Download Article Button

by Lynn Fenwick B.I.D.

I HAVE BEEN IN THE BUSINESS of interior design for many years and numerous clients have initiated design services with me when they are on the last leg of the renovation or new build. They explain that they thought they could do it on their own until the end of the process, when they see so many issues and decisions going wrong and they feel overwhelmed. Suddenly, once they have made most of their decisions and the house or basement is framed, drywalled and cabinets have been ordered, they approach me to rescue the design.

It is at that point that I feel disappointed for them because had they even spent two hours with an interior designer at the beginning of the process, we could have made a huge difference in the outcome of the project. I do my best to solve the issues presented to me, but a little voice inside of me says, ‘If we could have just moved that wall back 6” on paper at the beginning of the project, we would have been able to save the client money and the kitchen (or ensuite, lower level, etc.) would have had a more functional layout... ’

So why didn’t they hire a designer at the beginning of the project? Many people think that hiring a designer will be too expensive, will go over budget, or the designer will not follow the client’s vision. This is a myth!

Interior Design Essentials

‘Wow’ spaces do not happen by chance. Interior designers have extensive training that accompanies their design degree. We have a degree that combines art of interior design and the science of understanding peoples’ lifestyles to create functional, outstanding spaces that enhance the client’s quality of life. We follow a systematic approach that includes research, analysis and a wealth of knowledge that goes into the creative process.

What do interior designers do for a client?

We save you money.

Having a strong plan at the onset saves confusion during the project. Planning reduces mistakes and that saves you money. We know where to put the most bang for your buck and where less costly materials may possibly be used. We know the pros and cons of different materials that you may be considering. Our expertise can prevent expensive mistakes. We also have access to designer discounts and those savings are passed on to the client.

We save you time.

We know the sources to go to for everything related to your project. You won’t have to spend your time researching products, brands, and prices. Our list of preferred suppliers can save you time and stress trying to find a qualified trade or contractor.

We will define and enhance your personal style.

We will pinpoint your lifestyle and values. Our suggestions will assimilate your personal style and needs into the concept, so your home will reflect you. You provide the direction and with our expertise, we will guide you to the creation of that dream. We are not there to create a monument to our own particular style.

We will provide you with knowledge.

As interior designers, we understand the principals of scale, proportion, space, line, balance, mass, rhythm, texture and the theory of colour. Our expertise includes space planning, elevations, millwork and furniture design, lighting and plumbing selection and placement, as well as finish selection. A designer will make the most of available space and find solutions that work for challenging areas. We are problem solvers! We also will provide the knowledge to adhere to government building codes, regulatory requirements and construction standards. We have the education and experience necessary to design, coordinate and manage the construction of projects. We also coordinate with other trades, suppliers and other licenced professionals to ensure the successful completion of a project.

We will be your guide through the design process.

There is a process to building and if some the steps are missed, the result can be catastrophic. We can explain the process and anticipate the next steps. We know the right questions to ask in order to develop the best design concept for your lifestyle and budget. We will also help edit selections for you in order to keep the project on course with the concept and ensure the choices do not become overwhelming.

Interior Design Essentials

Designers know the best tradespeople and can refer you to reputable resources and suppliers that will allow you to feel confident that your job is getting done properly.

We increase home value.

A great design will expedite the sale of your home and put more money in your pocket when you are ready to sell.

Wow Factor.

Designers look at a space with a professional approach, usually in a way that the client has not considered. This will give you that extra something that creates the ‘wow’ effect.

I would love to be able to pass this advice to everyone. A design project, whether it is a renovation or a new home, is a journey that involves a significant investment of your time, money and effort. Take the time at the beginning of a project to invest in the expertise of an interior designer. Even if it is just one consultation, it will enhance your design project, either by giving you the confidence to proceed on your own, or the knowledge that you need a professional’s guidance.

Return to Published articles

A Vietnamese restaurant with casual sophistication, drama and a bit of whimsy ...
If you are unable to get away to the lake for a weekend at the cottage, you could ...
The words "interior design" and "interior decorating" are often used interchangeably ...