The Decorating Dilemma

The Decorating Dilemma

Can you trust yourself to design your own decor? Should you use an interior designer? Can one really help you?

Interior designers are trained professionals that can provide cost-effective methods to enhance your interior space. Designers draft floor plans, and can help you place furniture to create comfortable spatial relationships. They also can help you create colour schemes that can change the feeling of your home. New fabrics can be matched to one of your existing favourites to help spice up your space.

The ability to work within a budget is an important benefit that interior designers can provide. They can help you budget a project as large as a 5,000-square-foot house, or as small as the ceramic tile for your powder room floor.

By Alice Wright – Spring 1998

Knowing prices will be important to you, and a designer can give you a quote for your new kitchen cabinetry or the price for recovering a couch. Many designers will forward their supplier discounts to you for furniture, fabric, lighting, cabinetry, etc. For a designer, finding the right bargain for a client is a thrill!

Designers are trained to draft lighting, electrical and detailed drawings. By simply changing the type of lighting, interior space can become alive and vibrant or calming and subdued. Custom designing any type of furniture is also a specialty that many designers can provide. You can create anything from an oddly shaped coffee table to a standard-size bed frame. Wherever your creativity takes you, your designer can follow and make your thoughts become reality.

A professional designer’s rates can range from $25 to $200 per hour. In the Toronto area, you should probably budget in the range of $75 per hour for an interior designer’s time. You may only need a couple of hours. Some also work on a flat-fee basis.

How to find a designer
Talk to your friends and family. Find out who they used and why. Did they find their designer easy to talk to and easy to work with? Most importantly, did their designer really listen to them and create an interior space specifically designed to satisfy their needs?

Another route is to call a builder or general contractor. Many of these trades-people know interior designers well. Learning who they like and dislike can be useful and insightful. Builders and contractors that have been in business for a long time usually have worked with several designers and can provide you with valuable information about the design world. Another option is to open the yellow pages. The listing found under “Interior Designers” will help you with your research in finding the right one for you.

Tele-Direct’s consumer tip line at (416) 812-1554 ext.7210 also provides suggestions for choosing a designer. Call a few companies and ask for their references and promotional packages. Talk to a designer regarding your design concepts and ideas and see how you get along with the individual.

No matter what your home decor problem, an interior designer can be very helpful. The field of design is broad and encompasses visual and functional aspects, as well as information about materials, construction and technology. That’s knowledge you can use.