I would say that most people who don’t have some kind of art or design background find it really difficult to imagine what a designer or decorator does and how they justify their fees. Of course, when we pay for a service, we want to know where our money goes, if it is being well spent and that we are being billed at a fair rate.
In terms of design fees there are concrete billables such as the production of floor plans, sketches, ordering of materials and furnishings and spending direct time in meetings with our clients. But what about all that creative and arsty design stuff? Where and when do all of our design ideas come from? Do we really just come up with a design in 20 minutes, an hour, 3 hours? A designer would be able to give you a general design overview and some helpful recommendations in a 2 or 3 hour consultation. This would get a DIY’er started and on their way to creating their space and is a very valuable service.
What if you wanted something more creative and personalized or what if you just don’t have the time to manage your project? It’s that foggy part of artistic creation that is difficult to bill for which is why some designers bill hourly and document their time. Having gone through a decorating program and having spoken with several industry peers we all agree that our ideas come to us 24/7, in the morning when we wake, in our sleep, in the car, or at the dinner table. It never stops. Even when we have an idea we are continually upgrading it with many ‘aha’ moments to get to the final decision.
Saving you time and money may also result from hiring a designer because a good designer will help you to avoid costly mistakes in DIY projects. When working with a designer the decisions are laid out in a way that allows you to visualize the final result and tweak it as you find necessary. Access to trade suppliers also helps us to get you quality products and service.
There is a range of price points for designers and decorators out there if you do some research. With more established designers you are paying for their years of experience and their particular brand and style of work. Below is a general outline that gives clients an idea of what to expect from working with us and the general timelines involved.
From the placement of orders to project completion, this can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks when considering the time it takes to manufacture items such as furniture and draperies. Every project is different and entails varying design processes which keeps us on our toes. No two projects are alike, no two clients are alike. The end result is well worth it!