Good Design Advice
Our homes are our sanctuaries. We want them to be stylish yet comfortable, polished yet functional. And, above all, we want them to reflect our personal styles.
But sometimes even defining a “personal style” can be difficult. We know what we like, but we don’t know how to articulate it to a salesperson. Or, when we do bring home new treasures, we can’t decide how to pull them all together — not only to make our rooms aesthetically pleasing but also to make good use of our spaces.
Thankfully, these are all things a professional interior designer can help us do. And contrary to what you may think, a designer is not a resource that only the wealthy can afford. Designers work within all budgets, and most will take on clients for by-the-hour consultations or small project fees.
And, if you believe Dallas home and design expert Peggy Levinson, a professional designer may even save you money in the long run. Levinson, a former showroom owner herself and current consultant to the local design industry, says whether you need help with space planning, selecting fabrics and furniture, or a game plan for a top-to-bottom refresh, an interior designer is not a luxury but a necessity.
To find a designer, ask your friends — the ones who wised up before you did — for referrals, or turn to your favorite local showrooms and home and design stores for names, because they work with designers all the time. Remember, working with a professional should be a fun and inspiring adventure. If it’s not, find another designer, Levinson says.
With that in mind, here are six reasons why everyone should hire an interior designer:
You will avert at least one very costly mistake.
Imagine this scenario. You see a coffee table in a store, and you know it’ll be just perfect in your living room. So you pay dearly for the table, then pay again to have it delivered. When it arrives, you discover it’s too big and overpowers the space — even though in the store, the size looked just right. Yes, the store will take it back — perhaps for a restocking fee and more delivery charges — and still you don’t have a coffee table. A professional designer understands scale, Levinson says, and could have saved you a whole lot of trouble and money.
A designer sees potential where you don’t.
You know that horrid, orange-ish wood chair your great aunt gave you — the one covered in olive green chenille that smells vaguely of cat pee? An interior designer will see it and swoon, Levinson says, because he or she knows that it just needs a little refinishing and reupholstery to become the chair that everyone raves about — and no one else has. Plus, you get to take the credit for having it in the first place.
There’s a world of design out there that you don’t know you love until you learn about it.
Crusty polychrome finishes, sleek Biedermeier styles, Middle Eastern carved chests — you never know what you like until you are introduced to it, Levinson explains. As a famous designer said, “You don’t know you want a Bentley until you drive one.” A professional opens up the world of design to you.
A designer can help you discover and define your style.
If you happen to love copper pots, then they should be incorporated into your home’s design because it’ll make you happy to look at them. When your friends come over, they should see you reflected in the space. You can steal ideas from a blog post or pick out a whole room setting from a magazine — but that’s someone else’s taste, not yours, Levinson says. Work with a designer to figure out your style.
A designer is also a space planner.
You just found your new favorite chair. But will you have a lamp and table close by so you can truly sit and enjoy it? Is the seating in your living room close enough for comfortable conversation? Does your family room flow into the kitchen, or is there a giant piece of furniture in the way? A designer not only beautifies your space, but also ensures it’s comfortable and suited to your lifestyle.
A designer actually will save you money.
A good interior designer doesn’t just throw out the old and bring in the new, Levinson says. He or she repurposes or moves around your current belongings so you can see your stuff in new ways. Maybe you have a chair hiding in a guest room that belongs in the den. Or perhaps you have a few accessories stashed away in a closet simply because you didn’t know how to display them. A designer can “discover” items in your own house and situate them in a way that makes you love them again.