1.  If you are looking for someone to agree with your every design choice.   If you aren’t open to new ideas the relationship will never work and your house will reflect that.

2.  You are not ready to invest in your home’s interiors.  This doesn’t mean that you must have a large budget or spend more than you can afford or are comfortable with, but if you aren’t ready to pony up a little to improve your surroundings, don’t hire a designer.

There is a story of Picasso in a restaurant. A woman recognizes him and asks for a portrait on a napkin. He obliges, hands it to her and then says “that is $3000.00”. The woman was shocked. She responds “its only a napkin!” The artist explains to her that the work on the napkin took him years of practice and study, mistakes and successes, all to be able to accomplish that perfect sketch.

Don’t hire the designer if you only value the napkin and not the profession.

3.  You don’t know what you want.  While this may seem like a good reason to hire a designer, if you don’t have any idea how you use your space, how you want it to feel, or what you like or don’t like it’ll be even harder for the designer to determine and create a space that is uniquely you.  A designer can help guide your design and decisions, but can’t make them for you.

4.  You want to do all the shopping yourself.  If you are going to take your designer’s ideas and go shop for those items on your own, do not hire a designer.  Instead, when interviewing designers ask if they could create a plan you can follow for a fixed price.  Some designers will be open to this and others won’t, but at least you’ll be open and honest up front.

5.  You think you can do it yourself.  If you want to do it yourself or think you’re going to do a better job than a designer.  I’ve seen people meet with a designer and start the process only to prove to themselves that they don’t need the help of a professional.  If you think you can do it yourself don’t waste your time exploring working with a designer.  This seems like common-sense, but believe me I’ve seen it happen.

Why you should hire a designer…..

IMG_4460You love to save money. Hiring a professional with an education and years of experience will help you avoid costly mistakes down the road during your project. The initial cost of the design fee will be will be replaced not only by the increased value of your home but typically a designer has made long term relationships in the trade and can get you more value for your money when purchasing finishes, materials, fixtures, etc. you end up with an original design that is tailored to how you live your life not just a copy of magazine images of someone else’s space.

Hiring a designer can help you to avoid costly mistakes that will not only help you save money but can increase the value of your home.

You value a plan of action. When you hire a designer he/she will work with you on budgeting and planning for your entire project. This will keep everyone including you in check on what you have to spend, what is the ROI of your property, etc. Having a plan in place  will save time as well. When your project is underway, there is no time wasted waiting on decisions to be made, product to be ordered, etc. you won’t spend time having to run to the local hardware store and installing an inferior product, spending the rest of your days in your home wishing you had taken the time to pick what you really wanted.
You understand the importance of a  liaison or advocate. Hiring a designer means having someone on your side during what can turn into a long expensive experience with confrontations, misunderstanding and more. Having someone in your court who speaks the language of the construction and design industry will deter any misunderstandings, again saving you money from mistakes being made.
I have a number of clients who live out of town while their project is under way. They work full time and are unable to answer the constant flow of questions that come from the GC and the subcontractors. I have their trust that I am intimately familiar with the design intent. I am able to visit the site when needed. Knowing this brings a level of comfort to my clients, less stress means better decision making.
You value the time and resources it takes to create contacts in an industry. If you have ever tried to learn something new you understand what it takes to get to a level of competency and professionalism. Hiring a professional who already has the resources and contacts in place to save time and money can be priceless.
You love a look, have an idea of what you like, but unsure or unable to execute it. Hiring a designer gives you the trained eye to create a story in your space. You can certainly try to DIY yourself through a project, in the end without practicing the principles of design it may be lacking. A Designer practices these principles on a daily basis, living them passionately, giving us the ability to raise the level of excellence in your end product.
Hiring a professional is only for you if you are self aware and understand the limitations of your time and you expertise. If you are realistic about your budget and timeline you will get the most out of a professional. There is a level of creativity and organization you get with hiring a designer. It will mean the value of your will increase. The end product is the difference between owning a Monet and owning a picture of a Monet.