Designer Cents: Benefits of an interior designer

Designer Cents: Benefits of an interior designer

Time Frame: Home makeover shows portray we can paint, install lighting and appliances, move in furniture and have all our friends over in one day. Keep in mind that home makeover shows do not reflect an actual home revamp scenario for the average person. Celebrity Designer Candice Olson once told me ” I can only shoot up to 10 projects a year” That is the least amount of shows on any television network.” I too, have to explain to my clients that it is a relationship building process. It is “not like reality tv”. where as you walk into the room and “Surprise” you love everything. A designer can help set realistic expectations from the beginning.


Steps: We first start with Style Direction. Decision makers have to make a virtual idea book- sometimes it’s like designing for the sexes with Pinterest-lol. The idea book gives me style suggestions for the project.

Benefits of hiring an interior designer is that we do it all for you. We are planning for weeks, have a team of helpers and a warehouse of furniture standing by to deliver as soon as it makes “sense”.


Home Decor Industry: Although exact numbers aren’t released because companies are privately owned. They make millions from catalogs…clearly because they send them out constantly. Some Catalog box stores have branded themselves into a style- they typically don’t make anything and are buying from the same vendors designers buy from. Customers are buying into a “look” and paying an inflated price due to shipping cost. Yes, you heard right. Free shipping is not free-simply added to the retail price of the item. Box stores are open 7 days a week selling accessories and anything under the sun to make shoppers feel as good as buying a new pair of shoes.

But really unless you have a design plan that tells you how high and wide of a filler you need it’s best to put that vase down and think…What makes sense? An interior designer will provide a space plan that is your guide to what you need.

Bidding: Does it make “sense” to invite the laborer of your new addition or bathroom remodel over to give you a bid on an imaginary scope of work?

How do they know what price to give you if you don’t have a clear plan on paper showing what their scope of work is. This means they could be under estimating, which is how some design projects end up costing triple the initial budget or over estimating to cover cost just incase your project is thought to be the most complicated application. It’s best to work with an interior designer first that can help guide you in a design that is within your budget. First design, then product selection, and labor bids last.

Furniture Quality: Not all furniture is made the same. The question is what do you value?

You can get the same look in different levels. Furniture lay out using scale and proportion help determine the “flow” of the room. It’s the materials used in the furniture that determine the cost. Such as Mahogany Wood vs. Mahogany Finish. Some Mahogany woods come from South America but due to the endangered rain forest some Mahogany wood today comes from the Philippines. Mahogany Finish is a stain to look as dark as mahogany wood over a “blonde wood” that is easily found domestically. The difference is when mahogany dents it’s the same color all the way through. The finish technique used in high end furniture has more of a matt finish vs. a shiny sheen found in most lower end furniture or cabinetry.

Whether you are a match for high end or designing on a tight budget the design has to make sense for you. An interior designer matches you with vendors that are within your budget.

Trend: Designers are always a step ahead. We travel to furniture markets to view the new unveiling of “high end” vendors and “budget friendly” vendors. What you don’t know is that some vendors take pride in their exclusive lines (not allowing photos, invite only) and others take pride in disclosing that they copied another line and made it cheaper after a few markets. By the time it trickles down into box stores and catalogs its a few seasons later and an imported version of the original making it more affordable. This answers the question of how long will my design last before it dates itself. It depends on whether you hired an interior designer or a DIY with a friend or a home decorator that shops in the local box stores. It only makes “sense” if you only want to do it right the first time and for a long term commitment. Hiring an interior design for Design Sense to save Cents is what it boils down to.

Decorating Mistakes to Avoid

Orlando Interior Designer – When planning a design for a room, it’s easy to make a seemingly small mistake that can make a huge impact on the design and flow of a space. There are few things that Orlando Interior Designer, Erika Benfield says that you should avoid when planning the layout of a room. Below are a few suggestions of how to add designer touches to a space and avoid making mistakes.

Light Accordingly: insufficient lighting can be a huge problem in a space. Lighting creates ambiance; whether you prefer natural or artificial—it sets the mood in the space and affects the overall feel. Lighting can also be an important part of the décor—table lamps work but floor lamps, chandeliers, and even up-lighting are some other options available when deciding how to light a space appropriately. Remember to light the correct areas as well; a floor lamp in an un-used corner doesn’t do much. Place lighting within conversation areas for the most use. Designer Tip: Have lighting from a three different levels.

Furniture Feng Shui: Furniture placement is important to the flow of a room and also contributes to how guests interact. If seating and conversation areas are placed correctly, guests will feel comfortable chatting and socializing. The room will feel bigger too. Rooms where the furniture is shoved against the wall can make a space feel cramped. Pull furniture out 7”-8” from the wall to make it feel more spacious. Avoid blocking windows and doors whenever possible by allowing up to 36” of walk space in between for traffic flow. Envision a river flowing through your home- will it flow through the exit doors or will it pool and flood due to cramp furniture layout? Good Feng Shui when incorporated into space planning is the positive energy and flow that makes a room feel “cozy”.

Come to Grips with your Lifestyle: Do you have a lot of pets, enjoy entertaining, have young children, or a busy lifestyle? All of these things should be taken into consideration when selecting the materials, furniture, and finishes in your space. One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when designing a space is selecting materials that don’t match up with your life. If you’re going to spend time worry about whether or not the kids get near it—it’s not for you. When in doubt polyester is your friend for main upholstery pieces. Beautiful things can be practical too. Orlando color specialists say that this idea is important when selecting colors as well. Obviously, light colors might not be the best choice for furniture with someone who has pets and kids—not to worry, though. If you love soft neutrals, bring it in with the wall color or window treatments.

When in doubt of making a mistake on lighting plan, furniture placement to meet your lifestyle…leave it to the professionals. But for last minute fixes on your own because challenges on time or budget… give it a try follow the above suggestions to help create a more cozy and practical space. Florida Living Quarters has a Lake Mary Interior Design Showroom located just north of Orlando.

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