October 3, 2019

The Hidden Costs of NOT Hiring an Interior Designer

When you try to design your own home, expensive mistakes can be made. Here, I go into detail on how those missteps can really start to add up, and how you can avoid all that by hiring a professional interior designer.

Sometimes, when I’m talking through our expenses with a new client, they are intimidated by the cost. However, when we break it down and explain how they would be getting everything at once, it’s easy to see how it adds up. Furniture accumulated over time adds up to be a lot anyways, and in many cases it can actually be more expensive to not work with an interior designer. If you try to decorate by yourself, you’re purchasing lots of products—furniture, lighting, rugs, accessories, and more—and you’re usually doing it in a piece-meal manner. This creates a cycle where you are buying something that might not be exactly right, then buying more things to fit what you already have. You are constantly trying to make the space feel cohesive, and usually make many changes as you furnish the space.

This is in stark contrast to how smoothly things go when we work together. The strongest room design is always one in which we are thinking of the space as a whole. This makes for a more cohesive look. When people try to do it themselves, they often come to me with regret about investing in certain pieces. There are a couple things I hear over and over again. The first thing is that the scale is wrong. When people make purchases without a floor plan and a larger sense of proportion, it’s never going to be quite right. The second thing I hear often is the materials and finishes are wrong. When you are buying something from a retail store, there are limitations in the materials they use. A fabric may be advertised as durable, but if water gets on viscose (which is used often) it’s damaged. Our knowledge of materials will help you avoid mistakes like that and think about the overall lifespan of a piece. In addition to making wrong, expensive purchases, there are two other major costs of not hiring an interior designer: time and stress.


Whenever I’m hesitant to pay for something, I remind myself that my time is worth something. It takes a lot of time and effort to look for and source product. If you aren’t familiar with all the brands, it’s time-consuming to search for what you’re looking for. You also have fewer places to look compared to a designer who has access to a variety of vendors. Working with a designer opens you up to so many different products and price points. This allows you to get something that’s unique and combines different styles that appeal to you. Do you really want to spend your free time hunting down pieces that may or may not be quite right? An interior designer knows exactly where to go.


When redoing a space, sometimes couples are on the same page, but often they are not. One of my most important roles, as a designer, is listening to your wishes as a whole and putting together a design that represents everyone. When there’s not a mediator, it can be more difficult to find that middle ground. Often, both partners have full-time jobs; so trying to cobble together a DIY design on nights and weekends feels more like a chore than a delight. When we are hired, we spend a lot of time in the beginning getting to know you, your style, and discussing how much you want to be involved. We start out with a lot of personal information that’s driving the design. Our clients feel a sense of peace and confidence because a professional who has 15+ years of experience and a deep understanding of design principles is making decisions.

We have clients from our firm’s early days who are still working with us. The spaces we designed for them are 10+ years old and still have a ton of life in them. We may replace small items, such as a pillow here and there, but all of the major furniture, upholstery, rugs, and drapes have held up beautifully. Not only durability-wise, but also from a style standpoint. Our designs are not too trendy to stand the test of time. So if you are looking for a space that has longevity, and desire a seamless, stress-free process, you can’t afford to not work with an interior designer.Until next time,

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