Why and when to hire a designer

I had to take off one whole hour of my day today to think about what I was going to say here, in the hopes that whatever I come up with will help both of us understand why and when you should hire a designer.

Remember when you took your little kids to the mall or grocery store and you told them to stay close to you no matter what? And you looked back and where were they? No…Not that it happened to me… no… (argh!) But you understand the feeling right?

So copy and paste that same feeling over here: Imagine we are having our wonderful meeting on a sunny day, birds are singing, the grass is green, the world is happy. I’m showing pictures, 3D renderings, talking about budget, family, space and function, layout and all the beautiful things of the design world when suddenly….. I hear the question “Why should I hire you if I can choose all the materials by myself?” or then another observation “I don’t need a drawing, my contractor can understand my ideas”.

BANG BABY!!!! I stare into your eyes for three seconds but it feels more like 30 minutes. The birds stop singing, the sun hides behind the clouds and I have lost you. Now I have to figure out if this is a real question or just a joke.

And my answer to you is YES and YES. You can do my professional work all by yourself and yes your contractor can read your mind. Maybe in wonderland.

It could work…. And then it couldn’t…. And when it doesn’t work you will become a giant hamster infected with rabis, the kind of person that could eat your contractor alive. Not to mention that you might have wasted money, time and you are in a irreversible situation that will make you frustrated to say the least.

What designers do that you or your contractor might not do? Here’s my list to help you decide if you need one or not:

  1. We do this E*V*E*R*Y  D*A*Y of our lives. We dream design, we breathe design, we eat design, we read about design, we watch other designers, we research design. So that makes it a fluent language for us. We know what’s trendy, what’s worth buying, what’s beautiful and what’s not so beautiful. We know more finish materials than you will ever hear about.
  2. We know style and we can explain why some things work together and why some other things don’t.
  3. We also visit stores around town and on-line almost EVERY DAY. We have an idea of what’s available and how much things cost. We never stop researching because every client has a different need and we need to find solutions for all needs.
  4. We know the trades and we know how contractors work. We know the ones with a good or bad reputation. We know how to get things organized, how to plan a schedule, and we can have materials ordered before construction starts, which is something contractors and builders LOVE! I’m serious, they love when someone does all the homework for them and they can come and just do their magic and build!
  5. We are creative people and we might come up with extremely great ideas to surprise you if you allow us.
  6. We draw floor plans that will have the information builders need, so they can work without having to guess what you have in mind. Less margin for mistakes.
  7. We have time to sit down and discuss your needs to help you figure out a style or even just a perfect color for that wall.
  8. We will do in one week or two what would take you a few months to put together.

As a professional I have invested many years of my life learning and experimenting. I understand not everyone is ready to hire a designer but if you see the value in it, just take a big breath and trust the professional.


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