If you’ve recently undertaken the exciting task of renovating or building a new home, you’d certainly know what I mean when I say, 'there are thousands of finishes to choose from, and millions of combinations'. With so many different brands, all dealing with every kind of finish, such as flooring, wall paint, roof, cabinetry, tap-ware, the list goes on with each brand offering a vast range of products, which differ in colour, texture, performance, durability and of course cost... It can be overwhelming right? It’s common to come out of a store more confused than when you went in, so you choose to go home and venture into the world of the ‘Google search’, only to find so many more options ... ARGHHHHH! As with most things in life, there are professionals out there whose particular job it is, to be informed on the product's quality, variety and performance and those are the people that you should refer to: for your home it’s an Interior Designer!
all images: James Treble Design for Eden Brae Homes
Ok, so your first thought is 'Yeah, of course you’d say that James, you are an Interior Designer! But it's going to cost me.' Well yes... and guess what: you're right. An Interior Designer offers a service that you will have to pay for, just like other professionals who specialise in one area, like a mechanic, an accountant or even a hairdresser. So, what do you to think the cost would be, to amend a wrong choice like removing and replacing the floor of the living area for example... thousands of dollars. Or seemingly 'easier' decisions like the colour for your walls, 'if I don't like it I'll simply paint over it' you may think. Well, how much do you imagine the cost of repainting your home will be, including the labour? Thousands of dollars. Now add up all the thousands of dollars that any incompetent choice could possibly bring to your new home or renovation project! Remember? Floors, walls, roof, cabinetry, tap-ware ... how much money and stress would an Interior Designer save you by supporting you in making the right decisions in the first place?
Of course venturing into choosing the finishes' yourself, with perhaps the help of the store salespeople, which are indeed experts in their field, can work for some, but as helpful as they are, they will of course know a lot about the items they directly deal with. What they cannot help you with, is achieving a cohesive look throughout your whole home, as each item must work successfully with the next. Because you’ll be separately advised on one finish at a time, the final and overall result can lack the care and uniformity that one Designer would bring to your whole project. Indeed, without a cohesive theme, your design project might end up just missing the target. Imagine shopping for the exact colour match in shoes without bringing along the dress you forgot at home.
It’s important to remember that a successful home is not made up of expensive choices, but rather clever ones, knowledgeable ones, and these ultimately allow you to achieve the results you need and the looks you wish for. So, I suggest you make this a fun experiment and start with collecting images of homes with the looks and style you like, write down your ideas and those products that excite you, perhaps collect samples of fabrics, wall paints and finishes that appeal to you. You will soon find out that you might have 'liked' too many options, your collection will be quite 'eclectic' and just like that, your home project might end up looking disjointed and chaotic. But this exercise is not a waste of time!! In fact, it’s exactly what I ask many of my clients to do, because your collection of inspiring samples will be the perfect start needed by a professional, allowing them to quickly and clearly understand your personal taste and point your project in the right direction. This exercise will save you disappointments, time and possibly money too.
We leave the tailoring of a dress to somebody that knows how to fit it to your unique body, and we are happy to pay professionals for an organised event like a wedding or product launch, as we know it will create everlasting memories. Similarly, for you home, a place you live in everyday, possibly the most expensive purchase of your life, if you wish it to be able to satisfy your family's needs and truly express the best of your taste, then it makes sense to bring in the professionals. Now, when you’re finally ready to search for an Interior Designer that you can entrust with your new home or renovation, I have three pieces of advice:
YES! You will pay for your Interior designer’s time and knowledge BUT what you’re actually paying for is the years of training, work and knowhow, that enable them to provide design solutions for your home, in a way that can almost look effortless, saving you time and money, and ultimately resulting in a home that has maximised its potential in design and value.
Look for designers whose work speaks to you. You can see so much of their work on line and check out their previous projects, but as images and social media appearances can nowadays easily be fudged...
Ask family and friends for a professional Interior Designer that they have worked with, who gave them support and resulted in a space they are happy with. This is the best source in my opinion. In fact, the best advertising is always 'word of mouth', and what I’ve relied on for over twenty years!
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has 3 decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.