don’t know what to do with them?
      4. Are you and your spouse/partner having trouble agreeing on what to do?
      5. Do you want your home to be “one-of-a-kind,” unlike anything you’ve seen before? If you do decide to hire a professional designer, speak with 2-3 qualified designers before you make your final decision. Don’t forget, one of the best ways to find a designer to work with is to ask your friends and family for referrals.

Interior Design Ideas For a Reception Room

Office environment sets a mood of everyone around. Depending on what kind of business you are in, you need to decorate your office accordingly. You should not go for dull interior design ideas for a marketing company, which is all about creativity and innovation. If you do then your employees will be set in a conservative office environment, while your business will demand avant-garde tone from them.

The first place one encounters when one steps into an office is the reception area. This place sets the tone of the visitors. The moment you see the reception-room of an office, you can define the office environment in no time. The reception-room is a place where your guests come to visit you, your customers come to discuss any queries, and your clients come to discuss business matters; therefore, it needs to be decorated in a respectable and a reasonable way.

How your reception area is managed and designed can help your company even win business deals, because it sets the first impressions. And, a good first impression counts a lot. You need to know what kind of reception-room will be best suited for your company, but there are a few interior design ideas that should be a part of all kinds of reception-rooms.

Your reception-room should have a sleek and stylish table. It can be rectangular or circular, depending on how big an area you want and how much space do you have. The reception table should be maintained on day to day basis. It needs to be clean and should have all the necessary items required by your customers.

The reception-room should have enough lighting. It should not be too bright or too dull. As per the requirements, you reception-room should be well-lit, because lighting helps in creating an ambience and environment.

It is always good to have reception officers who have a pleasant personality. In most companies, females are preferred as reception officers because a female nature is much more nurturing and pleasant while dealing with people than a male. However, the most important aspect to be kept in mind is that the reception officer should have a cheerful personality, be it a male or a female. Reception officers should be well dressed, professional and easy to talk to, because they are first employees of your company to have any contact with an outsider.

The furniture in the reception room makes a huge difference. The furniture should be comfortable, and there should be enough seating available. You would not want to have waiting clients without seating. Therefore, apart from having enough seating, the reception officers should be well organized and alert to manage accordingly.

The interior design ideas should not always be unique, but should cater to all of these little requirements. Your interior design ideas for a reception room should always go around the aspect of functionality. Make your reception room beautiful and functional both, if you want to leave a mark on your customers, visitors and clients, because a reception room is the doorway to your office, which needs to be attractive.

The Top Common Mistakes To Avoid When Changing The Interior Design Of Your Office

You and your staff may have already grown tired of looking at the same color and decorations that has been in your office for several years now. Or you and your team feel that a change in the office’s interior design is what you need to attract and retain more customers or clients.

Whatever your reason is for wanting to change or improve the interior design of your office, you need to remember that this endeavour won’t be easy and it will entail incurring additional expenses. And if it is your first time (and your staff’s as well) to embark on an office interior designing project, you need to keep in mind and avoid the common rookie mistakes that usually happens or comes up with this particular type of venture.

Rookie Mistakes To Avoid When Changing Your Office’s Interior Design

Not having a plan. You need to have a realistic and manageable plan that you and your staff will work with during this DIY project. This plan should include the estimated budget, what particular changes have to be made, what items need to be bought, which staff will be responsible for a specific task, etc. Having a definitive and workable plan will help you greatly in not going over the budget, in not getting the wrong items and prevent any delays in the completion of this project.

Not involving your staff in the planning stage. Since your staff will be helping you out with the whole interior designing project and they will be working and staying in your office for at least eight hours a day, five days a week, you need to get them involved in the planning stage and listen to the ideas that they share. They may want a particular color for the walls or their office desks and chairs to be arranged in a certain way. Listen and incorporate their ideas since they will be spending a lot of time in the office and you want them to be more efficient and productive while they are working.

Not using and incorporating your current office furniture in the new interior design. If some or most of your office furniture are in good working condition and not yet too shabby looking, why not have the staff work on getting them to look better? Wooden chairs and tables can be varnished or re-painted. Save your business some money by not immediately getting rid of your current furniture. You and your staff can work on making them look better so that they can add to the overall improved appeal of your office.

Not knowing when to get help. If you and your staff do not have any idea on even how to start working on the interior design of your office, swallow your pride and hire some expert professional interior designers. If you really want your office to look better and more appealing, investing in the services of an interior design firm is your best option and can be a good investment.

Residential Interior Designer Figures Budget Sits at Head of the Table

If you think interior design clients in the high-end don’t pore over their budgets, think again. A background in accounting might be the last place you would expect to look for a key element of managing an interior design company, but interior design is as much a matter of numbers as it is colors.

The majority of residential designers I work with have virtually no knowledge or training, and quite often, no sense for numbers. Colors they are great with. Numbers? Well, they didn’t get into the biz for that.

I have given dozens and dozens of design presentations to clients who came to me to take on a residential interior design project. The projects have ranged from single rooms needing high thread count fine linens that match the colors on their walls or carpets, to full residential design with drawings, space planning and project management of construction trades. What these design projects have in common, whether it is just design direction or a full-on project, is client attention to the budget. How much is it gonna cost!

Early in discussions, long before any presentations, I try to get a feel for the task ahead and ask lots of questions. What is the space used for? Is your taste modern or traditional? Do you have pets? Are you familiar with high-end furnishings? Have you worked with an interior designer before? Pretty soon, I get an idea of the scope of the work, enough so I can inquire about the client’s budget.

I think this moment gives many designers the jitters, especially in the high end. They hesitate to ask about price for fear of scaring off a potential client. I beg to differ.

Most of my clients are busy professionals who come to me in search of a partner who can take the job off their hands and allow them get back to running their own business. I call them one or twice a week and we spend a few hours in designer showrooms considering products I suggest. Otherwise, they leave the project in my hands to manage.

Mostly executives, professionals and business owners, my clients would find it unusual not to have early discussions concerning budgets. They give me an idea of what they are prepared to spend, understanding that I can use the figure as a tool in my sourcing of their products, not so I can figure out how much to run up costs.

For instance, I can suggest to a client a fabric to cover a chair that costs $50 a yard. Or I can offer a similar fabric that costs $100 a yard. I have access to a 6,000 square foot fabric showroom to source from so there are endless choices. Or I can spec a dining table to seat eight for $5,000 or for $25,000. I try to keep design billing as low as possible and to cover my costs with discounts I arrange from designer showrooms. The public can’t shop there without a professional designer. And the way I work, clients never pay more than the product resells for in retail. I just save them the trouble and leg work of finding the products.

It is my job to take a list of often over one hundred items, linens, art, furniture, rugs, lighting, etc. and measure that against an estimate of how much the client indicated is an affordable range for the scope of work. The aforementioned table may wind up costing $12,500 and the fabric for the chair may be $60 a yard. Numbers are so important because the cost of the overall package has to match the beginning budget as closely as the design matches the concepts that were approved by the client.

I am not going to recommend red when the client asked for blue, nor a table for 4 when they live to entertain larger groups, and especially not an invoice for thousands of dollars more than we agreed upon. Of course, substitutions occur, but I get a client to sign off on the details and the cost of each and every item, one by one, so there is no confusion.

During an interior design presentation, color boards get examined, fabric swatches handled and looked at in good light, and drawings for space planning are discussed to see if they make sense for the way the rooms are to be used. A lot of the concepts must be left to the imagination of the client until they have been created. Budget is not one of them.