Getting Value from Your Designer

One of the most common myths about working with an interior designer is that it will cost too much. While it is true that some designers command high fees, many charge rates that are quite reasonable and affordable. An interior designer can even save you money by helping you avoid costly mistakes, referring reliable contractors, and selecting products and materials that meet your budget and design requirements.

An interior designer provides real value by:

  • Saving you time. They know the process, the people and the products.
  • Sharing sources and resources. They have access to thousands of products, materials and finishes--some of which are only available to the trade.
  • Answering your questions.  They have the training and experience--the know-what and the know-how--to provide the best solution for your project.

A designer is familiar with the thousands of details that make the difference between a good project and a great project. In addition to advising on color, fabric, furniture and furnishings, professional interior designers have an in-depth knowledge of flooring, wall coverings, windows, finishes and sealants, hardware, flooring, lighting, acoustics and many other elements involved in completing a room.

It's not necessary to buy a lot to work with a designer. In most cases, the designer can work with what you have, finding creative ways to refresh, reuse and recycle existing furniture, accessories and materials.

Just ask someone who's worked with a designer. In an ASID survey of homeowners, nearly nine out of 10 who had worked with an interior designer on a home design or remodeling project said their experience was highly satisfactory, and more than half said it was "Extremely Satisfactory." Almost all said they would work with an interior designer again. What's more, 8 in 10 said they thought the designer's fee was fair for the work done.

Whether you choose to consult with the designer and do the work yourself or engage the designer to manage the project from start to finish, you'll find the designer will offer many practical suggestions you may not have thought about. When you meet with the designer, be frank about your budget and what your priorities are. The designer will work with you to help you get the most for your designing dollar. Like many other clients, you may find that the price of doing your project without a designer just isn't worth it.