It’s been a while since I wrote a post on interior design, it’s something I’m looking to include more on my blog as with our current reno, it’s become a major passion of mine. Travel has become rarer for me since the having a toddler and living through a pandemic so I’ll be including a lot more interiors stuff on here from now on. In this post I thought I’d talk a bit about why I decided to work with an interior designer and if you’re potentially on the fence about using one, maybe giving you the inspiration to do it too.
I spent months (years) collecting images and creating mood boards for the various rooms in our flat I even had mood boards for every detail like bedroom wardrobes, dining chairs, bar stools… so you may be wondering if I knew so clearly what I wanted, why did I feel the need to employ an interior designer. Well here’s why…
1. Finding the Perfect Room Layout
An interior designer can use programmes such as CAD (computer-aided design) to create your perfect room layout. With this programme they can create a mockup of exactly how the room will look using the exact size of the furniture to ensure everything is in proportion and in the right place. Of course you can find simple versions of these programmes yourself but a designer has a trained eye to make sure everything is in the perfect place. Some of these layouts will also be mocked up in photoshop or even as highly realistic CGI images.
2. They Remove the Stress
Our renovation included multiple contractors and suppliers but it was all project managed by our builder and our interior designer. With someone else project managing and talking to all the other suppliers involved so you don’t have to … it really removes a lot of the stress. Things have gone wrong – for example having to bring our table up by crane – but I could sit back while someone else sorted it out. Actually the whole project has been quite seamless and stress-free as we have such a great team working on it. Of course many of the small problems I’m blissfully unaware of!
3. They Will Save you Time
Pouring through fabric books, managing your contractors, constant phone calls… it all adds up and is incredibly time consuming. It’s an interior designer’s job to save this time for you so you can get on with your life but still be a part of designing your beautiful home!
4. A Little Black Book
Every designer worth their salt will have a little black book of suppliers. Many of these will be unknown to or won’t even supply to the general public so working with the designer will give insider access to these secret suppliers. For example our sofa and ottoman are made by this random company that don’t even have a proper website but when we visited their factory we found out they made sofas for all the top interior designers in the country.
An interior designer knows how to layer all the elements in your home to create the perfect wow-factor but without going over the top. I think we’ve created a beautifully subtle base but with some wow pieces such as our chandelier and large floor to ceiling mirrors!
6. Lighting Plan
In a similar vein your designer can create the perfect lighting plan for you. We have all sorts of lighting in our flat including a coffered ceiling, wall lamps, joinery lighting, table lamps and halogens. The interior designer can create an exact lighting plan so that the parts of your room that you want highlighted are done so in the right way that will make all the difference to your final look. With pre-planning the lighting layout you can put sockets in the floor for your lamps, on the right places on the walls and make sure your lighting is both decorative and functional.
7. Bespoke Joinery
We have quite a bit of bespoke joinery in the flat – the TV unit, the study, the wardrobes, the headboard and more… though I had lots of ideas of how I wanted this joinery to look I wouldn’t have known where to start in creating the right proportions, finishes and making sure everything functioned correctly. Our interior designers designed all of our bespoke joinery and then ‘tendered’ the design to contractors in order to get reasonable quotes.
8. Colour Scheme
I don’t know about you but I’m quite rubbish at putting colours together. I actually had in my mind that my bedroom would be bright pink and navy blue… but the interior designer put together the most beautiful neutral scheme for us with pops of colour from cushions and accessories. Not only did she find the most beautiful fabrics that were perfectly matched, she included metals and stones and layered different textures to create a warm and cosy feel.
9. Bespoke Furniture
Say you have your exact bedside table / bathroom vanity / sideboard pictured in your mind but it doesn’t exist on any website… well you interior designer can design and get it made for you bespoke. It will then fit perfectly into your space and colour scheme without having to compromise. Sounds expensive right? Well the interior designer will find a supplier to fit with your budget or even copy your perfect bedside table for a cheaper price!
10. Taking the boring bits out
Going to look at fabrics or tiles for your home sounds really exciting but it reality it’s boring and overwhelming. You’ll go into a shop and there will be millions (no exaggeration) of fabric books etc and you won’t know where to start. Your designer will narrow the choices down for you and only present you with what’s right for you. In our case our designer put together a fabric box for each room and presented them to us in her studio. If there was anything we didn’t like (and there wasn’t much) she would find a substitute or a choice of two substitutes (honestly I know from experience, the less choice the better!) that will fit perfectly with the scheme.
11. They Think of things you might not
There were so many details I hadn’t considered when embarking on this reno… the architraves, the internal doors, the skirting… our interior designer found all of these for us and they all fit perfectly with the style of our property. She also came up with unique ideas such as our panelling feature wall that I never would have thought about! Though I had lots of ideas, an interior designer bought fresh eyes to the project and introduced me to concepts that I hadn’t seen before.
12. They make sure everything works functionally
When we first hired our interior designer and she came to visit we spoke about different spaces that we wanted to use for storage, she made us think about what we wanted to keep in each storage space and how everything would work functionally. In other words she also worked on the ‘why’ of every decision. It wasn’t just about making the place look pretty!
13. You could actually save money!
I think a lot of people consider an interior designer to be a luxury and an expensive option but actually there are lots of affordable ways to employ an interior designer. For example some designers offer an e-design service which is a less full service package but could still help with furniture selection, fabric, colour and room layout for a much smaller fee. Also some interior designers don’t charge a fee at all and instead make a commission on the furniture and fittings that they order for you. With their vast network of suppliers they will have vast discounts too, designers will pass some or all of this discount to the customer depending on their fee structure.
An interior designer will work to your budget and find suppliers (often secret ones!) that are within your price range. If there’s a piece of furniture you love, they can get it copied for cheaper, they can source materials and products that are great quality but are cheaper because they are lesser known brands. Also as everything is so carefully planned, little is left to chance so you won’t buy something that’s the wrong size or colour and make an expensive mistake.
Not only this but a beautifully designed home with stunning features will add value to your home and maybe even make you money in the long run.
14. You will get a home that you love
You may worry that by relinquishing total control, you won’t end up with a place you love… but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I passed on all my mood boards and inspiration images to our interior designer and she came up with a scheme based on everything that I loved. You might have your heart set on something but your designer will be honest with you if it just won’t work. For example I really bought into the current trend for panelling but our designer told me it just wouldn’t work in our space but she came up with the beautiful feature wall that I love.
We’re coming to the end of our reno and I couldn’t be happier! Follow our progress on my home account SilverFamilyHome.