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Do I Need To Hire An Interior Designer?
Home designers, or interior designers, can save you both time and money on your remodeling project, but the most important aspect of hiring the interior designer is timing! Hiring a designer early in the project to help you narrow down the wide range of options when it comes to details such as wall color, flooring, trim color, countertops, and cabinetry, will help you feel confident that the overall result of the project will turn out exactly how you want.
Interior designers generally have access to materials and products that are available “to the trade only” – not to the public. So, they can obtain goods that you’re not likely to see in your neighbor’s house. And in working with these goods, professionals gain experience with style, color and pattern that can help avoid an unfortunate selection.
Also, professional designers are better than most of us at seeing the big picture. For
instance, a designer might find an elegant solution to traffic flow jams or cramped spaces by recommending that you move a wall – something the average homeowner may not consider. Working with a design professional doesn’t have to mean hiring her or him to do your entire project – you might engage someone on an à la carte basis to help select a theme or color scheme. You could, for example, hire a designer to create a color board. A color board brings the major elements of a design together in one place so you can see how the elements do or don’t work together. On the nuts-and-bolts side, a decorator or designer can help you source contractors if you need them.
Yet, if you do decide to work with a professional, be sure to check their references, and get a written quote for their work. Although many homeowners think an interior designer and interior decorator are one and the same, they’re actually quite different. An interior designer requires professional experience and training and is usually certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). An NCIDQ-certified designer has demonstrated his or her competency in all areas of interior design, including both aesthetics and safety of interiors. After being certified, an interior designer follows the standards set by the American Society of Interior Designers (www.asid.org). Visit their website to find a certified interior designer near you. An interior designer will work closely with other pros such as plumbers, electricians, and general contractors. When necessary, they’ll consult with an architect.
An interior decorator, on the other hand, requires no formal training. Anyone can hang a shingle on their door and call themselves an interior decorator. Interior decorators typically focus on surface decorations. That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t some talented interior decorators out there; it’s just that their education and certification requirements aren’t as structured as those for interior designers.
Top Ten Reasons You Need to Hire an Interior Designer
- You have a difficult room. If the room is oddly shaped, has too many focal points, or architectural details that are in the wrong places, you need professional help.
- You have ideas, but don’t know how to implement them or don’t know where to start changing things.
- You just don’t have the time, energy, or the desire to do designing.
- You need a major make-over, but you are on a budget. I know this sounds contradictory, but decorating mistakes are expensive, and a good designer will make sure they don’t happen.
- You have major work to be done, but it needs to be done in stages due to budget considerations or a growing family. A designer can set you up with a list of things to do and buy which is prioritized, and on a time-line.
- You think you know what you want, but are insecure about whether or not your ideas will work.
- You want to update a room without throwing everything out and starting over. This is a challenge, but it can be done. It generally requires quite a high level of skill. If you don’t have a talent for this, get someone who does.
- You have a piece or pieces of furniture, paintings, and accessories which don’t seem to fit your rooms or style, but which you can’t eliminate because they are family heirlooms or simply because you can’t afford to replace them. After all, you may not want to get rid of great-grandpa’s desk even if it is Victorian and you like contemporary.
- You are trying to achieve a specific style or period such as French Country,Scandinavian, 18th century, 50’s Retro, etc.
- You are unsure about color combinations, proportions, mixing patterns, composition and styles.
If you fall into any of these categories, or if you simply want a professional touch, an interior designer is probably the solution to your decorating problems. Your home is too important to your happiness and lifestyle not to have the comfort you desire. If you don’t love decorating or you have a decorating challenge, then hire an expert and use your time and energy for things you really enjoy.