I was sitting with some charming ladies planning an event for a dear friend over this past weekend, and as per usual, we were also sharing work stories. When I disclose that I am an Interior Designer, having never worked with one themselves, a few asked me if and how working with a designer really made a difference in the final product.
A question to which I begin to answer with this blog.
The difference of completing the same project while working with a professional interior designer will ABSOLUTELY yield a distinctive and noticeably higher-quality result. It will be apparent not only in the finished visible product, but also keeping in mind emotional and financial experiences.
A great designer will help you define and edit your own personal style. They will give you confidence in your decisions and allow you to remain moving forward and focused on the larger product and not bogged down in the minutia.
In turn, a great client will interview and only hire an interior designer that has a work portfolio that showcases completed projects that they personally enjoy and are are inspired. The working relationship will never work out if you hire a designer who is known for their bold color choices, while you personally are most comfortable in a muted color pallet. So interview and choose wisely.
One area of design that a professional will be able to assist you with is the topic of scale. Often times rooms feel empty or incomplete, lacking and unfinished. Many clients who experience this can not put their finger on exactly why their home or office does not have the completed polished look that they desire.
Enter a professional interior designer.
One of the perks of being the designer is that my trained eye can identity immediately a persons preference for size and scale. In most cases the following phenomenon is occurring:
Stagnate Line of Height: All color and accessories in the room are hung on the walls at the exact same finishing height. It’s almost like you can draw a parallel line to the floor where the tops of all furnishing and art work are hung. I believe this is an easy trap for clients to get into because when hanging art, they become focused solely on the proportion of the pieces to the other pieces. Loosing grasp of the overall much larger scale and balance of the room.
While the image above is a well balanced gallery-style wall installation, imagine if ALL of the art work and the furnishings for the entire room fished at the exact same height! Take a moment to look around you room and see if you may be guilty of this scale fopaux. (I won’t judge.)
An interior designer will help you immediately by breaking you out of your ‘comfort zone’ of height and scale. The result will be a more balanced and well rounded room. Imagine the below example as an alternative that keeps the SCALE of the entire room in mind:
Working with an interior designer often seems like a luxury and expensive. Yet I guarantee that the second example is a much more affordable installation that the gallery-style picture frames in the first example. A great designer thinks out-of-the-box and creates the best result for the space while keeping well within the budget.
Short-Sited Fixture Installation: An Interior Designer should also work closely with your contractor and architect to provide input on important installation details. I can not tell you how many times I see a dining room that is improperly balanced due to a short-sited installer or original floorplan design that failed to take furnishings into consideration.This dining room is beautiful, but with one fatal flaw…and that is all I can focus on when viewing.
The chandelier is off center of the table. This is a common frustration as the original electrician placed the chandelier’s power source centered to the room (per the architect’s drawings). Paying no mind to the possibility of adjacent furnishings, such a a hutch or side table, and no attention to traffic patterns that would be needed in the space, the chandelier becomes out of alignment with the rest of the finished room. There is no argument the the furnishings and window treatments are beautifully done, but the awkward lighting placement is hard to get past. Again, an interior designer would save the client the expense of having an electrician come out for a second trip to move the power source… not to mention the drywall patch… possible need to reinforce the ceiling framing to hand a new chandelier… as well as a painter to repaint the entire ceiling so that no patch can be detected. Yikes!
Exterior vs. Interior: An exterior feature such as a window may have been added by the architect for several important reasons: it creates balance to the exterior, it adds character, it allows much desired natural light into the room. However, the issue of scale may become problematic if a professional designer is not consulted to help finish the interior.
In the example below the bathroom is completed with high end finishes such as custom cabinets, moldings, paneled doors, hardware and custom tile backsplash. Yet with all of these upgraded expenses, the lighting and too small framed mirror stunt the overall elegance of the room. Again, causing the viewer to have the undesired effect of being uncomfortable.
As an Interior Designer I would have approached the mirror, moldings and light fixtures in a much different manner in order to compliment the height of the ceilings as well as the custom windows. Much in the idea of the image below where the designer has balanced the scale of the mirrors with the windows.
Here the design team successfully found a way to incorporate duel mirrors and vanity in front of a floor to ceiling window. Clever planning went into this installation
I will continue this series with nods to other avenues in which hiring a professional designer may be in your best interest. As always I hope you enjoyed today’s post, and I encourage you to do great work.