So many times have I heard that interior design is a luxury or only for people with large budgets. Let’s break this stigma! While some designers do have a more luxury/custom focus, not all do. I’m here to tell you that interior design is for everyone and should be for everyone. Not only that! Designers can save you so much money in the long run!
1. Designers know the business.
Do you know the process of a home build or remodel? Did you realize you need to think about outlet placement before any work is done? Did you think about drywall texture, millwork, light fixture placement?
There are so many steps to a remodel or home build and having a designer on your side is key to not having trades come back to redo work. Designers are not just about furniture placement and styling; they also consider permanent features of a home such as drywall texture and light switch placement. They think of the project as a whole and understand where in the construction process these items need to be addressed.
Consider a wedding planner. Sure, they may help you with picking out flower arrangements or finding a DJ. But their true value comes in when they understand the entirety of the day. They might know that Uncle Joe can have one too many drinks and having snacks at key times will help with the “entertainment” Joe might provide.
Same is true with designers. Not only are you paying them for their eye, you’re paying them for their knowledge and expertise in a field that you don’t live in every day. While you focus on preparing meals in a makeshift kitchen during a remodel, let them focus on saving you money by catching the little details before they happen.
2. They formulate a plan.
This may be the biggest way designers save you money. While hiring a designer in and of itself is an expense, it is so worth it! There are so many contractors and remodeling companies out there that don’t go through a planning process. They want to know what you want the final product to look like and figure out the process to get there.
Generally, contractors are the executors and designers are the planners.
Think of all of the planning you did to be able to do this home refresh. Budget planning and saving, finding contractors, moving out of a space and what that looks like, etc. You have spent so much time and effort to get to this point; why would you not want someone to take that exact same care to help you plan the actual remodel and think of things you probably haven’t thought about?
A designer can formulate a detailed plan that will put you at ease but it will also help the contractor see the true vision of how the space will come together. This will save you money in two ways: 1. The contractor should have a full blueprint of what is expected and will execute accordingly. And 2. If for some reason the contractor does not execute the design that he agreed on, the change order costs are now on him instead of you.
3. They help execute the plan.
Many designers also like to work as a type of project manager. This means they will be more involved in the execution of your remodel or build and assist in catching things that may have been missed. The contractor team will keep them as a resource to answer questions and help redirect a design if a problem arises (which one usually does).
This is like having your own not-so-secretive spy on site. This way you don’t have to take time off work or from your family to ask questions, answer questions, or feel, in some instances, that you have to micromanage.
Another way a designer helps save money in the execution is that they usually have a list of trusted tradesmen and contractors. A trusted designer with trusted contacts is invaluable and could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
4. Designers work within your budget.
There is a huge misconception out there that designers are only for high-end luxury projects or that designers will only work in high-end, custom conditions. I’m here to tell you that designers, like myself, are here to help all walks of life. Coming from a background of DIY’s and thrifting, I know first-hand that high budgets are not always feasible (or desired).
One of the first questions I like to ask is the budget we’re working with. Often times, if you go directly to contractors, they will not take the time to give suggestions on places to save money and places where you really shouldn’t save money. Again, they are usually not there to help with the planning process. I love to find ways to help save you money while still achieving the look and quality you’re going for.
5. They understand your style.
Ever have trouble picking a paint color? Not sure how to incorporate your family heirloom into a space? Do you feel like you gravitate towards a bunch of different styles and don’t know how to combine them?
Designers will dig deep to know you and what you like. They’ll hone in on what makes you tick and give you constructive feedback when they know that backsplash tile will not go with the overall feel of the home.
Ok great. But how does this save you money? Let’s count the ways! I have had clients who want glittered grout, really pushed for it without listening to me, and then regretted it afterwards, having to pay triple to have it redone. What about that blue paint color you used for your cabinets that looked so good on the swatch but ended up looking like a preschool room when completed? Redoing these things can cost thousands.
A designer will curate a look for you and will share their knowledge on why you should or should not go in that direction. They’ll point you to a blue that feels more refined yet playful instead of juvenile. These details make all the difference.
6. They address your needs.
So you love that picture on Pinterest, you show it to your contractor and they make it happen. But why is it not working? It seemed like the perfect home office setup. But… you failed to think about the storage needed for your kids’ toys or the giant printer you need for your business or how you actually would rather work from the kitchen island.
Aesthetics only go so far. You also have to address the functionality of a space and the needs of your family. What are your stress points? What are your daily routines?
A designer will save you from making that dreaded mistake and will think about all of the ways that space needs to serve you.
7. They know where to go high and where to go low.
You can get high budget items and low budget items of just about anything. Sofas, rugs, art, cabinetry, tile, toilets, you name it! When you’re looking to cut cost, it can be easy to go overboard, making it so you want to redo the whole project in several years anyway.
A designer will point out what items you shouldn’t cut cost on and items you definitely can cut cost on, making your ultimate decisions last longer, saving you money in the long run.
8. Designers think of the overlooked items.
Ever consider your air registers as a design element? How about toe kicks in a kitchen or a flooring transition strip? I am telling you there are so many different pieces to a remodel that you WILL NOT think about. Having a designer walk through these with you will help you set realistic budgets so you’re not scrounging Home Depot at the last minute for items you never knew you needed and you’re $500 in the hole for things you didn’t think about and now you can’t get your dream chandelier you’ve always wanted or take that trip you planned.
9. They don’t rely on trends.
Let me say that again. They don’t RELY on trends. Trends can be excellent ways to expand your design horizons and try new things but designers know not to design a room solely in trends. They will execute a design that reflects you and will stand the test of time. This doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate fun color or quirky elements. You know I’m all about that. But make sure they really speak to you and you’re not just doing it for the sake of looking like that social media image.
Timeless, YOU-nique design will save you from redoing things and spending more money in the long run.
10. Designers know how to communicate with contractors.
Here is the dictionary definition of liaison: communication or cooperation which facilitates a close working relationship between people or organizations.
There’s “homeowner talk” and there’s “contractor talk.” Homeowners often can say what they’re looking for but don’t always know how to put that in terms a contractor will fully understand. Contractors, on the other hand, can say what their construction plan is but don’t always know the right questions to ask the homeowner to make sure they’re executing properly.
In come designers, the interpreters of the remodeling and construction world. They are able to take the wants and needs of a homeowner, package it up, and present it to a contractor in a way that make sense.
Do you want to know the number one frustration I’ve heard from homeowners? They wish they would have communicated their wants better to the contractor or had their contractor give suggestions.
Do you want to know the number one frustration I’ve heard from contractors? They want the homeowner to tell them what they want and then let them work.
The planning and communication is not there. And truly, it’s not meant to be. There is a reason why interior designers exist: to bridge the gap.
Having a designer that develops a strong communication plan between all parties will make everyone happier in the long run and, say it with me, save you money! Contractors won’t have to have their subs on the job longer than expected because of changes. Homeowners will have their wants and needs clearly laid out before the demo ever takes place.