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Why would anyone need an interior designer to furnish their home?

By Jeff Frank

For every highly experienced professional who actually earns a living in this difficult profession, there are dozens of amateurs or wannabees (with or without professional credentials) who dabble for a short time before disappearing.

Knowledge of design principles, color coordination and personal taste are only the beginning for a really good interior designer.
As he/she gets more experience with their own clients, they are also getting ideas and learning from networking with other highly skilled interior design professionals.

Equally important is personal contacts with multiple manufacturers, artisans and retailers.

  • These contacts can be extremely valuable. The best artisans may be so busy that they will turn down commissions from new customers and agree to work only with those they have enjoyed working with previously.
  • Craftspeople and suppliers are also more likely to give better pricing or delivery priority to someone with whom they have had previous good experiences.
  • Interior designers (both experienced and novice) can get “bad reputations” for being overly fussy or lacking basic design knowledge.
    • Vague instructions and changing specifications mid-project are frustrating and time consuming for craftspeople.
    • They rarely get paid for the extra time needed to re-do a project, even when that extra work is because the original specifications or instructions were incorrect or incomplete.

    Photo by Blue Ocean DesignLook for living room design inspiration

    • Interior designers with poor reputations may have more difficulty finding companies or individuals willing to work with them – or they may get charged higher prices.

    Houzz, ApartmentTherapy and Spruce are websites dedicated to helping both professionals and amateurs with interior design information.

    These sources, however, are just a very basic foundation. Expert interior design professionals go way beyond simply picking out appropriate styles and colors.

    Living Room Furniture Modern Design

    In March 2017 Furniture Today, the primary trade publication for the furniture industry, conducted an online survey to determine how consumers felt about interior designers. The study indicated that:

    • Only 19% of home owners have used interior designers. 81% have not.
    • 41% of consumers indicated that they would not even consider using an interior designer.
    • By far the biggest reason given for not using a designer was cost.
    • 69% of consumers indicated that cost was the primary factor. 23% stated that they preferred to do their own decorating.
    • 6% cited the time commitment needed to work with a designer.
    • Age was also a significant factor in how people felt about using interior designers.
    • 49% of baby boomers stated that they would consider working with a designer compared with 65% for both Generation X and Millenials.

    Other statistics included in the report indicated that for home owners who strongly agreed or disagreed:

    • 80% felt that interior designers were expensive.
    • 58% preferred to decorate their homes themselves
    • 48% said that if they were rich they would hire an interior designer.
    • 24% felt that interior design was simple enough for anyone to do and that a professional was not needed.

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