While I was out running errands earlier this week I happened to overhear a conversation between a young couple shopping for accessories in their home. The wife was frustrated because her husband didn’t like anything she picked and vice versa which had them at an impasse and apparently it wasn’t the first time. They were arguing over whether certain items would “go” with the style of furniture, colors etc. in their home and after listening to them for a good ten minutes, I finally introduced myself, gave them my card and invited them to come see me for a complimentary consultation. They thanked me, laughed and joked that perhaps it would save their marriage if a pro could handle it for them. At least then they would have a buffer! It made me start thinking about the many things interior designers can do and how there are still a lot of people out there who aren’t really sure what a designer does and why they might need one. Perception can be a tricky thing. The way you dress and act contributes to how people perceive you. The same goes for your home. Most people don’t think about interior design as part of their investment into their home but when you look at the benefits you’ll realize that the perception of the quality of your home is directly related to the quality of your interior design. So this week I’ve decided to tackle the topic and try to clarify a few perceptions about interior designers.

Perception #1: I can’t afford an interior designer

Like any service, it’s easier to justify the expense if you understand exactly what your benefits are. When it comes to money and interior designers, yes there is expense involved for time, expertise and material costs and labor. It’s no different from any other service you might pay for whether it’s an accountant at tax time or a painter to re-do your walls. However, the benefits can be huge when you consider how much your time is worth and then consider how much money you could save by getting it right the first time.

FACT: I save my clients money

  • Direct access to vendors to negotiate cost
  • Consultation and budget planning up front
  • Design done right saves you time AND money

Perception #2: I don’t understand the benefits of having an interior designer.

I have studied interior design for years, it’s my passion in life. There are lots of obvious benefits of having an interior designer but think about it in the context of the investment you make in your home. If you ever plan to move, it is definitely something you should be thinking about. Competition in the housing market is intense and you and your home should be prepared if you want to get top dollar.

FACT: Good Interior Design can help increase the value of your home.

  • Homes that have outdated interiors don’t show well and spend more time on the market.
  • Homes in need of major updating sell for less

If you want top-dollar for your home, you need to make sure you keep it up to date. Interior Designers can help you achieve that.

Perception #3: I can design my own space, surely it’s not that hard.

Of course you can do this if you are happy with your style and the choices you make. You’d be surprised at the number of people who try and can’t understand why their room doesn’t come together on it’s own. I have years of training and experience in Interior Design. My award-winning portfolio speaks for the quality of the work that I do. Much like ice skating, interior design may look easy but to do it right you need talent, training and experience.

FACT: A qualified interior designer will get it right the FIRST time.

  • Save money by not having to re-do
  • Save time with furniture and accessories that are chosen to work together instead of experimenting.
  • Many people try and fail at doing it themselves then hire a designer to fix it.

Perception #4: Furniture is cheaper at the big retail stores.

With easy access to large furniture retailers in Kansas City who spend big bucks advertising discounts to get you into the store, it’s easy to assume that you’ll save big on everything they sell. Those big retailers are banking on the thought that you won’t want to make another trip so you’ll choose something while you’re there and get it done even if it ends up costing more than you expected.

FACT: I can compete with pricing & often deliver higher quality furniture

  • I have direct access to manufacturers and furniture vendors which helps me pass on savings to clients
  • The furniture lines I carry are often better quality than what you can buy off the shelf at retailers
  • You can get unique furniture and accessories that you won’t find in the retail stores

Bottom line is that the benefits outweigh the cost and while I may not be able to change the public’s perception of Interior Designers overnight, I do think it’s a worthwhile topic to explore. Most people don’t think about interior design as part of their investment into their home but when you look closely it’s easy to see the benefits outweigh the cost.

Choosing a qualified interior designer should be based on these things: