Most professional, educated and experienced interior designers appreciate the exposure our industry has garnered through venues such as HGTV and many other similar programming with one caveat. These programs are entertainment and rarely if ever, resemble reality on the job site. While entertaining, they promote unrealistic expectations as to what interior designers really do.
Take notice that the interior designer’s compensation, accurate labor costs, real product pricing, and various fees are never clearly revealed. One of the most popular HGTV designers acknowledged that it takes a “team of at least 60 people and almost a year” to make the selections that appear to be made by 1 or 2 people in just a few minutes. Changes are made at the drop of a hat and the repercussions are glossed over with few exceptions. Generic solutions are offered the full spectrum of clients. This is not how real interior designers serve our clients in either a residential design or commercial design setting.
We are problem solvers first. Each client brings a unique set of circumstances that must be individually and properly addressed. Form follows function. The design solution must first be functional and then aesthetically pleasing. We advocate for our clients. Interior designers act as the key liaison between a host of other professionals, trades, suppliers, and fabricators to make sure our clients are well served. We are a “walking resource library.” The best designers keep abreast of the latest products, pricing, and technology for our clients’ benefit.
A client may say, “That rug is really pretty”, but your interior designer is thinking, “Will this rug fiber hold up to your family’s babies and dogs? Is this rug the proper size to anchor the room? How does the rug serve the furniture placement? Does this rug pose maintenance issues? Will the rug hold up to the sunlight in this room? Is this rug disposable or an heirloom?”
For each and every single item specified for a residential or commercial setting, a professional interior designer will have explored a wide range of possibilities and potential pitfalls, all for our clients’ benefit.