Employing the services of an Interior Designer to help design your home can often lead to a far more polished and cohesive result than doing it yourself but the process can be daunting. We are often asked to define exactly what it is Interior Designers do? What do they bring to a project? How do they work with an Architect? Do they add value to a project? Do we even need one? In our first blog post, we wanted to answer some of these common questions and provide some practical suggestions for making the process as smooth and successful as possible.
DO I NEED AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?
It’s a common misconception that Interior Designers push their own agenda onto a project, leaving you with something that doesn’t feel personal to you. Our primary role is to help you translate your vision for your property into reality. A good Interior Designer needs to be a pro at listening to draw out exactly what it is the Client is looking for – even if they don’t quite know it themselves. It’s a good starting point to pull together images of homes and styles you like and these will help to create a design direction. Pinterest is a great tool at this stage to keep your ideas organised. It’s then our job to interpret your brief and turn this into a home that exceeds your expectations. Stuck for ideas? An Interior designer has plenty! We’re used to coming up with solutions for tricky spaces, designing new furniture to fit in with your existing pieces and finding the right balance between different styles.
COORDINATING AND COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR DESIGNER
Redecorating or renovating a property can be stressful - just the furnishing alone takes a huge amount of coordination and management. Deciding how involved you want to be at the beginning of a project will help to define the relationship you have with your Interior Designer. Most clients will be more involved in the early design stages of the project taking a step back once it’s underway which allows us to manage everything from contractors to deliveries for you. We pride ourselves on excellent communication, ensuring that nothing gets overlooked and that as the client you are kept informed throughout. We ensure that this is managed seamlessly, relinquishing responsibility from our Client so they can enjoy seeing the project come to fruition in front of their eyes.
WORKING WITH ARCHITECTS AND SPECIALISTS
Interior Design is not just a creative process but involves a great deal of project management so its most beneficial to bring in a designer in at the early stages of a project. We are well versed in working with architects, surveyors and various other specialists at the planning stages of a project. Often working with an Interior Designer from the very beginning helps create a more harmonious space that ultimately delivers what you are looking for. Howark Design can offer a different perspective on layouts and we will always think about how your furniture is going to sit in a space, something that is really important to address early on so that simple things like plug sockets and water pipes are in the right locations – this will ultimately save time and money down the line. Interior designers are often the bridge between the design of the space as a whole, and how you want to live in it.
MAXIMISING YOUR BUDGET & BUDGET CONTROL
Contrary to popular belief, we believe that as Interior Designers, it is our job to help you maximise your budget, not blow it! Whether you start off with a strict budget in mind or have no idea how much you should be spending, Interior Designers should always be able to give an overview on costs and stick to a budget once it’s been agreed. At Howark Design we will always be honest and recommend areas where savings can be made and equally areas where it’s worth spending a little more. It’s all about balance. At Howark Design we know that designing something bespoke from scratch doesn’t necessarily need to be more expensive than buying an off the shelf product. Designing bespoke will allow you to have exactly what you want and doesn’t restrict you to what is available in the shops.
FURNISHING YOUR PROJECT AND BESPOKE DESIGNS
Furnishing a project can be a minefield. There is so much choice these days that it can often be overwhelming and sometimes what you’re looking for just isn’t out there. An Interior designer can bring much needed clarity to the furnishing process and by working with their network of suppliers and makers create bespoke pieces that cater exactly to your needs and budget. Working from your brief we would put together a full presentation for you including floorplans, finishes and images of suggested furniture and bespoke designs throughout so you get a really clear picture of how your home could look. These are complimented by material samples relating to the elements of the decoration scheme which convey the textures and feel of your home. Depending on the project we would include detailed elevations and sometimes hand drawn visuals of rooms to help to illustrate the mood and style of the key areas.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Finally and probably most importantly, redecorating or renovating is often one of the most substantial investments you will ever make, so it’s vital to approach it in the right way. The most successful projects are those that build on a good rapport between the Client and Interior Designer. We want to enhance your project and exceed your expectations, adding value and clarity and ultimately making it an enjoyable process for all involved.
Howark Design offers high quality, professional design services for projects throughout the UK and Europe (and even further afield if required!). Please get in touch with us should you wish to discuss your project, or find out more about our services.
Saskia & James