Think You’re OK Without an Interior Designer?
Picture the scene. Next month, you’ve finally decided, it’s time for a makeover…
You don’t want to move, but that living room décor is so tired, not to mention there’s the unused L-shaped area where the well-intentioned cross-trainer disguised as a clothes horse lives. And those double doors through to the dining room are only really open when everyone comes at Christmas, when what you actually need is a home office. So, you’ve made up your mind, the budget is set, and the project is officially ON.
Where do you start? You’re pretty handy with a roller, so some Dulux colour charts first. Then measure the wall for a new sofa and get Googling. Piece of cake. You’re OK without an interior designer, right? How hard can it be to knock out that partition wall or switch a drop leaf dining table for a desk?
Let me stop you right there for a minute.
While DIY is more than admirable (and even fun for some people) not many of us are capable of doing absolutely every element of a project ourselves. Most people would engage a qualified electrician if we wanted some extra sockets for our new rooms or we’d hire a professional plasterer rather than attempt to skim a ceiling on a Sunday afternoon. The same principle applies when it comes to your interior design.
A professional interior designer isn’t just about matching curtains and scatter cushions (although I may mention cushions once or twice at the end!); we bring a wealth of ideas, advice and resources to projects of all sizes. We consider the bigger picture of how your upcoming project will relate to the rest of your home, getting the most out of your space for its intended purpose. This spatial planning will incorporate flow and might include a cohesive lighting plan, or address elements of first fix wiring and plumbing, before we even get down to talking about rugs and wallpaper.
That brings me onto timescales – whether you have an architect on board for a larger project or a builder already lined up – talk to a designer as early on in the process as possible. While builders are often more than thorough, they’re looking at the practical aspects of completing the project, rather than your personal plans for its use. Don’t leave the interior to the end! We’ve gone back to alter countless architect drawings for clients after talking through what they actually want from a redesign.
If you don’t have a contractor in place, an interior designer also typically has the very best trades on speed dial, not to mention a database of retail and trade connections to source the perfect pieces and accessories for your finished space!
So, remember, a lick of paint and a new coffee table aren’t going to solve those layout problems. Replacing a roller blind and stringing up some fairy lights won’t necessarily provide you the cosy ambiance you’re looking for in your new space. Retaining an interior designer from the outset however is a cost-effective way of getting your project right first time with the result you always wanted.