Building & Renovating

7 Reasons To Hire An Interior Designer

Here’s how to save time (and even money!) by hiring a pro

Photography: Ocs Alvarez, Vincent Coscolluela

With Pinterest, websites, and Do-It-Yourself TV shows, it’s easy to get decorating ideas for your dream home. But once you’re in the thick of planning, it may become difficult just putting all your ideas together. And it will become even more difficult once you mobilize the project on your own!

Hiring a professional interior designer may save you time and money in the long run. Designers are formally educated and trained to handle interior projects and their various challenges and problems, thus eliminating the danger of trial and error—and expensive mistakes you have to redo. Here are the reasons: 

They’ll know your needs and suggest solutions.

In photo: Design HQ's designer offices.

Much like psychologists, interior designers will initially (and continuously) ask the homeowners questions about their behaviors: Do you wake up late in the day (this may call for blackout shades)? Do you prefer eating in the dining room or the kitchen (maybe a breakfast nook is in order)? Will you live in your condo at all (spruce it up as a rental instead)? The designer will then work on your space based on your requirements and lifestyle.

They’ll help you visualize your dream space.

Moodboard by Kristine Neri/Urban Abode

After consulting with you, a designer presents a moodboard, and may also show the floor plan and furniture layout. They may even show you a 3D visualization of the space. After this presentation and upon approval, you can plan the project together.

They’ll mediate conflicting tastes.

If your taste clashes with your family’s (or your spouse’s) tastes, designers can propose compromises or at the very least, give a solution that will serve the basic interior needs of both parties.

They'll work on a budget.

Designers can estimate the required work and tell you what you can do given a budget—and will also recommend a realistic budget, based on the scope of work. Just be upfront!

They'll take care of details.

Even with a full set of working drawings, there are hundreds of little details interior designers would think of that homeowners would usually neglect. Details such as choosing what type of lighting switchplates, positioning electrical outlets, specifying the trim detail of a headboard, and many others are the specialty of a professional.

They'll help you shop.

Canvassing, sourcing, and visiting dozens of shops over an extended period take time and energy. Designers develop contacts over time with material suppliers, furniture makers, and subcontractors. They can recommend the suppliers who give the best prices and do the best jobs, do the shopping themselves, or give you suggestions when canvassing.

They’ll check on the contractor’s work.

Sometimes, homeowners skip hiring a designer and just go straight to a contractor. But designers can be an important link—they can check the quotations and help the homeowner choose the right contractor. And simply handing over drawings over to the contractor isn’t enough. The designer should visit the site regularly to check if the working drawings are being followed to specifications.

Read the original article in the September 2004 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App. Log on to for more details.

PHOTOS: Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions | Vincent Coscolluela | Paolo Feliciano

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