Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.— SHAKER PHILOSOPHY
Good design is obvious. Great design is transparent.— JOE SPARANO
People love creativity. People love to consider themselves creative. People love to do things by themselves. And designing their home interior falls into this category way too often. That often that I decided to plead for the use of professionals in this case also; same way you go to dentists for dental problems, to stores for clothing or to hairdressers for a haircut. Or the same way you do your job. Everyone knows how to do things, so everyone should be given the exact opportunity to show their capabilities.
What do you LOSE by hiring a professional
It might look awkward that I start by giving you the bad news first. And no, I`m not a pessimist either. It just how people think! Always (and I mean always) people put everything this way: what`s IN for ME? Or in other words, what am I losing if I take this decision? Well, when you decide to hire a professional for designing your home (and by professional I mean an architect, interior designer or decorator) the top you can lose is money. Ohhh…MONEY! Like money is not bad enough? Honestly, money are important only when strictly correlated with numbers. When you`ll write me saying that I lost $1 M, or $100K or $50K or $20K on a designer I will be ready to give you a prize (don`t ask me for what because you won`t like the answer). If you`re telling me that you lost a couple of hundreds or thousands for the same designer, then I`ll ask you another question: if someone stills your laptop, how much do you lose? Or your luxury purse or wallet? Or even, worse, your car? What if you misplace you cell phone or forget your favorite watch on the beach? What I`m trying to say is that we always lose (and make) money, and a bad investment is always quantifiable by a number. If the number is not big enough, neither is the lost.
What do you GAIN by hiring a professional
Now this is the moment when your ROI (return of investment) it`s at its peak. When taking the wise decision of hiring a professional, you will gain TIME, MONEY, HEALTH and maybe a FRIEND. You’ll get all the time that you wanted to invest when thinking I`ll be the designer; I`m sure you know on what to spend it right? Maybe for yourself, maybe for your family or maybe for your work. Bottom line is that you almost got to the point where the day has 48hr.
Money are coming back to you either by returns of the extra time invested or like savings that you made. A designer is not there just to spend your money; he/she is also there to help you buy the best product for a certain need. This way you don`t find yourself with a bulk of items that are not usefully. I`m not sure if you are aware that a good design will enhance your health, either by side effects of a more organized space, a more calming or inspiring color in your office or better designed furniture for increased productivity.
Almost all the time a good collaboration goes beyond the professional line. People still connect with each other not only because of the business need, but also because we were build this way. We enjoy meeting new people, and a designer-client relationship is a very strong one. You give to a total stranger your hopes and dreams about your home; you open your house door to someone that you don`t know and share part of your life with him/her. If you are willing enough you can get a true friend (and this states also for designers).
Why a DESIGNER and not ME
Well, why not me instead of you at your job? What makes you so good at what you do and I can`t do it? The same applies for design professional. Everything you believe to make you more capable, me or other designer thinks the same. It`s about the training, the experience and the talent. Unique combination for unique people. You might have a good eye for beauty, fashion or colors, but do you have a great eye for details? The devil is in the details an old saying states. And truth it speaks. The difference between bad (or good) and great design is in those little details that only a professional can see (no matter what it`s domain might be). And what genuine talented people can do is maybe reach the level of a decorator; but from there up to interior designer or architect it`s another story. With many pages and a lot of time to invest in.
Like a contractor told me when he once visited my office. I`ve asked him if he works with designers. And he replied: No. I choose the colors and then the client chooses whatever furniture he wants. And I thought to myself: good for you! Why would you need a designer when you can do all that? Don`t get me wrong: I respect every professional out there, but I also ask respect in return for my profession.
Where to FIND a GOOD designer
There are many ways to hire a professional, but the best one if by referral. You can see what he did and balance if he can help you. Another way is by searching the web; almost everyone has portfolio`s online. That means someone hired him before you. Browse their work, read their bio and decide who emulates better. There are also companies specialized in linking clients with professionals (but I will always check their portfolio). You can tell how professional someone is by the way they talk, act or suggest thinks. Your relationship with your designer should always be smooth and easy; no arguing, no melodrama. If this is the case, switch to someone else.
Before seeing your designer first time
Before meeting someone for the first time, try and research him a little bit. Maybe just be caution. Then put your affairs in order: set a budget for the renovation and a budget for the designer. Nowadays is easy to find the price range for everything. Always ask how much they charge and negotiate if you want less; they might say yes or no. Don`t go to low. Always think how would you feel if someone would do this to you? I militate for everyone to be able to make money, not just one party.
As my conclusion: an expert is better than a hundred wannabes. Wise decisions always benefit you. Choose the right thing and you will gain more than you`ve expected. Or just do it your way: the result might prove you right. Or not.