I often get asked by potential clients what it is that I do, and why exactly they need me. I'm here today to share a little more about myself and what I can do for you as an Interior Designer. Wading the waters of a remodel or new construction can be both tumultuous and stressful. Let's explore how hiring an Interior Designer can help you navigate through the design/build process.
In order to clarify the services designers offer, we have to start with a little bit of defining. HGTV (don't get me wrong... I love some Fixer Upper) has done a great job confusing what services designers do and don't do by using the blanket term 'Designer' for anyone who works within the interiors industry. This, however, does not clearly identify what my professional training and role is within your project, and when you might want to consider bringing an Interior Designer on to help.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines an Interior Designer as someone who, "make[s] interior spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials. They read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards."
I would say that 80% of my education focused on functionality, spacial planning, CAD drafting, and understand code requirements and the other 20% was based on aesthetics. This is the same model that carried through into my business; 80% of my business focuses on reworking spaces and redefining them and the other 20% is material selections.
That being said, I strongly encourage anyone building a new home or doing extensive remodeling to work with a trained designer at inception. That is, someone who has the educational & technical background to help spatially reconfigure your home in the way you desire. Most often, designers have great ideas to utilize space more efficiently than a builder/contractor. In fact, most often my clients are referred to me by general contractor's (GC's) or builders who desire to complete the project but do not want to be a part of the design process on the front end.
By working with a designer from the start, you will have your space thoroughly thought through and designed with maximum efficiency and functionality. Then, once the plan has been developed and translated into workable drawings, your builder/GC can better estimate the overall project costs, all while you have a more defined idea of what finished product you will be receiving.
A good designer's job doesn't just stop when the plans are handed over either. A significant portion of the work I do is post-design services where I am on site, meeting with the subcontractors to review the design intent and ensure the materials are installed according to the design. There is always something that ends up not going accordingly to plan. I act as a liaison to help problem solve the best solution according to your tastes and preferences. So in short, pre-construction I am a Designer. During construction I am an advocate for you.
Let's review. Why hire an Interior Designer?
- Your space will be thoroughly thought through & reconfigured with consideration for functionality and user experience.
- A designer helps navigate the process of home building & remodeling and can help ensure your vision becomes reality.
- Designers save time & money on the back end (more to come on this in another post -- check back!) by helping efficiently plan & design on the front end.
- We help to bring together all the details that you just "can't seem to visualize" by affirming decisions and providing sketches & renderings.
- Some designers (like myself) offer hybrid services (CAD & Drafting) and can also lower costs by providing services at a lower rate than other industry professionals (like Draftsman, Architects, Engineers, etc.)
If navigating the terrain of remodeling or new construction seems daunting or overwhelming, consider hiring a designer who can get to know you, your vision, and ensure that it is brought to life.
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