Let's look at a question I get asked all the time... "Aren't Interior Designers only for the rich and famous?" You wouldn't be alone if you thought that engaging an Interior Designer is an indulgent expense that only wealthy people can afford. Did you know, a qualified designer will save you both time AND money though? Here's why.
As Designers, we invest in our knowledge. On top of our qualifications, we are constantly educating ourselves and up-skilling on the latest design practices and methods, building code requirements (not my favourite bit, let's be honest), CAD drafting, the latest products to hit the market (yay, the exciting stuff), space planning, and human influences (totally fascinating). Personally, I do a lot of research into non-toxic living as well, including the use of sustainable, energy efficient products which don't cost the earth.
When you're planning a renovation, or building a new home, there are many steps involved in the design process. Design planning and proper execution is a carefully thought-out process, which needs many more decisions to be made than just picking tiles and paint. We use elevations, tile layouts, lighting plans, finishes plans, produce product schedules, and schedules of work as well. All this planning reduces project delays and miscommunication, ensuring you get the stunning end result you wanted - on time.
Delays cost money... and mistakes cost even more. Procrastinating and shying away from decisions during construction causes delays, which in turn cost the homeowner money and can bring your project to a screeching halt. A good designer will be with you during the build, making regular site visits and ensuring that installations are going as planned in the design - and answering questions that the builder may have. Whilst you might not be sure if a particular tile or stone can be used in a certain application, such as a bathroom, a designer does. We know which drain to specify for that tap you love, and what type of bathtub you need for your bathroom (and where to get it - no more trawling shop after shop or website after website).
Then there are the added (and possibly the biggest bonuses) of working with, a designer - access to our contacts and significant discounts. We work with tried and tested builders, painters, plumbers, electricians, cabinet makers, the list goes on. There is mutual trust - they know us, they know how we work and vice versa. Match made in heaven!! And then there's the discounts... Who ever likes paying retail?! Designers receive discounts on everything from lighting, plumbing, tiles, flooring, to rugs, furniture and window furnishings too. These discounts can be anywhere from 10-40% off list price. WHAT???? I hear you say! Typically these discounts are extended to the client at cost plus a markup, so the client is still receiving pricing well below retail. Ask your designer about these discounts, and how they are extended to you. I generally find that people recoup whatever they have paid out on my services, in the discounts on products that they have bought. It's a win-win!