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Don’t hire a designer until you’ve read this

Have you ever thought about hiring a professional to help you design and furnish your home? Do you watch all those HGTV shows with envy for how their furniture and decor comes together so seamlessly? But you hesitate because you’re still not exactly sure of the value that a design professional would be able to deliver for your project?

So, when should you consider hiring a professional to help you furnish and decorate your home?

 

You have an idea of what you want, but no idea how or where to start

This is probably one of the biggest hurdles to overcome after you move or make the decision to redecorate. Lots of people have an idea or a certain look in mind of what they want, but where do you start? Where do you get the items that you have in mind? How do they work with what you’ve already got? What stores do you go to? Should you do a feature wall? What colours look good together? There are probably endless number of questions you can come up with in an instant.

It can be overwhelming to figure out all the details related to furnishing and decorating and even trying to figure out what websites or stores to buy furniture from, and after awhile all your ideas start to blend together and you have no idea where or who to turn to.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by this process, you can consult a design professional to get some direction. Many designers offer 2-3 hour consultation packages that are not a huge investment but can give you enough advice to get you started and answer some of the questions you may be struggling with.

A design expert is trained to ask you questions about your style and look at websites and magazine clippings you may have collected to understand what type of look and feel you are trying to achieve in your home. They can advise you on where to get the look you want and recommend stores or vendors to find your items much more easily. If you are interested in having the designer source for you, they have trade relationships with furniture vendors, dealers and manufacturers which translates into better pricing on items you may need to purchase. They will have knowledge, tips and tricks to maximize your space and save you money.

You want to save time, effort and money

Have you ever been overwhelmed by all the product choices on Wayfair or Pinterest? Or even found an item or a look on a website or a magazine but have no idea where to find that product? Your design professional does this every day, all day, most of the day. So, they are going to know where to find the products you like at the price point you can afford.

How you can save on time, effort and money are three things that you should definitely consider when thinking of a hiring a professional to help. 

  • Time: you’ll save so much of it by not endlessly browsing websites or spending your weekends store hopping and being exhausted only to come home empty-handed or feeling overwhelmed.
  • Effort: this goes hand-in-hand with time. The time and effort you’ll put into searching for the right items could be saved and spent on more productive things that you actually like doing!
  • Money: this can go in two ways. First, you may make the costly mistake of buying items that don’t go well together and needing to return or sell items at a lower cost than what you spent on it in the first place. That lamp you saw in the store and loved on it’s own may not look so nice when it’s on the side table in your living room. Second, as we mentioned earlier, designers are able to save you money on items you need through discounts they get from the vendors they deal with on a regular basis.

You want to benefit from expert knowledge

Designers know what colours look best together, what patterns to utilize, and how to make the most out of the space you have. You may know what you like and don’t like, but may not know exactly how to pull a whole room together from scratch.  It’s much easier to react and refine to a proposal from a professional than to create something from nothing.

Besides just making the room look good, a designer can also help you make the room feel good and function in a way that works best for you. With their assistance you don’t have to sacrifice comfort for style or vice versa, and can have comfortable furniture that match the look you are going for in the room.

You want to be sure that your room functions in all the ways you need

Many of us live in small spaces that need to play double duty these days. Your living room is both where you relax in your downtime and where you entertain family and friends occasionally.

Let’s say you buy an ottoman for the purpose of being a foot rest for when you relax in your living room. Yes, that’s the purpose of an ottoman, but you can buy a small tray to set on top of it and now it becomes a mini side table or can serve as an extra seat for when you have guests.

Your designer will be able to suggest these small tweaks to your room design that will help you maximize how you use your room based on your personal requirements.

Hiring an interior designer can be daunting and expensive, but it will pay off tremendously in the end in maximizing the value of the biggest investment in your life, your home. Now that you know how a design professional can bring you value, we want to make sure you have all they info you need to hire a designer confidently for your next project. 

What to consider when you are ready to hire an interior designer

Here are some questions you should consider:

What’s your budget?

It’s no secret that hiring a professional of any kind can be expensive. Interior design is no different. Make sure you’ve budgeted accordingly for your design expert and can afford to spend the money without adding strain to your financial situation. 

That means you need to set a budget that you can afford for your design project. You should consider the cost of furnishings and decor (checkout our article on how to budget for your home furnishings here) including any delivery and installation charges you may incur, the designer’s fee and always budget a little extra as contingency.

When budgeting for the cost of your interior design pro, it’s important to know how designers charge. Here’s a quick synopsis of how interior designers charge for projects.

How Design Pros Charge

You may be given multiple price points from different design pros, so it’s important to compare and understand why and how they differ.

Most professionals charge in one of four ways for their services: cost plus, fixed rate, hourly rate, or by square foot. Always keep in mind there may be additional charges or fees, like consultations, but those are individual to each designer. If you are not sure, ask questions to clarify.

Cost Plus

Adding a markup fee to the cost of goods and services. The markup fee pays for the designers services. For example, if your furniture and decor costs $8,000 and the markup fee you agreed to is 20%, your bill would be around $9,600 and would most likely include everything from furnishings to the designer’s fee to delivery and set-up. Make sure you ask your designer what’s included in the cost – we can’t stress this enough!

Fixed Rate

This is a single cost or a flat rate that covers all the necessary materials like furniture, time and other expenses for your project. So, it’s important to understand what is included in this cost.

For example, some designers might give you a flat rate is for their design services and then you will need to pay for furniture and decor in addition to this rate. This is the approach we take at Daakor.

Other design pros might include the cost of furniture and decor in addition to their design costs in their flat rate.

Fixed Rate will work well if you’re on a tight budget and don’t like any surprises.

Hourly Rate

This rate is pretty straightforward, as most designers charge by the hour for their services. Hourly rate varies anywhere between $50 to $200 or more. This hourly rate would be in addition to your furniture and decor costs.

By Square Foot

Some designers use the size of your space as the basis for their rate. So, your designer cost is dependent on the size of your room and that means the larger the room, more you pay. 

Make sure you discuss with your designer which method(s) they use, what’s included in the rates they quote for your project and decide on an approach and a budget that works for both of you.

When do you need the decorating done by?

After you’ve established a rough budget, then think about your timeline. Do you have a deadline like a visit from family and friends or an event that you are hosting that you want your place to look amazing for? If you have a deadline, but are unable to do all the work yourself, this is where a designer can step in and help. Be sure to clearly articulate your timeline to your designer and in include it in your contract to make sure you get what you need by when you need it. 

Are you planning to move again?

People often think that they shouldn’t be investing in good furnishings or bother decorating a space they may only stay for a little while before moving on to their forever home. We couldn’t disagree more on this!

Whether you’re planning to stay at a place long-term or move in a few years, living in a well designed space is essential for your well being. We believe that your physical space impacts your mental state and that means your environment impacts how you feel, think and behave.

A design professional can help you create a space that not only looks good but makes you feel relaxed, rejuvenated and inspired. They can also help you choose furnishings that are not only multi-functional, but also easy to move and can transition well in to a new home if you are planning to move in a couple of years.

At Daakor, we save you time and effort by creating and presenting you with a few looks you can react to and we source all of the items you need, eliminating the need for store hopping in real life or virtually. You save money by leveraging the relationships we have built with furniture vendors and dealers in addition to being able to leverage our affordable flat fee for the design. If you have questions, let’s talk.  

Written by Caitlin Cochrane.