Redecorating your home can be really fun, especially if you're updating a few throw pillows, a table lamp, or selecting new artwork. However when it comes to a full re-design, one can easily find themselves overwhelmed by the magnitude of the project they're about to embark. Often times the best way to handle a large renovation is to work with a professional Interior Designer. With their knowledge & experience, a professional designer can be a great asset to your design needs for a number of reasons. The following are a few examples we share with our clients, and we hope this information finds itself useful to you as well!
We start by letting our clients know all the perks they get when working with us, like access to both retail & trade-only stores, custom workrooms, and best of all-- trade pricing! Like us, most designers will pass along their trade pricing directly to their clients, which means everything you're purchasing is now at a much lower price point than it was before. Pretty sweet, right?
As Interior Designers, we're used to being the project manager. We work closely with our clients to discuss and determine their budget, as well as a style direction. With this information, we then put together & present 2-3 fully-realized design concepts; typically including a furniture layout, color pallet & textiles, lighting, soft goods (like your area rugs, window treatments, pillows, etc), and finishing touches like accents and artwork. (If there is additional work that needs to be done to the space prior to the design process, like a new lighting plan, moving or knocking down walls, staining or laying down new flooring, etc., we also work directly with these contractors to ensure the renovations being done stay true to our client's style direction.)
Though it sounds simple, each component of the design process is as integral a puzzle piece as the next; and like a puzzle, if one piece is not addressed within the design, it becomes an unfinished space. We tell our clients that much of the design work we do is intended to be done in conjunction with the rest, and should be sourced at the same time. (Style Tip: If you do choose to work in stages, make your fabric & finish selections first. It's always easier to find a paint color to match a fabric, than it is a fabric to match a paint color!)
Professional Interior Designers also have skilled knowledge when it comes to minor, but important details that many don't know to consider. We've put together a small list of a few of the most common problem areas we come across in our field:
- Furniture Layout: Creating a floor plan is the very first thing we do when working with a client. After discussing how they use their space, we create a layout that takes the following into consideration: traffic flow (the way people move comfortably about the space), and functional needs (what furniture, soft goods, and lighting elements are necessary for this room to perform optimally). In doing so, we are able to see the correct scale & proportion of the items we can fit into the space, which leads us to...
- Scale & Proportion: This plays a key role in making a room feel comfortable to be in, as well as allows for the best use of it's space. By referencing our floor plan, we now have proper dimensions, heights, and spatial awareness to create a room that feels warm and inviting. (Style Tip: One of the biggest mistakes we encounter as designers is that people either fill their rooms with oversized or too much furniture, creating an environment that feels as if the walls were closing in on you. Adversely, people will also underutilize their space, leaving large gaps of the room untouched and empty. We call this "The Goldilocks Effect", as you can see in our visual below.)
- Color Pallet: We work closely with our clients to select a color pallet that personifies them, and how they want to live / use the space we're designing. We'll then enhance the design by creating a color scheme which adds depth and dimension within the space, by bringing in various hues of a single color, introducing secondary or tertiary colors into the mix, etc. Below you'll see examples of 3 popular color schemes, along with a few defining characteristics that each lends to a space. (Style Tip: To build your color scheme, start with selecting your main color. From there, try referencing a color wheel - they're a great way to see which colors work well together in any given color scheme! Additionally, paint swatches with multiple shades of one color on them are great ways to figure out a color's hue & value options.)
- Unfinished Rooms: Often times, clients will hire us after they've tried to design their spaces independently, and by the end, feel like something's missing. One of the many perks to working with a professional designer is that we are aware of the small details needed to make a room look and feel finished. Not to outdo ourselves with a list within a list, but here are a few design details that help to create a finished space:
- Custom window treatments hung at the correct height, that have a return, and fall to the floor at the proper length
- Proper size & placement of wall décor
- Area rugs that sit beneath your furniture to ground the space
- Proper usage of ceiling lighting, and table & floor lamps
- Accent pieces that personalize & add a finishing touch to your space
We feel as designers it is our duty to inform our clients of what to expect during a design project. However, to use a quote from our website, “We understand the complexities that come along with each project. At M&P Design Group, we strive to ensure our clients enjoy the process from beginning to end, while we handle the work”. We want you, our clients & our readers, to feel as empowered during the design process as possible. There is always a solution to every problem; it's just figuring out how to get there that may require some professional help.
A & J