Why use an Interior Designer?

charlotte pigeon portrait circle

What is Interior Design?

When people think about interior design they are often thinking mainly about interior decoration. Of course, that is a huge part of it, lots of interior designers focus on how we decorate our homes; paint colours, fabrics, furniture and flooring.

This is really only one aspect of what interior designers can do though.

Interior design can also cover spatial design and planning, helping you to make the most of space inside your home.

This is my speciality! I have a degree in Architecture and a Masters in Interior and Spatial design so this is where my passion lies.

Interior designers can help you replan a room, design a kitchen or remodel an entire house. I have worked with clients who are considering buying a house and want help to visualise how it could look. Some clients have been frustrated with a badly-planned layout for years. In some cases, they are considering selling as they can’t see a way to make it work. 

bathroom ensuite floral wallpaper
Elevation 1: freestanding bath
ensuite bathroom design plan
Elevation 2: shower and wc

When to employ an interior designer? 

You don’t need to employ an interior designer for the entire project. Most interior designers are happy to work flexibly and can just provide initial support or ongoing project management if you need it. 

floor plan interior design
This plan was drawn up for a client who was redoing their kitchen and needed a plan for the other trades. It is important that the electrics and plumbing are put in the correct place to avoid delays and additional costs. They were installing the kitchen themselves so saved money overall by getting accurate plans drawn up first.

What does it cost to hire an interior designer?

This can vary hugely, as with any service you buy there are levels and different pricing options. If you want someone to design and manage a large project then you could be looking at a substantial sum. If you just want to feel confident in making the right choices and need some plans or initial inspiration, then it is best to look for someone who charges an hourly or daily rate and will work to your budget.

I have a series of packages which are broken down in detail here. I will also work on an hourly rate and let you know time estimates in advance. A small room replan may only take 1 to 2 days if you have provided a clear brief. A larger home remodel may take a week’s worth of hours and include a survey and several site visits. 

How will it work?

Normally when you hire an interior designer, they will want to meet you and agree on a brief for the project. The brief is very important because it will become the scope of work for the designer and make sure that you get the designs you are expecting.

After an initial visit they should send you the brief to sign off and an indication of the costs for the work. They then may need to carry out a survey of the space to draw up accurate proposals for the project. Once the survey has been completed, they will be able to start producing designs and options for you to consider.

Sometimes there might be several options worth considering for a space. Equally sometimes they may just suggest one option which they believe is best. After you have received an initial set of proposals, you will have the opportunity to review these and ask for any changes to the plans you would like.

This might be an additional cost or be included within the designer’s initial quote, they should make that clear before you agree to the project. Once a proposal has been chosen and revised you will receive a set of final designs ready to show to other contractors or use for your own inspiration.

This is a quick video showing the stages of a small room design project. The client wanted to add a new focal point to the room and create a multifunctional space for living and working, as well as plenty of storage.

How to choose a designer?

You want to find an interior designer whose work you like, that is probably the most important starting place! I would then suggest you choose someone local as this will keep travel costs down and make arranging meetings easier.

They will also be familiar with local suppliers and trades which will be helpful when you are managing a project. It is a good idea to arrange some calls to see if you think you will get on well together. And of course, check that they are available to meet your time frame and can work within your budget.

Most designers will offer a free initial phone call and may also do one free home visit to establish the brief and meet you in person.