At first glance designing and decorating your home sounds like fun right?! But the reality is, if you’ve ever made a decision that didn’t go quite right, you will know how frustrating and expensive that decision can be.
Even if you have amazing taste, an innate sense of scale, a great eye for detail, you also need a hell of a lot of time to focus on the HUNDREDS of decisions that create a fully conceived space.
Then comes the task of tying it all together to make it feel like your ideal space. It’s no easy feat and truth is it takes years of experience!!!
The thing is, bringing a client’s vision to life is not just about the subtleties of what we as interior designers bring to the relationship with regards to the aesthetics and beauty. It’s also about the journey and expertise that we bring to the PROCESS of the design that ensure it is a stress free, cost effective one.
Today on the blog, we are delving into how outsourcing your design work to an experienced professional will really benefit YOU, your project and ultimately even your back pocket!
Let’s take a look…
1. Time- saving
Time is a precious commodity these days and sure, whilst doing things yourself might save you some money, at what expense when it comes to your time?!
Once you add in the cost of your time to the project (which usually is a lot longer than if you were to engage a professional) you will quickly find that you probably would have been better off outsourcing that work to someone who is trained and experienced in the field and who can get it done twice as fast!.
Here a just some of the jobs involved in a design / build project;
- Brief client on needs/desires of new space/s and measure up existing spaces (if working with one)
- Modelling up space three-dimensionally at studio
- Derive a solid concept based on briefing with client
- Spatial plan all spaces right down to the millimetre
- Select / design every single aspect of space, from wall paint, sofa fabric, tapware finish to grout colour
- Contact suppliers regarding availability and lead times of all products as to whether they work with project timeframe, if not – reselect
- Organise samples to be collected and picked up for concept presentation with client
- Ensure all materials selected are appropriate for the space and meeting Australian building standards
- Ensure design of spaces meets Australian building standards
- Schedule out timeline of all trades involved in order of when each trades needs their work completed
- Follow up all trades work every day to ensure timeline stays on track, if not contact all trades involved to book in new dates of updated schedule
- Check all work has been completed to standard daily
- Order any necessary materials, ensuring lead times meet with the time the trades are on site
- Manage all deliveries with suppliers and transport companies
- Select and order all furnishings
- Quality check all delivered items and manage warranty processes
& this is only scratching the surface, in our opinion taking the reins on a design-build project is a full-time job… NOT a hobby. So if you’re not willing to take a 6 – 12 month holiday (depending on the size of your project) than be prepared to have your work cut out for you on this venture.
2. Budget management
At first glance you’re probably thinking “How am I saving money by paying design fees on top of all the other costs involved?”
And yes, hiring an interior designer is an additional cost and like most things in life, you pay for what you get! But by engaging a professional you are putting your money towards something beneficial rather than potential mistakes. All too often we hear of those horror reno experiences that end up blowing the budget and we often hear people say “Set your reno budget… then double it.” But the reality is, with professionals guiding you in the right direction, sticking to an actual budget isn’t all that difficult. Yes, there is always the possibility that unforeseen challenges may arise ( it is sometimes inevitable especially in the renovation world), however with having an interior designer over-seeing the entire project, these risks can be limited.
I guess the choice is simple – spend your money upfront on professional expertise that reduces the risk of mistakes and stress or choose to spend it after the fact on the extra time and or design/ build mistakes that are made due to rooky errors… I know exactly where I would rather put my money!
3. Sustainable Design
Sustainable practice in the design and build industry, let alone all industries these days is extremely important. We are huge advocates for sourcing original furnishing pieces that not only stand the test of time but are also able to be passed on down to future generations – rather than just contributing to landfill. Sustainable practices in terms of sourcing materials is vital, and as designers we are ethically responsible for knowing the source and origin of any material or piece we specify.
When designing a space that is future proofed, it’s important to steer away from following trends that come and go and focus on the longevity and quality of design and material. Here is a couple of things to note;
- When sourcing materials we always focus on the life-span of the product, a long life-span means less waste. Typically you will find that materials that are originate and are sourced ethically hold a much longer lifespan than those that are mass produced. Yes, mass produced means more affordable but when you put it into perspective – you could spend double the amount on a sofa that will last 20 years or spend half on a sofa where you’ll find yourself replacing it every 2-5 years!
- Try not to follow trends as this ties into the last point as well. You want your space to stand the test of time and be a space that is specific to you and your family. A ‘trendy’ space may look good for a year or so, but once that trend has come and gone, you will find yourself changing up your space and simply wasting materials and furnishing unnecessarily.
4. Quality Resources
There are so many moving parts (and people) that are required to execute a design and build project, and having people, product and resources you can trust is key!!
Knowing your trades and their quality of work takes a lot of research, as does having an understanding of different suppliers and their reliability and service. As designers, these relationships are built over many years – sometime decades! And typically when engaging an experienced firm, you are also gaining access to all of the tried and tested resources!
5. Trusted Experience
In the design industry, experience is everything as no two projects are the same. Even the most experienced designers face new challenges and obstacles that can require a lot of problem solving and troubleshooting behind the scenes. It is typically past experiences with numerous projects that enable them to tackle these issues head on. It’s inevitable that unforeseen challenges will arise, but at the end of the day it’s about being fully equipped with the knowledge to work through these and ensure the most desirable outcome for you and your project.
6. Creative Vision
As designers, it’s our responsibility to get into our clients head and interpret their vision for their home – even when they might not know what that is?! 🙂
Often client’s come to us thinking they have a strong idea of what they want their space to look and feel like… but after talking through things in detail and going through our briefing process, they quickly learn that things are not quite as resolved as they initially thought. It’s through the briefing process and delving deeper into factors surrounding your lifestyle that we are then able to gather a much strong understanding of exactly how your space should not only look, but function and feel . This often results in a design that exceeds client’s expectation!
7. Stress Minimisation
A qualified and experienced designer has the ability to manage everything! From budget, timeframes, trades, materials, deliveries, installation…. right through to the little defects or warranty issues that sometimes arise down the track.
But by managing everything, this does not mean you are kept in the dark! Communication plays a key role in any project and as designers it’s our responsibility to ensure you are kept informed throughout the entire process , knowing what is happening when and to answer your questions before they are even asked. The truth is, stress is inevitable in any project regardless of the size (and anyone who says differently – is quite frankly lying). But it’s with thorough planning, great organisation and excellent communication that your designer can minimise the stress whilst always ensuring they have your best interest at heart!
8. Systemised planning
Organisation and thorough planning is KEY to any design/build project as the reality is it only takes one key error or omission and the entire process can unravel. Knowing what is required to ensure the project runs efficiently and smoothly is about having well oiled systems and processes in place. As you can probably gather by now, there is a lot involved in a design project and as designers we understand how important great systems and processes are when it comes to a successful project.
The years of experience behind an interior design team means the management of the project is guaranteed to run a whole lot smoother. Trusted relationships, past experience and strong communication with clients means all parties involved are on the same page and the project is kept on track at all times.
10. Trade Access
You may not realise it at first, but interior design firms typically have access to a much wider variety of exclusive trade products and materials. Whether that be materials, furnishing items or simply in the ability to offer more customisation. It’s almost like a secret portal to a whole new world of design! By hiring a professional with trade access both locally and all around the world means you too then have access to unique pieces that are specific to you. This falls back on our other point of creating a timeless space. Rather than selection a piece of a showroom floor that hundreds of others are likely to have, we are sourcing pieces that are completely unique to you and the style of your home – ultimately thriving for years down the track.