working with an interior designer
Working with an interior designer is an experience unlike any other. Handing over control of the renovation of your home to another, even a professional, takes equal doses of courage and trust. Although daunting in the beginning, developing trust that flows both ways results in an experience that can be liberating.
My sister and I always joke that for those painful passages of life, we should just be able to montage it like we see in the movies. Alas, the day-to-day of working with an interior designer is way less glamorous than you probably imagine. And yet from feedback we’ve received from past clients, they actually end up being some of the most rewarding times.
Because we work in a very processed driven and results oriented way, the multiple design meetings you may be imagining don’t happen with us. And yes, we do this on purpose! We present clients with their complete design, fully priced along with a guide on how long we anticipate the project will take to complete. We do this so that clients get to see their design from top to bottom in its entirety. When we say in it’s entirety, we actually mean that. From paint colours, to furniture choices, fabrics, custom upholstery, custom joinery, flooring, lighting, you name it, it’s in the presentation. It takes longer to prepare the entire design, however, the presentation makes sense when you see everything together as opposed to piece-meal.
So, what happens when the project starts? There can be dozens of trades and suppliers required for your project and there can be hundreds of phone calls and emails between the designer and each of these to realise the design. There can be thousands of phone calls and emails to keep track of all the items required. There can be dozens of steps involved in just one process and there can be hundreds of processes to complete the project. There are schedules to manage, trades and suppliers to deal with and a budget to track. Effectively, a full-time job! This is one of the reasons why many clients engage our services; they either don’t have the time or they don’t have the patience to deal with such a dynamic environment.
We work extremely hard behind the scenes to keep the project moving along, so when we need to ask clients a question, it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work, discussions, problem solving and innovative thinking to arrive at just one question. And yet, that one question on that particular day can sometimes be quite overwhelming.
The best way we’ve been able to understand the impact a project has on a client and their daily lives is complete upheaval. Now, that doesn’t apply to everyone! If you love living in the middle of a mess without a kitchen and perhaps minus the internet, then you’ll thrive in this type of environment. For the majority, we have observed the impact the relentless early morning starts can have, the invasion of privacy, the endless dust, making do with one bathroom for 7 people, barbecuing in winter because there’s no kitchen. You get the picture. Not only are you dealing with trades being in your home every single day, (yes you can scream now!) you’re also either speaking with the designer or seeing them in person at the unspeakable hour of 7.30am. I’m sorry to say, there’s really no way to sugar coat it, it’s hard work working with an interior designer. However, keep your eye on the end game. The value it will bring to the way you and your family live on a daily basis will be worth all of the pain.