Do You Need An Interior Designer?

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All of us want our homes to be places of comfort and beauty. Some of us enjoy decorating and furnishing our homes and some of us don’t. How do we decide if we need an interior designer or not?

Not everyone needs a designer. If you enjoy creating your own home and you are confident in what your are doing, it is possible that what you really need is a professional shopper. You know what you want, you just don’t have the time or the expertise to find it. This is where the personal shopper comes in-to help you find a specific item or list of items. They know where the stores are and where the bargains are-and don’t we all love a bargain? These hardworking folks can find you just the right table or those elusive accessories that give your home an individual look while you’re at work earning money to pay for all of this style and elegance.

If you enjoy the shopping experience and just need an item or two (a new sofa, a club chair, or a table to put beside your recliner), you can find the help you need right at the furniture store. Better furniture stores usually have trained staff on hand to help you choose a style and a fabric. Take along pictures, fabric samples, anything you need to match the new piece. Above all, don’t forget measurements. At the furniture store find a salesperson who is attuned to the look you are trying to achieve and with whom you feel comfortable. Don’t hesitate to ask for a different salesperson if you feel that you are being pushed to buy something just because that is the flavor of the week. A good salesperson will work to help you find the exact look you are aiming for and you will be quite happy with your purchase.

However, a word of warning-if you are putty in the hands of an expert salesperson, or undecided what you want, or unsure of yourself, don’t go this route. You will end up with a room that is never quite what you wanted.

So when do you absolutely need a design team? Here are 10 reasons to hire a professional:

1. You have a difficult room. If the room is oddly shaped, has too many focal points, or architectural details that are in the wrong places, you need professional help.

2. You have ideas, but don’t know how to implement them or don't know where to start changing things.

3. You just don’t have the time, energy, or the desire to do designing.

4. You need a major make-over, but you are on a budget. I know this sounds contradictory, but decorating mistakes are expensive, and a good designer will make sure they don’t happen.

5. You have major work to be done, but it needs to be done in stages due to budget considerations or a growing family. A designer can set you up with a list of things to do and buy which is prioritized, and on a time-line.

6. You think you know what you want, but are insecure about whether or not your ideas will work.

7. You want to update a room without throwing everything out and starting over. This is a challenge , but it can be done. It generally requires quite a high level of skill. If you don’t have a talent for this, get someone who does.

8. You have a piece or pieces of furniture, paintings, and accessories which don’t seem to fit your rooms or style, but which you can’t eliminate because they are family heirlooms or simply because you can’t afford to replace them. After all, you may not want to get rid of great-grandpa’s desk even if it is Victorian and you like contemporary.

9. You are trying to achieve a specific style or period such as French Country, Scandinavian,18th century, 50's Retro, etc.

10. You are unsure about color combinations, proportions, mixing patterns, composition and styles.

If you fall into any of these categories, or if you simply want a professional touch, an interior designer is probably the solution to your decorating problems. Your home is too important to your happiness and lifestyle not to have the comfort you desire. If you don’t love decorating or you have a decorating challenge, then hire an expert and use your time and energy for things you really enjoy.

Content for this article has been contributed by ON THE GO 4 U, Design Consultant, Suzanne Copenhaver. Indra A Books, author of this and many other lifestyle articles, is the owner and founder of ON THE GO 4 U, Personal Shoppers & Concierge Service in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The company’s creed is to provide its clients with the ultimate life management experience.

In addition to its services, ON THE GO 4 U also publishes a monthly e-zine and conducts workshops on wardrobe, entertaining and decorating. For more information about the author and ON THE GO 4 U, please visit http://www.onthego4u.net

© 2005 Indra A Books for ON THE GO 4 U. All rights reserved.

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