Hiring an Interior Designer is a significant decision in planning your living or work space, and can have positive impact like optimized space utilization. Understanding what a good rate to engage an Interior Designer at is also important to ensure value in your renovation project. This article will educate readers on how to best utilize an Interior Designer from a residential and commercial perspective. KStone Quartz works with home owners, Interior Designers, and small businesses to deliver world class quartz surfaces. Contact us today and visit our show room to experience the difference of beyond surface and beyond service.
What is an Interior Designer
An Interior Designer conducts technical analysis and needs assessment to understand the living habits of individuals and groups within a space. They utilize modern techniques and deploy furniture, fixture, fabrication, and modular living elements to arrange a space so that it is optimized for purposeful use. In a nut shell Interior Designer’s bridge the functional and aesthetics of a living environment, often times determining how to decorate a space and environment.
Why Hiring an Interior Designer is Important
Residential clients should consider hiring an interior designer, especially if the space is shared with multiple families or individuals. In another instance if the living space will be multi-purpose i.e. used for in-home catering or small office or home offices (SOHO). As a result of multi-use space, consideration for sound proofing, visibility, layout, and compartmentalization is crucial. Residents will appreciate the mutli-purpose concepts that Interior Designer’s can help bring to life, by converging varied uses cases with one area that co-exist and are easily deployed when required.
Commercial property owners can count on Interior Designers to identify the purpose and function of each room so that the occupancy utilization and function is optimized. The exercise of working with an Interior Designer can be an inventive process especially when private work spaces and meeting spaces are both essential. This allows an organization to maximize their real estate investment, particularly for those who own their office space. There are many fixtures and integrated office dividers that can provide a unique balance between work and meeting space, but without an Interior Designers the usual cubicle layout may be the only one envisioned or feasible for a budget.
Practically speaking hiring an Interior Designer can help guard owners from being taken advantage of by construction contractors. Designers provide drawings which illustrate what is to be done, dimensions, and construction details. While also authoring specifications document that detail: minimum construction standards and minimum materials quality. Together these documents provide the meat and bones as to what the payer is expecting as part of attachments to a construction contract. Having these essential documents safeguards property owners from having contractors taking a deposit and then walking off the site.
Having a Budget is Absolutely Critical to a Project Success
Establishing a budget from the get go of any renovation or construction project is key to getting what is required within your comfort zone of spending. It is important to have an understanding on what you are looking to spend on a renovation project before starting and then determining how to allocate those resources to an Interior Designer, Renovator, and construction materials. Without a budget you’ll be putting yourself at risk while not accomplishing what you’ve set out to accomplish. Have a budget or cost range for each type of service provider you are looking to work with.
Advantages to Using an Interior Designer
Images courtesy of Instagram Professional Service
Business and property owners should make use of an Interior Designer for the following great benefits:
- Creation of legally binding contracts – designers can provide drawings and specifications to legally bind renovation and construction companies to a defined scope of work, which can deter companies from walking off of projects or allow project payers to pursue legal action against poor quality or against gaps in commercial insurance
- Construction and materials quality assurance – IDs can help ascertain whether construction is of quality build and materials, i.e. paint can range from $50-$200 and the difference can be difficult to tell for the general public
- Negotiate on materials and pricing – an Interior Designer can help their clients negotiate on materials and installation services as they’ve worked with numerous suppliers and know where to get the best value for visual appeal
- Provide a functional design – an Interior Designer helps someone ask the tough questions and plan their living or work space properly, while offering helpful advice to doing the impossible (i.e. mixing work and play spaces together, in an easily adjustable manner)
- Connection to quality suppliers – Interior Designers often have an extensive supplier network allowing for the best prices and predictable build quality for fixtures, furnitures, drapery, window detailing, and quartz countertops
- Design of custom storage, furniture, and fixtures – Interior Designers may provide schematics and designs for millwork of lights, lamps, and any other component of a home meaning a truly unique living and work arrangement
- Innovative and space saving hacks – Interior Designers have an arsenal of tricks up their sleeves when it comes to designing spaces that fit multi-purpose uses from creating space that shifts to make more room for living or work, to fitting in as many house guests as possible
- Aesthetics and one of a kind living spaces – designers can help people realize unique and mind bending concepts and subtly merging them into every day life
Potential Drawbacks to Using an Interior Designer
Using an Interior Designer does have draw backs and is similar in large part to retaining a service versus doing the job yourself, though for customers who are looking for a definitive design an Interior Designer is recommended. Here are some drawbacks to using an Interior Designer
- Higher budget renovation or project – using an Interior Designer is often associated with increased cost or budget, often times required from creating unique designs
- Spending more time on renovation or building project – working with an Interior Designer may require additional time from your part to coordinate and meet with
- Requires shared vision – some interior designers are exceptional at creating art deco, modern, or industrial spaces while others excel in other areas, a shared design vision is crucial in realizing space you are envisioning
- Be honest about living and working styles – the biggest miss is not being clear and upfront about the use of space, sometimes this gets a little personal and may not be something that everyone is comfortable with sharing to a third-party
- Ascertaining quality may not always be easy – when it comes to technical aspects of space planning including lighting, acoustics, and window placements this will require time to interview and review portfolios with a designer to ascertain their level of aptitude
- Quotes may not be free – some Interior Designers may require a deposit upfront to conduct quotes and consultations prior to beginning a project
- Building code adherence – Most Designers aren’t able to advise on building code compliance which is why an architect is required on some building projects
How much Does it cost to Hire an Interior Designer
Interior Designers have a wide range of cost and technical aptitudes. There are student Interior Designers that can be hired for free or seasoned designers that can command a similar price point to lawyers in the hundreds of dollars price range. On Home Advisor the range of cost can run from anywhere between $520 – $45,000 (adjusted from source with Canadian dollars). With larger commercial projects surely to break over the upper end of the range.
Similar to professional services there is also often different types of fee structures to work with an Interior Designer including (source)
- Fixed price – what you see is what you get on the quote without pre-approved additional costs
- Cost plus (usually 20% on top of materials) – the Designer will purchase materials with a small markup
- Hourly – fees are incurred based on the amount of time spent on your project
- Per square foot – another pricing structure is based on the amount of square footage designed along with a minimum charge
Where to Hire Interior Designers
The next question is where to hire an Interior Designer, as this will determine a significant portion of the cost and quality of your consultant. Refer to this list for a quick jump start to finding an Interior Designer for both residential and business properties
Property owners can work with an Interior Designer on a flexible basis and the options are more varied as less specialized skills are required for non-commercial properties. As a result there are often tons of options available
- Reddit – /r/Interior Design is a Reddit chat domain that is a great place to get ideas and connect with Designers directly
- LinkedIn – Interior Designers often have a LinkedIn profile and is a terrific source of understanding the history and asking for a resume without explicitly drawing time from the consultant
- Upwork – is a freelance market for professionals like lawyers, programmers, and even Interior Designers. Be sure to verify the location of the Designer as location is important as they will definitely need to be on-sight
- Houzz and HomeStars – these websites serve as review aggregators to help customers see the experience of past clients.
- Instagram / Pinterest – this one is slightly more work bu
The strategy with business Interior Design is to find structures in work spaces and public spaces that capture your imagination and interest. We suggest requesting site visits to offices of partners or suppliers to understand the design process taken and how they connected with the Interior Designer. It is usually best to connect with an Interior Designer directly our through their client to reduce time spent navigating a partner network. Above and beyond the list already mentioned here are some additional ways businesses can find Interior Designer consultants:
- Visit new offices or start up incubator spaces that allow for free tours, ask for the Interior Designer that developed the space
- Research local interior design firms and ask for the project references using Google and other review aggregators
- Browse through Interior Design magazines and read articles written by thought leaders, in order to connect with leading designers
When to use an Interior Designer
There are a fair number of small home renovation projects that don’t require an interior designer. If you are looking to coordinate, reimagine, or transform the design and style of your home or workplaces bringing on an Interior Designer is certainly going to help. More specifically the most common situations to bring on a designer are the following:
- When coordinating of millwork design and style
- Adding new furniture or fixtures
- When looking to add finishes like (marble, wood, plaster, quartz) (source)
Looking to Hire an Interior Designer and Interested in Quartz Surfaces?
Ask us and we’d be happy to recommend an Interior Designer that can help realize your interior vision. KStone Quartz is connected to over 50 Interior designers across the Greater Toronto Area and we’d be happy to recommend or help you narrow down your list of Designers. Contact us and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
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Beyond Surface Beyond Service
Whether you are considering to hire an Interior Designer or to design your own space KStone Quartz is available to help you at each step of the process. Our focus will be and has always been to provide quality services that are visually impactful and fit the purpose of the environment. KStone Quartz is manufactured and supplied by one team, our integrated service means higher quality and value for designers and home owners looking to accent and create lifestyle and expression. Our team has been serving the Grater Toronto Area with impeccable quality and focus on customer satisfaction. We offer an evolving portfolio of timeless quartz colours as well as new additions to create new living and design experiences. Contact our team today to go beyond surface with Toronto’s leading quartz brand.