1. You don’t need an Interior Designer. All you need is Pinterest.
With Houzz and Pinterest, who needs an Interior Designer? Surely all you need to do is get pinning and, within hours, you can have a clearly curated look ready to create your perfect room?
Well, Houzz and Pinterest certainly provide plenty of inspiration. And it’s absolutely a great way to start the design process. It helps clarify what you like and, importantly, what you dislike.
But too many inspirational images can be a bad thing too. Overwhelming perhaps. And, just because you like a combination of colours and textures on a styled Pinterest shot, doesn’t mean that trying to replicate it will work in your home. I know you all know it, but those images you see are all highly styled, curated lifestyle shots and, unfortunately, don’t always translate quite so easily into real life.
A good designer will take your inspiration and make it your own. Create something for you and your space. Something unique. They’ll also consider your natural lighting, the practicalities of your space and lifestyle and really get to understand how you want a room to feel.
Even creative, interior folks can benefit from the services of an interior designer. Perhaps help on layout, on the specification of windows and architectural features, or maybe to help nudge you out of your comfort zone to achieve a look that really makes you feel wow, and which you’d never have achieved yourself.
2. It’s all about cushions & curtains
Now I like a cushion (or two) as much as the next interior-obsessed person but we do so much more than just plump cushions and specify fabrics. Interior Designers can work alongside architects at a really early stage of a project; ensuring that the layout and flow of a space works internally, considering how you will use the space and how you want it to feel.
Then there’s the electrical specifications, layout and spatial planning, flooring, fabrics, finishes and furniture. So styling and cushions do play a part but there’s so much more to interior design. A good designer will work with you to identify which elements you need help with, and structure a service to suit you.
3. My house isn’t big enough for an interior designer
Forget size, it doesn’t matter 😉 Honestly. As long as you have walls to paint and space for at least one piece of furniture then you have something a designer can work with. In fact, the challenge of making a smaller space work hard both practically and aesthetically can be a very exciting proposition for a designer.
Nor should you ever think that your home isn’t grand enough, traditional enough, or uber-modern enough to warrant a designer. So you live in a fairly standard 3-bed semi? No original features? So what?!! If you want a design-led interior; a space beautifully orchestrated that works for you and your family then hire that interior designer. Interior design is about creating a home, regardless of architectural features. Homes come in all shapes and sizes.
4. Designers just impose their own style
It’s true that all designers will have a certain style, perhaps even a particular look; a way that they tend to use colour, or a particular way of styling their portfolio shots. You’ll be drawn to designers whose work you’ve seen and like. But that doesn’t mean you’ll end up with a style imposed on you. Or you shouldn’t. A good designer will help you find your style, to find a look that works for you. It shouldn’t replicate what they’ve done before, and it certainly shouldn’t be an imposition of their own taste.
5. Designers are expensive
Some are. Some aren’t. You’re paying for a professional service; for expertise and creativity. But in return for that design fee you’re getting someone to lead you through the design process; the vision, the look, the practicalities. You should end up with a space you love, that tells your story.
They key is to make sure you’re paying for the service that you need. If you just want design advice, then approach designers who offer consultation or design-only services. If you need a full turn-key service then ask how the implementation fees are structured. Sometimes designers can pass on their trade savings, so you can actually end up saving money. Interior designers should be upfront and transparent with their fees, but if you’re in any doubt, just ask.
When it comes to project costs, having a beautifully designed space doesn’t need to cost the earth. The high street and online retailers offer so many budget-friendly options. A good interior designer will work to your budget and specify items accordingly. You may well want to splurge on a couple of items but take a more economical approach to others. Be accurate and honest about your budget; don’t feel pressurised to spend more than you can or want to. Good interior design is possible whatever your budget.