So, you’re thinking about hiring an interior designer — but you’re feeling overwhelmed and even a little intimidated. You might be wondering what we actually do. Or perhaps you’re afraid of working with someone who doesn’t understand your vision or style. Today, we’re going to provide some clarity and advice to address the questions we often receive about working with a designer.
Let’s start with a few questions to ask yourself before hiring a designer:
What level of service are you looking for?
Designers offer many tiers of design services, to find the right fit for you, it’s essential that you know the level of involvement you’re looking for. Are you looking for quick ideas to jump-start or finish a DIY project? Do you want a designer to take care of it all? Or, perhaps you’re looking for something in between? At Patina Living Co, we offer two-hour consultations for those wanting to take the DIY route, as well as full-service construction and furnishing design. The later is ideal if you’re looking to have someone else execute and oversee the implementation of the design. Our design approach is holistic, working on a room or home as a whole, rather than piece-by-piece, resulting in cohesive spaces that tell a complete story.
What aesthetic are you drawn to?
In choosing to hire a designer, you’re choosing someone to collaborate with you to craft comfortable, beautiful environments that are perfectly suited to your family. When thinking about aesthetic look through portfolios and social media to find designers with a style that resonates with you. Agreeing on the overall style and level of design goes both ways – we cannot make you love what we love, and vice-a-versa. While we might push you to think about your space differently, we want you to love your finished spaces. At the end of the day, it’s your home, and a good designer will strive to create a home that tells your story, but achieving a design that blows you away is almost guaranteed if you select a designer that has a style you love. At Patina Living Co., our English-inspired style marries a fresh, traditional aesthetic with casual elegant qualities.
Are you taking on a construction project?
In this case, we find it best always to hire a designer. By nature of the job, a designer is more familiar with the product available and the type of finishes that fall within your price point. There are so many little details that go into construction projects — a designers breadth of experience will ensure that all of those details are thought about and taken care of.
What is your budget?
Platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram make it easy to seek after things that fall outside of your budget. It’s a matter of priorities. A good designer can take your family’s wants and needs and prioritize to build a design solution within a budget. While we usually suggest a starting budget of $20,000 to $30,000 for a fully furnished living room there are many designers that will work with smaller budgets. Knowing your budget and communicating it with your designer is super important as they begin planning and prioritizing your dream home.
Now that you’ve asked yourself these questions lets clarify a few misunderstandings about working with a designer.
As we mentioned previously, the service offering amongst designers varies tremendously. While many designers prefer to work on full-service projects, there are also many that just do consultations or E-design. As a result, there is likely a designer out there with a service that perfectly fits your needs.
One of the most confusing aspects of working with an interior designer is the pricing structure. It seems that every design firm has a different way of pricing. While many bill hourly, others may do a flat fee or have a cost-plus model. At Patina Living Co., we have a bit of a hybrid model — all design work is charged at a flat fee, while project management and styling are billed hourly.
Interior Design probably Takes Longer than you Think.
A lot of time invested in creating comprehensive design plans. We typically spend about 30 hours creating a detailed furnishing plan for a living room or bedroom. That may be shocking to some, but let’s compare it to a typical work week — 30 hours equates to a little less than four workdays. Think about what you can accomplish in that time. For us, we’ll photograph and measure the space, draw floor plans to scale, determine a color palette, gather fabric and finish samples, source and select every furnishing and accessory for the room, create presentation boards, request quotes, and prepare a detailed proposal, as well as have three client meetings. Of course, our design process sees these 30 hours spread out over several weeks, but hopefully, this helps you understand how much time is involved in designing your dream space.
There is a lot to consider as you’re thinking about hiring an interior designer. Our biggest advice? Take the time to answer the questions here, research, chat with several designers, and ask lots of questions!
If you think you are interested in working with us, let’s chat!