We all like to think that we have the skills of an interior designer and can find that perfect blend of color/contrast and comfortable sophistication. But I bet if we looked around our home, we would all see some bad design elements.
Maybe it is that favorite duvet that you just cannot get rid of? Or perhaps that ratty old chair and ottoman that has a special place in your heart. Whatever it is, consulting with a designer as you make new furniture decisions is a smart thing to do. It can save you from making costly decorating mistakes.
When Do You Need Design Help?
When upgrading their homes, many people may look for a new piece of statement furniture. Other folks are buying their first home, downsizing, or relocating and needing entire rooms of furniture. How do you know when you should enlist the help of a designer?
According to Real Simple, those moving into a new or existing home, typically want a blend of fashionable and functional. But finding that magic blend can be difficult. When you start to feel overwhelmed when looking at the blank slate of your new home, or regretting previous design decisions, you may want to enlist the help of an interior decorator or interior designer. An interior designer or decorator can offer ideas on achieving the look of your new rooms as well as making sure they will meet your needs today and in the future.
But which do you need, an interior decorator or an interior designer and what is the difference?
Do You Need an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator?
The two terms, interior designer and interior decorator are often interchanged, but there are distinct differences between the two and the services they provide.
- Interior designers: They typically have studied design at an accredited school and have a bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree. They have typically studied interior design, CAD drawings, and freehand drawings. Many states require that interior designers pass state exams before they can call themselves interior designers.
- Interior decorators: Just about anyone can say they are an interior decorator. There is no schooling required. They often have some educational background in design and understand key design principles but they do not have the educational background that interior designers have.
Who Should You Hire?
Before you determine if you should hire an interior designer or decorator, look at the scope of work you need to have done. Small projects are just fine for a designer. Choosing paint colors, and matching basic colors of floors and walls is a pretty simple job that can easily be done by a decorator. Larger projects like remodeling, choosing home finishes, and creating a new look, are jobs that an experienced interior designer is best suited for.
Remember, you will pay more for a designer, so you should consult with them on the larger, more complex projects that take planning and implementation.
How to Find an Interior Designer for Your Home Project?
It can be daunting to find the right interior designer. They will have to clearly understand the use of the room, the look and feel you want to achieve, and the color palette you have in mind.
Before you start scouring the internet, you may want to talk to family and friends who have used interior designers and decorators and get their feedback. If you walk into a room that has that “wow” factor, find out who was responsible for it. Word of mouth can be the best option and is always a great way to start.
If most of your friends are DIYers, you may want to consult with several interior designers to see which ones best fit your needs. Many do start going through the internet to see the work the designers have done and reach out to those that seem to include design treatments you would like to see in your rooms.
In addition, many high-end furniture companies like Norwood Furniture, offer interior design services, to help shoppers find the furniture they need for their new home while making sure it fits the lifestyle and budget of the homeowners.
American Society of Interior Designers:
Many people who are starting from square one, go directly to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) or their local Home Builders Association for help choosing a designer. As you find interior decorators and designers on these sites, never choose a decorator without interviewing them.
It is best to create a list of questions and ask those whose work you admire those same questions and gauge their answers. While it may be tempting to choose the first designer you talk to, you will find great value in interviewing several designers before choosing the one that is right for you and the job at hand.
What Should You Expect to Pay?
As you are interviewing an interior designer or decorator, make sure you understand what their hourly rate is and how many hours of their time it will cost from the start to the completion of the job.
The cost of a designer can vary greatly, but most are between the $100-$200 range per hour. There may also be costs and mark-ups related to the selection of furniture if the designer uses their private sources or if they use pre-made furniture from reputable sources.
Make sure you are well aware of all costs involved before you sign on the dotted line.
Tips for What Jobs You Should Hire a Designer for:
According to Bespoke, here are times when you should consider hiring a designer:
- When they can save you time and money.
- When you need help defining your style.
- To maintain your sanity!
- To help with budgeting and planning the project.
- When you are looking for a professional’s insight and knowledge
- When you are looking for someone to collaborate with
- When you are looking for unique and one-of-a-kind ideas
- When you are looking for the “wow” factor
- When looking to add value to the finished home
- When looking to enhance the resale value of the home
Not all home projects require a designer or decorator, but that means extra work for the homeowner. It is best to build a budget for major home repairs so you can seek the outside guidance you may need to enhance the look of your home.
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