5 Reasons Why Adding an Interior Designer to Your Renovation Team is Worth It
Many wonder if they really need an interior designer on their team when starting to plan for an upcoming renovation. Some may wonder if they can save some extra cash by trying to do it on their own. Well, we’re offering you five reasons why it’s worth your investment. Designers are not only talented when it comes to the visual side of things, but they are problem solvers. If you ask any designer, they can probably tell you that 5% of their job is designing and the other 95% is coordination, planning and problem-solving, while being an advocate for their client (you!). It is rare that a project will run start to finish without a single hiccup or bump in the road, that’s just what happens within the industry. But, having someone on your team that is an advocate for you, and works to solve these problems quickly and efficiently, will benefit you greatly.
Interior designers work as a liaison between the contractor/ subcontractors and the client making sure all parties are up to date, on the same page and working towards a smooth and successful renovation, all while assisting on making design decisions and selections with the client in a timely manner. In addition, designers are well versed in many different skills and wear a lot of hats. Really, they are your teammate to be there from the very start of a project through to completion. It’s important to get a designer on your team the very beginning of your project to assist you in making decisions starting with the planning phase.
Your architect will draw up the plans and hand them off, your contractor will do the work to complete the structural elements and you will be left with a beautifully renovated space, waiting for an interior designer to step in and bring your dreams to reality. A designer will help guide you from the planning phase, through the renovation and past the installation of furnishings and other aspects that make the new space truly livable.
So, here is a list of our top reasons why we think it is worth your investment to get a skilled, talented designer on your team!
1. To prevent errors, it saves you money.
There are many small details that go into the planning and implementation of every single home renovation. Mistakes that happen during a renovation can become very costly, but hiring a designer that is on top of all the moving details throughout the project helps limit this mistakes drastically, all while keeping your project on budget. Everything is better with an extra set of eyes. They’ll also help you stay on budget. It’s easy to choose the first tile you see and love and spend that little extra that puts you over budget, but you might be able to find one for less that fits within your budget and keeps you on target- your designer can help you find new resources and similar options.
Designers also look at your space from both an aesthetic and functionality perspective.
They want your space to be beyond beautiful, but they also want to make sure it functions well for you and anyone else using your space. They won’t let you compromise functionality for beauty or vice versa. There are many things you probably won’t think of until you’re living in the space. For example, who cares where your spices go, until you start cooking your favorite chili recipe and your running across the kitchen to grab them from your pantry. Or, where you will put your guests’ coats when they come in the front door since you forgot to put in a coat closet- you use the mudroom in the back of the house anyways right?! All of these small details are things designers are well versed in from experience and can make sure you avoid these mistakes before they happen.
2. For guidance, there are a lot of choices out there!
There is a very crowded market out there full of endless possibilities for home improvement including lighting, tile, fixtures and much, much more. Having a designer on your team will save you a tremendous amount of time and headaches sifting through the exhausting number of choices. Your designer will take the time at the beginning of the process to get to know you and your family and learn about how you live and your design style. This will help them to come to you with a more streamlined list of selections, saving you hours and hours of searching. The expertise they have with all of these products, allows them to sift through different resources, and not only find narrowed down choices that will suit your design aesthetic, but they will bring you the best quality, on budget choice for your renovation. Also, something to remember – everything is NOT what it appears to be online. Designers have taken the time to get to know products and won’t bring you choices they know won’t work, or that won’t appear the same as they do online. So, trust them, the last thing you want to do is order tile for your master bathroom only to find out the color isn’t what you thought it would be and then try to figure out how to ship back 1,000 pounds of tile across the country. These kinds of costs add up fast and are exactly what can put you over budget.
Designers are in homes ALL the time, and many understand the value of a home and what you can get back for resale purposes. They can help guide you toward choices that will leave your home still competitive for the market years down the road if you do decide to sell. For most people, a home is their biggest investment and designers love seeing their clients come out on top! They will also help make sure your ideas and goals are realistic, and if not, assist you with coming up with solutions that are.
3. Resources and connections
Interior designers have insight into a whole industry that isn’t necessarily available to the homeowner. This includes trade only resources and relationships that they have cultivated with each company they work with. This often means that they will get better customer service out of the company, and in the unforeseen event that something does go wrong, you can benefit from your designer being able to advocate for you and help you through the situation by utilizing the connections they have formed on various projects with their trade account managers and point people. Trust the designer when they come to you with specific resources and steer you away from others. As amazing as Google is, let your designer recommend subcontractors and trade people, they know who will get the job done well for you and who won’t.
4. Time is money.
The planning and implementation of a home renovation takes a lot of time and effort. From planning, sourcing, ordering and implementation, there are many details that require extensive coordination. Not only will using a designer open up your time to focus on the things you really need to do (like your own job!) while your home renovation is going on, but they will help you make faster decisions so your renovation stays on schedule. They know what it is like to live without a kitchen for three months longer than planned, and no one wants that. Your designer will help make the process feel effortless, as they will be the ones doing the hard work behind the scenes so you don’t have to.
5. Communication is key.
Your contractor is busy doing, well, contractor things, like working on gutting the kitchen your starting, or coordinating your subcontractors so the project stays on schedule. Your contractor is a skilled tradesperson, so let your designer be the liaison between them and you.
They know how to ask the right questions to make sure things are running smoothly. They’ll be available to go onsite with your subcontractors so you don’t have to, and they’ll update you in terms that make sense. Because of the formal experience your designer has had, they understand many different aspects of the renovation process, from an architectural perspective and in the mind of a contractor for example, so let them talk to these other parties in a manner that makes sense to them so that they understand what you are trying to accomplish. Designers have the skills needed to show contractors what you are looking for by using current technology like computer rendering and sketching to provide visual examples of what needs to be done. They’ll also hold people accountable. Designers LOVE when things run smoothly and on time, so let them help you hold the whole team accountable so everyone is on task and happy when the job ends on time!
The biggest piece of advice we can provide at the start of a renovation is to do your research and be realistic. Hire a designer who can be your go-to for anything you might need for the renovation from start to finish. Bring them in at the very beginning of the process. Oh, and our go-to motto – HGTV is not real life! It takes much more than 2 days to gut and renovate an entire kitchen, as does it take some time for your designer to come up with solutions and plans for your space. Let your designer be your guide to understanding the process for your upcoming project and help you attain your goals in a realistic and timely manner to create a space you love.
About the Authors
Beige & Bleu is a New England-based collaboration of two interior designers and photo stylists brought together by friendship and a unified passion for design. The two combine innate craft with formal experience that makes them an asset to any design project. The duo met at University of Massachusetts- Amherst while studying Communication and Studio Art. Nicole and Morgan’s passion for their design business emerged with their travels across Europe, where they sat at a tiny restaurant called Monsieur Bleu overlooking the Eiffel Tower and dreaming up the foundation of their soon-to-be business, Beige and Bleu Design Studio. The two creative, environmentally conscious designers find themselves inspiring clients and small businesses through unique design experiences, creativity & art. They work closely with their clients to understand their individual style to create beautiful spaces, designed to bring functionality and value to their home.