Recently, my sister-in-law and her husband built a new house. Of course, I advised her when she asked, but I wasn’t going to “insert” myself and tell her all of the reasons why you need to hire an interior designer for new construction.
She has great taste and strong opinions (kind of like her brother…my husband…haha). Plus, she’s Type A and can get stuff done quickly and effectively, so she was ready to take on the task.
As she was finishing the project and had already moved in, she texted me this:
Obviously, I’m the one writing the article, but it brought up some great points about why you should hire a designer for new construction. All of the points noted are applicable whether building a whole house, creating an addition, or remodeling your space altogether.
First, let me start by saying that most builders are great people, working from the heart in an industry that they love. They are similar to interior designers…we do what we do because we love it. That doesn’t mean that we all have the best business practices.
More often than not, our industries muddle through the process and patch things together as they go. I know this because I work with interior designers, architects, and landscape professionals via my Designed for the Creative Mind division that provides education to business people in the creative space and have seen it first hand.
If you’re thinking about any sort of new construction, whether a new house or a remodel of your current home, here are some key reasons why you need to work with an interior designer:
Your builder may have a designer on staff, but do they simply take what you want and say yes to it? This is what happened to my sister-in-law, and her selections didn’t fit on the wall in her powder bath. The selections she made were beautiful, but when installed, they didn’t fit on the wall so they hung the sconces too high in order to accommodate. Does anybody else see Mickey Mouse in this image?
Another question about the builder’s designer is whether or not he or she is qualified, or just a family member with good taste?
A professional designer works with construction details regularly, and will often have the room dimensions in front of us when making selections. When in doubt, we can drop the details into our software to confirm they will fit and SHOW the client what will and will not work.
We are your guide through the construction process.
Often, we simply provide an “elevation” such as the image above that shows the dimensions of EXACTLY what will fit on the wall (and where) while also showcasing the design details. This saves time and money for the client and headaches during the new construction phase.
Your builder (or contractor if you’re remodeling) wants to please you and may not have the confidence, experience, or diplomacy to push back on some of your (ill-thought) requests. We currently are designing a kitchen for a client who did not enlist a designer for their master bathroom renovation. They now have to sit on their bathtub in order to brush their teeth at their vanity because the contractor did exactly what they asked for. Seriously.
Many builders or contractors operate on low pricing + high volume and want to get through your project as quickly as possible and may overlook details or provide less than stellar craftsmanship.
When you hire an interior designer, we are your advocates throughout the construction process. If your builder is not meeting timelines, switching out selections without your permission (yes, that also happened to my sister-in-law), or installs the backsplash with the wrong grout color, a designer will act as the intermediary to ensure the difficult conversations are not a distraction to your already busy day.
An interior designer will provide the builder with all of the selections in advance so there is plenty of lead time for ordering, shipping delays, and so forth.
When you work with an interior designer, we are looking at your house as a whole to ensure cohesiveness and consistency throughout the new construction. You don’t want your home to feel like Disneyland with various themed (i.e. styles) rooms.
The above are just a few of the key reasons you want to hire a designer for new construction. Any construction.
A designer is an extra expense but will benefit you before, during, and after the actual construction process.
A good designer will also know how – and where – to mix and match high and lower-end finishes so that your new construction doesn’t bankrupt you or not provide a return on investment, should you need to sell sooner than you anticipated.
Many clients have called once they realized how many hundreds of decisions need to be made when building a new home. Everything from the fun and sexy kitchen backsplash, countertop material, and gorgeous lighting, to the not so sexy plumbing valves, countertop edge, bathroom paper holder, and more.
If you are busy, do you have the time to be running all over town mixing and matching all of these details? Do you feel comfortable mixing and matching your metal finishes so your entire house isn’t “gold” or “silver”? What about black or pewter or brushed finishes? All of these details add character and beauty to a home.
Even if your builder sends you to a design center, don’t you want an advocate who isn’t getting commission and has more than a few hours to spend with you?
And finally, we’ll catch design details that builders don’t notice…they build…we design…it’s a team effort!
Don’t wait until you’ve already started the process. Call today and let’s discuss how we can make your new construction project fun instead of frustrating.
p.s. Wondering how to consider an interior designer? I’ve compiled some questions to ask an interior designer that may help you.