I have had some recent experiences that has led me to compile a list of things that you never want to hear a “designer” say. This is my attempt to help people understand the difference between a true designer and a “decorina” while having a laugh and saving you time and money.
1) I don’t need to measure anything I can eye it.
If you hear this run as fast as you can. There is no way to possibly do proper space planning without measuring the space. And this means everything from room dimensions to window sizes, ceiling heights and placement of outlets and plumbing.
2) I will give you websites and catalogs to look at and you buy from them so I can get a commission.
A true designer is working directly with the manufacturers so you are not dealing with retail stores. This also drives me a little crazy because you are paying for the designer’s expertise. You should not be doing the work and searching stores, websites or catalogs. That is what you are paying the designer to do.
3) You don’t need to see a design plan.
This might be one of my biggest frustrations. Yes you absolutely do need to see a plan. You should be seeing drawings, plans, and schematics. Do not believe them when they tell you their other clients trust them to just do what they know is right. This is a big, huge fat lie! A real designer is putting together design boards for you. You do not do this on a daily basis. You cannot be expected to know how things are going to fit or look together. It is the designer’s responsibility to create the image and plan for you to see what it will look like, and for you to approve the plan.
4) You don’t have to go to school for design.
Yes you do! There is a reason there are multiple degrees for interior design. If we design something improperly people can get hurt. Think I’m exaggerating. Think about this, you go into your favorite restaurant. They have candles on their tables. Someone in the next booth knocks over a lit candle and it land on the upholstery. With the right fabric that flame simply goes out. With the wrong fabric that flame not only burns the booth, hurting the occupants but could travel up the draperies and to the other booths and chairs. Not a story you ever want to happen to you or anyone. An educated interior designer knows what fabrics and furnishing can go in commercial spaces. And this is just one application where the training and education is important. Designers read and draw blueprints on a daily basis. Don’t you want someone who knows how to do this correctly?
5) I will take you shopping to pick out your furnishings.
This is a little deviation on the previous comment of giving catalogs and websites. There are very few occasions where there is actually a need to go “shopping” with a designer. Again a true designer is working directly with the manufacturers, has a showroom or office and is putting together a plan for you. There is no need to go “shopping”. Also this is costing you way too much. You are paying for your designers time and paying retail! What? Working with a designer is made to save you money. You pay design fees either hourly or by square footage usually and then you get to buy at wholesale prices.
So if you are looking for an interior designer and you hear any of these comments keep looking. The right interior designer is going to make the process insanely easy for you.