Designer Style

March 29, 2017
Lisa Stromborg

Mention interior designers and most people think glossy magazines, luxe fit-outs and big bucks. But interior designers are not necessarily expensive, and the right advice from the right style guide could add some pizzazz to your décor for less than you think. It’s as much about knowing who to use as it is about knowing how and when to use an interior designer.

When building

An interior designer can help stamp your style and personality into your new home. Inviting a designer to work on a new home is like presenting a painter with a blank canvas. But don’t wait until your house is complete to introduce your designer. Bring them into the project while it’s under construction to help choose materials for critical design features, such as the kitchen, bathrooms and floors.

If you're lucky enough to be building a custom or architect-designed home, an interior designer will help connect your carefully crafted exterior with what’s inside. Have your architect and designer work together to ensure there’s continuity throughout.

Building a project home?  Even thought there are limited choices of features and materials, you can make the most of a designer to stamp your own style. Look for a designer who is willing to work for just a few hours at an agreed rate to provide advice on colour, art choices and soft furnishings.

When renovating

Before you knock down walls or put up new ones, invest in a visit from an interior designer for sound advice and fresh thinking. A good designer will listen to your brief but overlay it with their experience and insights, which means they can see around the corners you can’t, helping you maximise design opportunities and avoid costly mistakes. Your designer can also project manage some aspects of the renovation for you if you are time-poor. Costs vary but add at least 10 per cent to your renovation budget for this service.

One of the biggest benefits of using an interior designer is their ability to act as a renovation referee, ensuring the project caters to both his and her needs and encouraging compromise where required.

When selling

This is when designer tastes can really pay off. A well-staged home can help seal the deal sooner and potentially fetch bigger bucks than if you styled it yourself.

Staging can cost thousands, especially if you hire furniture and art (which can be worth it), but a designer can also help you show your house in its best light on a budget.  Ask your designer to advise on paint, window dressings and soft furnishings, all of which can be easy and inexpensive to change before your house goes on the market.

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