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What does an interior designer do?

An interior designer is there to simplify the process of building or renovating, by working within a client’s brief and budget to create and implement schemes to fit the client’s taste and lifestyle.

They take an ordinary room and make it extraordinary

The interior design process should be fun. You should feel that the ‘world is your oyster’ in terms of what you can have, while the decision-making part just falls in to place effortlessly.

 

When should I hire one?

As early into your project as possible.

If your project is large enough to require architectural plans and drawings, it is extremely helpful to have your interior designer look them over. They will know you and they know the pieces you are taking with you to your new home or the extension. They will make sure there is a place for them on the plan and make suggestions to the layout and lighting plans to accommodate everyday life. For example, where will the Christmas tree go and is there a plug for the fairy lights?! With a smaller renovation or re-decorating project, early input from an interior designer will ensure a cohesive blend of old and new in a consistent style.

 

Why should I enlist one to help?

There are so many decisions to be made during a new build or renovation that, without the support of a professional, you will suffer ‘decision fatigue.’ Many of our clients have great ideas and know what they want, but they don’t have the means or the skills to pull it all together. They are often time-poor and don’t have time to do the job themselves. Other clients find there are so many decisions to make they don’t know where to start.

That’s when you need us! It is our job to get to know you and your style so we can help you keep your choices to a manageable number.

Working with an interior designer can avoid many costly mistakes and gives you access to suppliers and pricing that would not otherwise be available.

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What will an interior designer ask me before they agree to work with me?

An interior designer will ask how your room/s will be used, who lives there, about your colour and style preferences, budget, location and project timeline.

It’s extremely important to have a clear brief, so we can produce the best possible result within any constraints.

We need to know what you like and dislike about a room, and your colour preferences (and the colours you just can’t stand!) – it helps us determine your style. Which furniture is non-negotiable – what must stay and what can go. Who will use the rooms and how will they use them? – are there children or pets, do you entertain a lot, are you future-proofing for a later life stage? This is important as it helps us with furniture and fabric selections as well as furniture placement.

Pinterest is a very important tool for us, if our clients have Pinterest boards we can instantly get a feel for their style.

And last but not least, two very important questions we will ask is if there are any timing and/or budget constraints.

 

What if after the initial meeting I am not happy with the style or ideas put forward by an interior designer, is it okay to walk away?

You can walk away at any time. You will likely be charged the initial consultation fee however, unless you have negotiated an initial meeting at no cost.

It is always best to try to work through a scheme put forward before walking away. In some instances we may be trying to make you push the boundaries and this might take some time for you to get your head around. If there are elements of the scheme you would like to change your we are happy to do that. It is your home, not ours!

 

What will it cost?

Rates for interior designers vary. Most charge per hour, from $50-500+. Ask at the outset for our hourly rate and what an initial consultation will cost.

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How will an interior designer help me stick to a budget?

Once a budget is decided, it’s our job to stick to it. It’s easier for us keep emotional decisions in check. If our client absolutely must have the top of the line oven with all the bells and whistles, we can choose a more cost effective tile to help balance it out.

 

Where do I find one?

Word of mouth is the best way to find an interior designer. Ask a friend, architect, builder, kitchen installer, or your local paint or furnishings store.

But now that you’re here, why not talk to us?

 

 

How do I ensure they ‘get’ my style?

A Pinterest board is invaluable. Rip out pictures from magazines. Collect paint and fabric swatches or anything visual that illustrates your style. Keep communication lines open.

 

How do I push back on designs/ideas I don’t love?

If a designer puts forward design ideas that are not to your taste, let them know. The home that you create with their help must be one that you love, and their job is to help you achieve this. At the end of the day the interior designer wants to create a home that you are going to love. But do make sure you listen to the interior designer’s ideas and vision. It is their job to take you a little out of your comfort zone so your result is far from ordinary and uniquely you. The guiding principle is – it is your home not the designer’s.

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Is it true that interior designers get better deals on furniture, fabric and hardware?

This is very true. Interior designers have access to furniture, fabric and homeware at discounted rates that can be passed on to the client.

 

Will working with an interior designer add value to my home in the long run?

Yes it will. An interior designer will save you a great deal of time, money and headaches.  They will help you to avoid costly mistakes, and increase the value of your home. A good interior designer will add wow factor to your home which will make all the difference when it comes time to sell.

Email us at contact@belhams.co.nz to book an appointment today!