It's not all cushion fluffing & product buying
I would have said that I assume that most readers who have have come across this blog will be aware of what it is that an Interior Designer does for a living. However, I know that one should never assume, so for those of you who are still a little in the dark about what it is we Interior Designers do, let me explain. An Interior Designer is someone who is qualified either by education or by experience and recognised skills to offer expertise under the following headings:
- The Basics: "Identifying, researching and creatively solving problems pertaining to the function and quality of the interior environment." The interior environment relates to homes (residential), hotels, bars and clubs (commercial/hospitality) and shops and stores (retail) to name a few. Of course I haven't mentioned areas such as convention centres, airports, concert halls, hospitals, corporate offices, resorts, museums and restaurants, as well as areas for children or the visually/hearing impaired. The list could go on...
- The Big Picture: "Performing services relative to interior spaces including: specification, design analysis, space planning, aesthetics, inspection of work on site, interior construction, building systems and components, building regulation, equipment, materials, finishes and furnishings."
- The Every Day: Design drafting, product sourcing, invoicing, quoting on works, V.A.T analysis, communicating with suppliers, clients, and manufacturers, consultations, project management, problem solving, transferring your concepts into real tangible designs and a whole lot of research and above all, networking!
If you were to ask me for a summary of an average day I would be stuck for an answer! One day could involve putting together a scheme for a family and making sure that my drafted and selected bespoke designs are actually transferrable to real life, followed shortly by teetering on a ladder platform to hang a pair of curtains in a hotel, followed by arranging to meet suppliers to invest in my next range of products such as fabrics, wallpapers, lighting, or whatever they may be. One thing I can tell you is that every day is different to the last. You never know what is going to happen as the days and weeks go by, which makes the profession both riveting and challenging at the same time.
If you asked me what is my one favourite part of working as an Interior Designer in Ireland, I suppose I would have to say it's getting feedback from my client on the end of their project. It's a personal feeling I think, one born out of satisfaction that I've done my job right and that my client is happy, which for me is the number one most important thing.
If you're thinking 'I don't need an Interior Designer, I can do it all myself", kudos on the confidence and determination, and I mean that genuinely! Some people have strong skills at styling, buying and DIY and as admirable as these skills are, these aren't the only talents you may need. There are several reasons for hiring an Interior Designer for your project so (as much as I tend to waffle) I would encourage you to continue reading:
1 | Expense
You might say "Hiring an Interior Designer is going to cost me a fortune" however this isn't always the case. What you spend is completely up to you and your budget. Interior designers are supposed to be good communicators so we try to make pricing clear from the outset. Hasn't everybody been guilty of trying out a project for themselves only to find that it needs replacing in no time? Hiring an experienced Interior Designer will help you avoid costly mistakes like this, saving you a fortune down the road whether it is reupholstering an heirloom or tiling your wet-room floor.
2 | Resources & Contacts
You've been mulling over Image Interiors Magazine, House & Home Magazine, The White Book, or searching Pinterest and don't know where to start on your project. An Interior Designer will point out what specific products you need for your space and will help guide you in the right direction with regards to the correct finishes, fixtures, hardware and soft furnishings. All Interior Designers operate differently but each should have a dedicated range of brands and products that they know they can trust, recommend and stand over. These referrals are vital for your peace of mind.
3 | A Professional Point of View
We Interior Designers are trained to spot the things you might miss. Every detail is considered and assessed which could inevitably help your budget. Designers understand what products and elements mix well and what installations can psychologically effect a person when entering a room. If you've been mulling over designs for too long and it's all a haze, we will be able to help you make an informed decision.
4 | Time
A Designer will plan your project down to a tee. We put so many hours into our day on working out costs and lead times, researching and designing so you don't end up pulling your hair out! We will oversee your entire project from start to finish so you can spend time on the things you need to such as work or family.
5 | Communication Between Parties
An Interior Designer, while project managing their design, will oversee all elements of production and will communicate between those who are involved such as architects, joiners, craftspersons, decorators and of course, the client. We act as a middle man (or woman!), a liaison officer and a mediator, making sure that at the end of the day, the client has their dream design.
6 | Unique Designs
Maybe you've thought, "I'm bored of grey, cream or the neutrals" or "every home I come across looks the same". It is the job of the Interior Designer to put forward designs and products which are unique, innovative or even slightly beyond your comfort zone, pushing you to create a space you might not necessarily have though of but will love being in. Every Designer can identify the limits of their client and should be able to sense what direction you want to go in...
...The result is awesome.
If you need help with an interior design project, contact me to find out what's involved in hiring an interior designer- I won't bite, I promise!
'Til next Friday,
Ciara Eloise Crosbie.
HI | Homework Interiors