Whether you need to design your entire new kitchen from scratch, or just need some help redecorating your interiors, you can always find someone who’s willing to help you – for the right payment, that is.
Professional helpers like that are nothing new on the market, but some people still regard them as a thing for the “rich and lazy”. Nothing could be further from the truth – inviting a professional to help you, can actually be a way to save money and time. Stay with me to discover all there is to know about hiring a professional interior designer or a decorator, and how to make it worth it.
First things first – let us cover some basics. People often use the terms: interior designer and decorator interchangeably. That is a huge mistake, as these are two separate professions. Where lies the difference then?
Interior designer is usually connected to the project he’s being hired for from the very beginning. He is often being hired at the same point as the architect, and his role is to create a functional living space. Basically, he designs the space after gets to know about the way inhabitants want to use it. Interior designer makes his decisions based on the knowledge, that the future inhabitants share with him, regarding the way of their life, their needs, health, habits and so on.
Interior designer’s interests focus on choosing the right furniture, textures, tiles and other materials used while finishing your house, which has to be safe to use and functional. Additionally, interior designer arranges interiors to be adequate for people who are handicapped or suffer movement impairments. Lastly, he pays attention to such aspects as ergonomy, ecology, durability of materials, proper ventilation, adequate illumination and acoustics.
It is also worth to mention, that to be able to call yourself an interior designer, you have to pass specific courses. A professional interior designer has to get a license and certificates that prove he is well educated in this field of expertise, so if you are to hire one – always make sure he can prove he really is a licensed interior designer.
As opposed to interior designers, decorators do not need specific education or a license – which means anyone can actually do it, or try to do it. Decorators are usually being hired because of their sense of taste and style, and not because of a deep knowledge about the materials they are working with. Because of that, decorators normally focus on furniture, decorations and colors, and not the technical aspect of equipping your house.
Okay, so the bottom line is – an interior designer is a person that has been deeply educated, not only in the field of aesthetics but also the technical aspect of materials that are at work when building our house. On the other hand, a decorator is just there for the view.
Remember that interior designer can be a decorator at the same time while a decorator if he doesn’t also have the needed certificates, is not a qualified interior designer.
I want to change my ordinary kitchen into a place that is lavish and modern – who do I need?
That depends on what are you actually going to do. Do you need someone to help you redecorate your interiors, or do you want to furniture everything up from scratch, in a newly built house?
Keep in mind, you could find someone who is both a certificate interior designer and a well-known decorator, at the same time. Such person could help you both with some heavier stuff, like installing a proper ventilation system, or choosing hypoallergenic materials to be used around places where you are going to prepare food, as well as with decoration, to keep the whole place in a correct style.
So, to sum this up – interior designer will always have a better understanding of the hardware, appliances and technical aspect of designing a kitchen. A decorator is just a person that, supposedly, understands the styles, and has a very good taste when it comes to arranging interiors. Because the kitchen is much more than just decoration, after all, your health is on the line here, we strongly advise you to look for a professional interior designer, when you want to overhaul or design a new kitchen.
What can you actually gain from using the help of an interior designer?
Okay – you’ve read all the magazines, noted down all the ideas for your perfect kitchen, but now you might encounter some difficulties in making to all happen. We are often unable to mix all the different things, that are currently trendy, as well as we might be afraid to start on our own if we don’t trust our own skills all that much. That is when we should turn for help to an interior designer – a person that is going to help you meld all your ideas with his technical knowledge so that the final effect corresponds to your dreams. What are you exactly going to gain, from hiring an interior designer?
- Better space management
The biggest problem that people mention when they design their kitchens is the lack of space. Because of that, a proper planning of appliances and furniture placement is crucial – your kitchen has to be practical, and pleasant to use at the same time. It is best to think about that right from the start of your work. Interior designer is well aware of this – and because of that, he will reliably point out, where are the best spots to place your appliances, door, or power outlets. With his help, we will avoid all the troubles of having a non-ergonomic house.
- Make it right, and you won’t have to fix it later
How many times have you heard from your friends, that they thought their new apartment is just perfect, and after a few weeks they started redecorating it, because of the problems they didn’t foresee earlier? Yeah, that happens every day and is a huge trouble, as well as a waste of time. Hire an interior designer if you do not want to make any corrections in the middle of an overhaul, or after it.
- Get better deals on the appliances or materials
If you hire an experienced interior designer, it is not going to be the first project he is working on. Because of that, he probably already has some connections on the market, and some trusted suppliers. Also, if you are to buy all your stuff in one place, you’re likely to get a better price anyway. Thus, an interior designer might be able to help you save some money on these deals.
- Time is money, so do not waste it
Designing your kitchen is pleasant only if you got time to do it. Hundreds of small decisions, that you will have to make, can be really time-consuming. Not everyone can afford that, and that is where the additional help can be priceless.
Depending on the deal you make with the interior designer, he can not only make all the decisions for you, while keeping the large picture in mind, but also will pay attention to the actions of the construction crew, and make sure everything ends up just the way you wanted it. Thanks to that, we get a beautiful and functional interior, and can be sure we spent our money in the most efficient way.
- A precisely determined budget
Plenty of times, we’ve heard of people who dramatically exceeded their determined budget. Just ask your friends – the stories of how they didn’t see this and that coming are endless and all share the same aspects. They didn’t realize a lot of stuff when they started an overhaul, they had almost zero knowledge, even if they didn’t know about that just then. If you do not want to end up like all of these people, better get a professional help.
An interior designer can help you determine the budget not by wild guesses, but from experience and a professional point of view. Furthermore, it is actually him who is going to be responsible for sticking to the budget. You only give him what you agreed on – if he suddenly wants more money, you can always break the deal.
- Last, but not least, his experience
Quite self-explanatory, but let’s elaborate just a bit. By hiring an interior designer, you do not only gain the convenience of having a helper to determine the budget, plan space, etc. If it was that simple, you could just read some guides – but it’s not. A professional interior designer is going to adjust all the plans you have to your own habits, needs and lifestyle. All his advice is going to come from experience, not only theory, and that is just priceless.
How to get the most out of such cooperation?
If we got you hooked on the idea of getting a pro to help you with the project of your kitchen, there are a few important things to remember, before you sign a contract with an interior designer:
- Interview the candidates
Hiring an interior designer is the same as hiring anybody else. Don’t settle for anybody – closely check the portfolios of your candidates, or better yet, interview them to make sure they really know what they are talking about. You can ask them for the projects they worked on before they come to you – and check out the effects of their work. Remember, nothing can cause more damage than an amateur that claims to be a pro.
2. Determine your budget upfront
This is very important, as some interior designers like to go a bit overboard. Especially if you are not going to be supervising their everyday progress, make sure they know their limitations.
Interior designers want to show off and want their future customers to be impressed with the modern, lavish and fancy past projects. And there is also the truth about people in general – nobody values the money of other people as much, as he values his own. For that reason, it is crucial you state your budget, and don’t allow for it to be crossed. An experienced interior designer should have no problems understanding that – and if he has, you can always break the deal.
3. Remember it’s your kitchen, not his
If you hire an interior designer, remember it’s you who will end up living in the interior he creates. In the end, it is your needs that are important here, and some interior designers tend to forget that. For that reason, you should always firmly underline your ideas, and stick to them – around which, an interior designer can, of course, build from his experience, but not fundamentally change them.
It is easy to forget that in the middle of the chaos that is overhauling your interiors, and then you wake up in a kitchen that is supposed to be yours, but… is not. Better remember that.
4. Don’t be afraid to say no
Most people are afraid to disagree with a professional – after all, they are supposed to know better, right?
While they are more than likely to have a deeper technical knowledge than you do, taste is a matter of subjective preference, and it is absolutely okay if something is just not up your alley. Don’t be afraid to disagree – an experienced interior designer should be ready to hear what you actually want him to do, instead of forcing his tastes upon you.
Always keep in mind, that when the dust settles, it is you who will have to live in that specific interior.
5. You don’t have to let him do all the job
It is very important that you understand, you can get a second opinion on everything. An interior designer is not necessarily needed to design your entire house, you could hire him to design a specific room or a specific area, and get someone else to handle other stuff for you.
Many people think that when they invite an interior designer to their houses, they are locked with him and only him for the entirety of the project, which does not have to be true. Don’t be afraid to disagree and get a help of someone else. This does not mean you have to fire the designer – just narrow his role.
6. Have it on paper
It is always good to have everything in a written form, to avoid any misunderstandings later. Starting from the budget, and ending on what you actually want, on all your ideas.
Make sure to write a proper contract that has all of the shenanigans clearly stated, or else you might have no ground to break the deal if the interior designer you decided to hire does not respect the rules of your cooperation.
7. It’s good to leave some room for negotiation
It works with all sorts of things, but let’s use the budget as an example. If you determine a budget, within which the interior designer is supposed to work, it might not be a bad idea to give a bit lower sum than what you are actually willing to spend. This might create a bit of a leeway, which can allow you to strike compromises with your employee if he wants to incorporate something extraordinary.
At the same time, if you openly state the budget that is within your capabilities, he could get careless and try to spend as much as possible, just to impress you, and his future employers.
8. It all boils down to commons sense, in the end
Our final advice to you is to just really think this through and use common sense. As we said previously, hiring an interior designer is very much like hiring anybody else – clearly state the rules of cooperation, while staying open minded about it. Working with a professional interior designer can be either a fantastic experience or leave a bitter aftertaste. But is it not like that with every kind of cooperation you engage in?
That about sums up our guide to hiring an interior designer to help you create the interiors you dream of Now that you have the knowledge, needed to start thinking about getting the help of a professional, it is time to make a decision. Do you think you can pull it all off on your own, or could you use a hand?
The last thing to keep in mind is – hiring a professional interior designer does not necessarily mean you have to spend more money. If he is way more efficient and knowledgeable about the matter than you are, you could actually save money on that transaction.