Some people shrug off the need for an interior designer by reasoning, “Why should I hire someone when I already know what I like?”
But a designer can do much more than choose fabrics and furniture that reflect your taste. He or she can look dispassionately at your home and suggest what’s out of proportion, which pieces can be upgraded, what colors aren’t harmonious, what should go and what should stay. In their mind’s eye, they can picture a more balanced, less cluttered room and then achieve that look.
Homeowners often are emotionally attached to their surroundings. They can’t see that a beloved sideboard is out of scale with a room’s size. They can’t recognize that the color scheme is too busy. And they don’t understand that countless framed family pictures atop the piano is overkill.
A designer has no such emotional investment and can look at rooms coolly and objectively. Their judgment isn’t clouded by sentiment or emotion.
Others think they can’t afford an interior designer. Although internationally known designers are indeed expensive, there are several fine designers within financial reach, and not all demand exclusively large projects. Many will take on a single room. Be frank with a designer about your budget, but also know that you should buy the best you can afford. There’s no substitute for quality.
Some people can’t afford not to hire a designer. A designer can save you from making costly mistakes. How many times have you (or someone you know) bought a sofa that was too long, a cabinet that’s taller than your ceilings, or a chandelier that hangs so low you bump your head on it?
Good designers don’t make those kinds of mistakes because they always measure before any fabric, furniture, or lighting is purchased.
Designers can save you money, but they can also save you time. They have a network of reliable painters, contractors, and electricians they trust because they’ve worked with them before. They know whom to contact so you don’t have to risk hiring incompetent people. They will also supervise those workers, leaving you to enjoy your vacation time with more pleasant activities.
Some homeowners are reluctant to hire a designer because they think they’ll lose control over their surroundings and have to submit to something they won’t like. However, designers think of the client relationship as a partnership. They want your input and they want you to be happy with the result.
Few designers desire carte blanche; they aim to reflect the client’s taste, but their job is also to guide, to edit, and to gently steer clients out of their comfort zone. Sometimes a designer will coax a hesitant client into trying a new style that they end up loving.
Remember that designers are professionals. Dealing with challenges and knowing how to overcome them is part and parcel of what they do. You wouldn’t hire an amateur to repair your car or fix an electrical problem, so why would you entrust anyone but an expert to take charge of your décor?