5 reasons smart people take on an interior designer
For many people, the thought of taking on an interior designer is daunting. Fear of outrageous costs, a sense of inadequacy, losing control of your home’s look or concerns about having your privacy invaded are all quite common reasons that ultimately put people off.
I’ve been running my business now for nearly 8 years and so many times, clients have told me that for one reason or another, they’ve initially avoided taking on a designer and attempted to do it themselves only to make costly mistakes or to become overwhelmed in trying to pull a look together.
There is an oversupply of information when you think about all the tv shows, blogs (I’m guilty there too!), websites and retail shops full of gorgeous things, and for a home owner it can be so easy to drown in all that data. Each client has come to me because they’ve become stuck and need someone to help them through it and make sense of it. Sometimes it is just a small job, other times it’s the whole house. Every single project brings its own challenges and a client’s requirements – I love researching and suggesting great ideas and products. It never loses its magic for me.
So whenever someone asks me how I could help them with their home, I say “the five top reasons you should take on an interior designer” are:
- Save time. It can literally take endless weekends out shopping trying to find items you like. After all that time invested, many people either feel overwhelmed, more confused or drained and, ultimately, loose heart. The frustration from being unhappy with your home’s current decor, combined with feeling completely stuck and unable to move forward can be dispiriting. If you have kids, then it can become an exercise in torture!
Designers do this day in day out (sourcing that is, not torture!). They know where to go to get a certain style of things and where to go for different budgets. They aren’t emotionally involved in the decisions and this can really cut down the overwhelm and frustration. By the time they’re ready to go with you to any showrooms, they will have presented a concept and be clear about which items you need to see. From there, they’ll be able to tell you exactly where to go to see a product. By that point, you’re more confident in the direction your home’s look will be heading and you won’t get so confused by a showroom full of product. You’ll be able to focus on a small number of items and be able to make decisions confidently and get you unstuck!
- A more polished look. Designers will have a few tricks up their sleeve that just make a home look designer-y! It’s about how they layer, work a palette and mix up textures. Not many people go for a clearly defined look such as “French provincial” “scandi” or “industrial” anymore, rather an eclectic mix to some extent is very common. Of course a designer will have their own approach, but it has to resonate with the home owner otherwise it’ll crash. Designers tend to avoid anything matchy-matchy because it is twee and old hat. Mixing woods, finishes, textiles etc into a visual feast is a 3D work of art. Not everyone can do it. Not everyone can add the finishing touches to ensure it is rich and interesting and not McMansion-esque.
In addition to that, not many people can visualise. Designers can to a large extent, ‘see’ how a finished room can work at concept stage. A good designer can communicate that so that the client can understand why it will work even though they can’t actually visualise it themselves.
- Potentially better layout. Sometimes there aren’t a lot of layout options without knocking down walls and doing a big reno and the like. But sometimes, a fresh perspective will show how things can be moved around for better functionality or aesthetic. And it’s not just furniture positioning but artworks, overhead lighting, window treatments can all be positioned well if you know how.
- Source from unique and uncommon suppliers. As an interior designer, I like to track down the beautiful and uncommon. I source from suppliers that back their product and who aim for environmental sustainability. Of course, there’s a place for large retail outlets – in fact some of the best designers mix high street with low to perfection – but I still believe that for the key pieces, you’re better going for quality investments. I know where to go to get a custom sofa, bedhead, dining table, lamp shade, rug or commission a painting, and yes, they are more expensive, but they are unique and of the highest quality. Every year I attend trade shows to keep up with what’s new in the industry and the gorgeous new products that are coming in.
One of the things my clients love MOST about the process is discovering a whole new world of trade-only showrooms. From lighting specialists to rug manufacturers; cushions to wallpaper; furniture to artworks. It’s like the length of the Silk Road in a 10k radius (in Sydney!).
- Save money. This may seem counterintuitive, but stay with me. Most designers and decorators will charge an hourly rate with a modest mark up on product. If you’re working with your designer in a truly collaborative manner and making decisions, you could end up saving money AND getting a beautiful result! What’s not to love, right?
Monique Sartor is the owner and principal designer at Sydney Based boutique interior –beautifying firm, Sartorial Interiors. We love colour, beautiful things and helping people transform their homes!
Please visit www.sartorialinteriors.com.au for more information. Or follow on: