A designer keeps a close eye on all details, big and small, and it is up to you to decide their level of involvement. Depending on how much time and participation you would like to have in the process, your designer can either involve you in every step along the way or take care of everything for you. You can accompany them to furniture, lighting and tile stores or they can shop for you and bring you a selection in your price range. Besides saving time and getting expert advice, one of the best perks of working with a designer is that they have access to decorative sources that you do not. There are many high-end fabric and furniture showrooms that will not sell to the public but of course sell to designers. Designers are also in touch with professionals who can create custom pieces to suit your taste and needs. If custom is not what you are interested in or is not within your budget, many retail stores now offer a discount to designers as well. Find a designer that is flexible, and is available to whatever capacity you see fit.
Here are a few examples of how a designer can help you:
Provide general advice and help set your priorities. A good designer and decorator can offer suggestions for room arrangements, color schemes, material selection, and window treatments, based on knowledge of what is available in your price range and what is appropriate for each use.
Pull a house together. If you've moved your old furniture into your new house, a designer can help you bring the new look together.
Complete a room. A designer can also help you with smaller projects, such as fine-tuning one room or decorating to include an heirloom piece of furniture.
Coordinate a floor-to-ceiling makeover. A designer can help you create a dream come true.
Refer you to various home improvement professionals, and offer you a designer discount where applicable
Make furniture recommendations. If your primary need is new furniture, working with a designer gives you the option to explore a furniture layout. This scaled drawing can be a great tool when shopping, as you will know what size sofa and chairs, etc to look for.
Help you personalize your home. An interior designer can help you add the finishing touches that give a room that special "magazine look. Keep in mind, too, that one of the advantages of using an designer is access to exclusive or to-the-trade items, including fabrics, furniture, window coverings and accessories that contribute to your home's one-of-a-kind look.
Work with what you have. One service that is gaining popularity is "one-day decorating." For a one-time fee, a designer, sometimes referred to as an interior arranger, will visit your home and offer suggestions for working with what you already own by rearranging furniture, swapping artwork between rooms, re-covering furniture, and painting walls. Sometimes a set of fresh eyes is all your space needs to mix things up!
Ultimately, I think finding a designer that listens is the most important thing to keep in mind. Your home is a prized possession, and you want it to reflect your style…not that of your designers!! Hiring a designer should help reduce stress, not add to it! So some would say shopping for a designer, is as important as finding the perfect flooring or paint color! Happy shopping!