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When Should You Work With A Designer?

An interior designer can provide an extensive list of services, including design consultations, site measurements, space planning, design concepts, purchasing, project observation or management, the list is long between design plan and final styling but it's literally all the way from A to Z. Here at NLI, our projects range from from small scale one room projects like a powder room renovation to large, whole house turn-key projects. Now I know not everyone thinks they need to hire an interior designer but I also know from past experiences, that while most DIY clients love the design concept and purchasing portion of the job, managing logistics and timeline, and anticipating issues can put a damper on what it takes to complete a space.

Today we're walking through a few real life scenarios where it would make sense to bring a professional in to be a partner in your design project!

Should you hire a designer when you move into a new home?

It would be a beneficial decision to consult with a designer when you move into a new home! Depending on what kind of home you're leaving, you may have a piecemeal collection of furniture inherited from various family and friends, or found online when the need arose for a specific piece.

Very often, clients come to me after making a series of bad or neutral decisions, not investing in things they actually like, but filling a need in the moment. In an attempt to make those bad decisions feel better, more money is spent trying to pair new items with the previously purchased items that weren't a favorite from the beginning.

A new home is a fresh opportunity to re-evaluate every piece in your home (and closet for that matter) because you really do have to assess whether it's worth the physical labor, time, and money it would take to move it to the new house! Contacting a designer before that big move happens can save you so much in mental aerobics trying to figure out what will even fit scale and proportion wise in the new house, and start you off on the right foot as you make this new house your new house.

Should you hire a designer when your family size changes and your home needs shift?

Family size changing could mean a new baby, aging parents moving in, or older kids moving away for college, or kids coming back after college. Whatever big family shift is happening, it would be helpful to hire a designer, at the very least for a design consultation, to assess what spaces could be reimagined, and what current furniture can be utilized with these new ideas in mind. This could be in your current home, or a new home as well!

Plus, it's always helpful to have a third party present during an emotional life transition - someone who can be impartial and give you logical advice as you navigate this change.

Should you hire a designer for major renovations?

This one is an absolutely, hearty YES! Major renovations are known to be one of the most stressful events for a household, and having an interior designer as part of your design team can alleviate a lot of the pressure that comes with unforeseen issues and budget conflicts.

If you're new to our blog, you should know that I adamantly suggest that you are interviewing and hiring designers at the same time, if not before, your contractor is hired. I can't tell you how many times I get the "we're demo-ing next week, can you sign on to the project?" calls. Possibly...and with a hefty emergency rush charge! A lot of prep work goes into a project before we ever sledgehammer any dry wall (click here for a breakdown of what you need to do before you ever pick up the phone).

There's no way to know how many decisions, big and small, must be made daily during a renovation until you're right in the middle of it. Find an expert that can be there to guide you through it!

Is hiring a designer worth it?

First and foremost, hiring a service provider of any kind is a highly personal decision. Ask yourself whether you would rather pass on design decision making to someone else, or if you would rather retain control of those decisions yourself. Keep in mind that choosing the latter means devoting time and mental capacity to a project that you may not have with your other life and work responsibilities. If you're still unsure, take your time and reach out with questions to ensure you find someone who fits your style vision and your personality!

If you've made costly mistakes in the past, and you don't have the time to devote to this project to ensure you get what you want out of it, it's a sign that you should hire a designer.

Analyze your budget for the project and see if that's feasible for you, and if it's a yes, invest in a partner you trust that will undoubtedly catch things you never even considered throughout the course of your project! You'll be glad you did!


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