One of the most often repeated quotes I’ve encountered from clients, usually about halfway through the design process, is something to the effect of “I never thought we were the type of people who would work with a designer.” This is such a loaded comment but really, I get what they are trying to say. Especially for young families, hiring a designer is not at the top of their economic agenda and can seem like something frivolous to say the least. Here are the most common reasons people don’t hire a designer and get the help they want for their home:
1. Designers are for rich people.
This gorgeous castle-home of Axel Vervoordt is beautiful inside and out and I’m sure cost a small fortune, but having a well-planned, well-designed, comfortable home doesn’t have to. If you can’t get a budget together for a whole house, focus on one room at a time. If you can’t get enough for one room, pay for a few design consultations and get a plan in place. This will help you as you acquire things over time to make sure each item is what you want and need and will save you money in the long run. The best way to tackle a space is to do it all at once with a budget and a clear concise plan but if that’s not feasible, hire a designer for a consult and talk about what you want for your house. How do you want it to feel? What are some space planning issues you are having? How do you want it to function? What’s working and what’s not working? What colors are you drawn to? If you are doing a one-time consult, plan ahead with as many inspiration photos and questions prepared beforehand as you can. Decide what you want this consultation to focus on: paint colors? fabrics for a room? furniture layout? This will help you get the most out of your time and money.
2. Hiring a designer means we care too much about materialistic things.
Just because you create a home you love that functions well doesn’t mean you care about stuff. It just means you appreciate the things you have and want to be happy in your home. Walking into a room that makes you feel good and functions well can change your outlook and make you and your family happier as a result. Good design doesn’t mean expensive or showy, it just means thoughtful and well-done. In fact, a well-designed space will be subtle and comfortable as well as beautiful.
3. A designer will depersonalize my house.
You’d be surprised how many people think this. Of course, a good designer does the opposite of this. A good designer will make your home feel like you and make it an expression of the things that are important to you. Family photos, keepsakes, treasured art, collections, and mementos, are no longer lost in the shuffle, but become an integrated feature. Again, design is collaborative. A good designer will listen to what you want and need but once you have settled on someone to work with, trust that person and let go of the process a bit. In the long run you will be happier with the result.
4. We are a young family and a designed house won’t work in our reality.
This is another one where the opposite is true. A well-designed home doesn’t mean a museum where nothing can be touched, but it does mean putting care and effort into creating and maintaining a home you love and that actually functions better for your family. It can also mean better storage, better organization, and perhaps some purging. Maybe it means putting in place some rules about how kids and pets treat the things in your home, but isn’t that a good thing? I want my kids to feel comfortable in our house but I want them to grow up appreciating and respecting what we have. We have a beat up old sofa that gets climbed and jumped on everyday but it’s got a slipcover that has stood up to five years of washes. Practical and beautiful aren’t mutually exclusive.
What are the reasons you try to make and keep a beautiful home?