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Does Working With An Interior Designer Mean My Project will Cost More?

April 19, 2024

I serve clients coast-to-coast with services ranging from virtual interior design, paint color consultations, 3D renderings... I also do a little bit of blogging.

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Over my 3 years as a Phoenix-based interior designer, I’ve heard some non-truths about what it’s like to work with an interior designer. In today’s article, I’m sharing the most common misconception I’ve heard. 

The misconception is when you work with an interior designer your project will cost WAY more. 

Have you had this fear about hiring an interior designer? If so, you’re not alone. 

We’ve all heard the horror stories. Not to mention, there’s a fear that designers have expensive tastes, will completely disregard client budgets, and will insist that only the most expensive items will work in order to achieve a certain look.

There is a lot to break down here, because yes, working with an interior designer is a luxury. You certainly CAN pick paint and furniture on your own. You certainly can go into a new build or large-scale renovation project with just a great contractor.

And there are also designers out there who completely ignore client budgets, making it impossible for their clients to ever see the design come to life. 

But, when digging into whether there is an alignment with your needs and wants and what a professional interior designer can offer, the key is to understand what you value the most. And, of course, what you most value will be significantly different depending on your life stage.

If you are at a point in life where what you value most is affordability and bottom-dollar cost, then working with an interior designer may not be well aligned with your current realities. No problem. Thankfully, these days many value retailers offer free design services as well as outlets for pre-owned or low-cost goods that make it quite easy to find furnishings at economical prices. 

On the other hand, if you are at a point in your life where you value acquiring quality furnishings and enjoying an up-scale aesthetic, having an expert help with major furnishing decisions and purchases, choosing things that will not soon need replacement, and surrounding yourself with items that are precisely matched to your taste and preferences — then yes, absolutely working with an interior designer will fulfill all those goals, and will significantly enhance the aesthetic of your home.

Making an investment in professional interior design services is an important choice. Here are some key considerations to be aware of if you’re considering hiring me for your upcoming project:

  • There is a fear that an interior designer will implement their own preferences without regard to what the homeowner really wants. This is not the case when you work with me. I am 100% devoted to understanding your wants and needs and then selecting items that match YOUR style, YOUR preferences, YOUR budget, and YOUR desires.

  • My experience as an interior designer since 2021 allows me to help clients avoid making costly mistakes many homeowners end up hiring me to fix. Have you ever heard of someone choosing a paint color based on popularity but ended up being totally wrong for their space and had to spend more money to fix it? Or someone picking a countertop based off a tiny 2″ sample without realizing the full slab has heavy veining? Well, as an interior designer, I know how to properly evaluate options before an investment of money or time occurs, to guard against misaligned selections or choices that won’t result in what the client is hoping to achieve.

  • I have access to a much wider range of products and materials compared to an average homeowner. There are countless manufacturers of home furnishing products that only distribute their products through industry professionals. This is called to-the-trade sourcing. It means that when you work with me, it opens up tons of possibilities for you. And often, because we are so familiar with the customizations, quality, and product features of the vendors we order from, we are often able to find better, higher quality, or more cost-effective products from the options available. It also opens up a world of bespoke pieces that no one else has.

  • One of my favorite things to do in a design project is to take a high-low approach, which means I select high quality and impressive pieces where it counts, and reasonably-priced items elsewhere. Few people have the budget to afford the very highest-end pieces for every single item in their home. More often it makes sense to splurge on certain high impact pieces in some instances, and to be much more restrained on other items. If done well — spending money where it counts — the overall effect will make the entire design seem more high-end and custom, even if lower cost pieces were mixed in. I can help you determine where to save, and where to invest.

  • I am adept at value-engineering — figuring out how to get the desired effect at a lower cost or getting the most “bang for your buck”. The primary objective is to achieve the desired look, functionality, and quality without overspending to get there. A good designer will be a conscientious steward of your investment and will aim to find cost-effective solutions wherever possible. Making the best choices in decor and furnishings protects and maximizes your investment in your home.

  • I allocate time each month to research new products so I’m well aware of stylistic trends. I also devote time to connect with local Scottsdale design showrooms to explore new products. By dedicating time to research, I’m able to ensure my clients aren’t investing in something that will look out-dated tomorrow. The selections I make for my projects have a timeless appeal; I veer away from making design choices that are 100% aligned with a trend that will come-and-go. Investing in pieces that have stylistic longevity means you won’t feel the need to replace items anytime soon, just another way to protect your monetary investment.

  • Another thing worth considering is the emotional toll and stress of going through a home remodel or refresh, without an advocate who has experience in your project type. Countless decisions need to be made, and the fear of making a poor decision that will cost you in time and money can be debilitating. Working with a designer can significantly reduce your stress. Throughout the design project, you will know you have an expert focusing on your project so you can relax and focus on your family, your job, and your piece-of-mind. You can’t put a price on that! One client recently told me:

“I don’t think there was a stressful part of the process at all. Ashley delivered on her promises. Her design plan included everything we told her we liked and she quickly made adjustments when asked.” – Kristin T.

Hiring an interior designer to lead you through the design process is a valuable investment that will save you time, money, and headaches. APD has vast insight into what is possible, and my clients often share with me that they are able to realize something they could never have created on their own. The result will be a beautifully designed and curated space that functions perfectly for you and your family, now AND in the future.

Want to learn more about working together? Submit a project inquiry and I’ll send over additional details about my services, pricing, and process.

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