Popular myth says that hiring an Interior Designer is too much money. We charge ridiculous prices for drawings, renders, and meetings; we push for the whole design package; and we entice you with buying the high end pricey items, instead of the big box store name brands. Well, here I am again to break that barrier of thinking.
First, I feel it is important to ask you how valuable your time is. Do you have the time and energy it takes to pick out a wall colour, your furniture, fabric, appliances, cabinetry, countertop, tiles, flooring, etc? The list alone sounds exhausting to just about everyone, including me. But here's the thing - this is my element. What would normally take you a whole four months to acquire (and goodness knows how long to sort through and decide) would take me a few weeks. That is what I am paid to do. Like going to a financial advisor to best assess your retirement plans; or even more similarly - a landscaper, to tell you not to plant those shrubs in direct sunlight. We have the additional knowledge and skill to help you achieve what you need; faster and more precise. I have the connections and knowledge on what oven would be more appropriate for you, based on your needs; and unlike a floor salesman, I'm not loyal to getting you a sale at one chain, but will know the best deal from various suppliers around town. I've done the work because it's my job to know. Also, unless we are on a time crunch, the hourly charge paid is only for direct client time, since we designers can't bill for all of our time.
If that hasn't appeased your concerns about cost, now comes the purchasing part. There is a delicate etiquette that needs to be observed as well throughout this process. Because we, as designers, have established connections with suppliers, vendors, and trades, we have the ability to pass along a discount from the retail pricing you receive with the same locations and people. In doing so, this also saves time and money for you, and you will feel more assured of getting proper service and quality, because we have used them before. What better reference to have? Now, understand that there is a proper way to receive these discounts and services. When you go in to a showroom to review these items, it's important to know that our accounts through these companies are not to be abused. Not only because of privacy, but it ruins our credibility with them and will then be revoked privileges. We would not take advantage of other industries, and only ask the same. If it is a budgetary concern, we can always assess the totals to ensure that you are staying within your means.
Communication and reviewing the whole picture will also save time and money. I would like to believe I have ESP, but that is not always the case. During the interview process, we make sure to ask our clients questions that can better help us determine what their needs are. Things such as, "How long do you plan on living here?" "Are you planning on selling?" "Do you have, or plan on having a family?" "Who lives here?" "Any pets?" "Allergies?" "Do you have any special requirements?" and "What is your budget?".
When touching on the issue of budgets, people always tend to shy away, and are hesitant to share. This information only helps me help you establish what the limits are, and how we are going to allocate that money in order to give you the biggest return on investment. Without complete honesty regarding project budget, I find it leads to issues further down the road. When I sit down with a financial advisor to go over how I can save money to retire comfortably, I do not hold back on my future plans for five years down the road, or vaguely guess about when I would like to retire. It is important to have a plan, other wise without one you end up making costly mistakes that could have been avoided. For a simple example, my sister did not plan out the re carpeting of her home, and ended up spending an additional $800 to have the installers come back twice because she hadn't taken the time beforehand. Mistakes like this are made everyday, and most aren't even aware of the additional extra cost being tacked to the bill.
Another big misconception is in regards to the services designers actually offer. We don't just provide colour consultations and furnishing options for our clients, our services range from big to small depending on the client and/or project. Some of the services we offer include, working alongside architects in the development stages of a project, space planning, layout options, electrical/lighting plans, built-in millwork, custom cabinetry & furniture pieces, construction/demolition/permit drawings, specification packages, purchase orders, colour coordination, complete furnishing, and of course the conceptual 3D renderings to show you the proposed end result.
At Accentrix Design, we are happy to offer complimentary consultations on larger projects, so feel free to contact us to set up a meeting. We would love to discuss your design needs in further detail, and work on establishing a plan that is tailored to suit you.
We are here to help you achieve your vision and feel more assured that we have your budget and peace of mind in mind. It's all about you!
Written by: Ashley Baetz & Danielle Molnar