Can using an Interior Designer save You Time and Money?

Sep 5th, 2013 | Interior Design, New Construction, Renovations | No Comments

We can all be seduced by those gorgeous “after” pictures featured in decorating magazines and on TV programs. They are often the work of famous designers working with wealthy clients to produce high end spaces. In reality, many homeowners can be intimidated by the idea of using an interior designer on their renovation or building project. They may have the idea that interior designers are difficult to work with; will impose his or her particular vision on them; or cost them the proverbially arm and leg. I recently spoke with Beverley Richards of Beverley A. Richards Interior Designs, Port Moody about whether these perceptions are true.

Beverley, first of all, how will hiring an interior designer benefit a project?

An interior designer brings a cohesive look to a project whether it is a small renovation or building from scratch. More importantly, they ensure that the space not only looks great but also functions well for the people living or working there. They will deal first hand with all the hundreds or thousands of little details that are entailed in any renovation or building project and make sure that all of those decisions are in alignment with the vision of the homeowner and the constraints of the budget.

Is hiring an interior designer very expensive?

Many people are surprised to learn that an interior designer can actually save them both time and money in the long run! Most designers work on an hourly fee and can be as involved as you want them to be.

Tell me how having an interior designer can save me time and money?

A good designer has already done all of the research you would have to spend months doing. They know where to get the materials that you will need for your project. Because of their purchasing history and relationships with trades and suppliers, the designer often gets better discounts and savings than those available to someone who is shopping for just their own project requirements. They will help you avoid expensive mistakes in buying items that don’t fit or perform well,  don’t meet building code requirements, don’t contribute to the end result you want or are, maybe, just the wrong choice for you. They may have access to items not always available to the general public and, because they understand your needs, can focus only on those requirements without getting distracted by the myriad choices available.  In many cases, they can make you aware of other choices that fulfil your requirements, but at a better price point.

They also understand the lead times required for decisions and can make sure items are on site when required, saving the client money on having to bring trades people back in to fit that late tile or sink, perhaps.

What are some of the other benefits of using an interior designer?

A designer can speak to the trades people and suppliers in their “language” and make sure everyone is on the same page, so to speak.  They will have an extensive network and range of resources that they can tap and will able to provide appropriate solutions when those unforeseen problems do arise, thus greatly reducing your stress level.  They will also have experience working with the trades that they recommend so that you can be confident in the quality of the trade person’s work and will not be wasting your money by  having  to re-do any substandard work.

A well designed space can also look like it cost much more than it actually did.  It will function well for your family and lifestyle. Don’t forget that design, whether good or bad, will be with you and affect the way you live for many years – it is best to make the right decisions from the start.

Does an interior designer work on small projects?

Speaking for myself, I work on projects of any size as long as the timeline and budget is reasonable for the scope of the project. Contrary to what many popular TV shows portray, you just cannot do a full bathroom renovation with a $1,000 budget and get it done in one day. An hour or so of my time at the beginning of any project to determine realistic goals and budgets can save a client a lot of frustration and disappointment along the way.

Even if a project is beyond your budget at the moment, we can jointly determine a long range plan and priorities to increase the functionality, beauty and value in your home.

What are your favourite projects to work on?

A particular passion of mine is boats, although I don’t get to do those often.  I enjoy working on both new construction and renovations but my favourite projects are really those where the clients are open-minded and communicative and we can develop a collaborative relationship.  Then we can work together to enhance their style and provide them with the space of their dreams.

Tags: , ,