How the Architecture of Your Home Should Inform Your Design

Your styles and tastes may change throughout your life, but the architecture of and era in which your home was built may greatly influence the design. Interior designers have the knowledge and experience to be able to remodel a home to feel true to its original architecture while breathing new life into the design. But to the untrained eye, you may not know where to start — especially if you’re wondering how to decorate old houses. Consider this your guide to letting the architecture of your home inform your design decisions.

First, Investigate

Before you buy anything or make any design choices, go on a fact-finding mission. Learn as much as you can about your home through the following tips:

Look up the year your house was built and the architect.

Take it a step further by researching what was going on in the world or the area at the time your home was built. See if you can connect with the architect and ask him or her for more information on the style and features of your home.

Walk through your home and observe every last detail.

Look for things such as moldings, original door or cabinet hardware, unique ceiling details, original tile, stained glass windows — anything that might be true to time period or the architect. For instance, if you bought a Frank Lloyd Wright home, you’d want to understand more about what influenced his design portfolio and why he made the choices he did with architecture.

old houses

Credit: Jessica Helgerson

Consider Hard Goods and Surfaces

Now that you’ve learned about your home’s history and details, why should you care? Well, using this information is the key to creating thoughtful design that will blend beautifully with your home’s architecture and roots. (That doesn’t mean everything in an old house has to look old, or vice versa, either.)

This is where you consider the hard goods — aka, the architecture of your home and more permanent aspects of your home. Do you want to add details that are reflective of the original details, such as intricate molding or a carved fireplace? Or do you prefer a more modern look with clean lines? Choices around tile, lighting, cabinetry and millwork all come into play here. Once you’ve determined your approach, ensure it’s consistent throughout your home to create good flow.

Ask Yourself These Questions

Will you paint the original trim? 

In my own home, a 1940s bungalow, I opted to paint a lot of the trim white, but left the original stained glass window trim as wood to honor the original character of the home. (See more of my home by checking out this post!)

Interior: Centered by Design

Will you do recessed or overhead lighting?

Personally, I don’t love to fill a historic home with can lights, and I only add overhead lighting sparingly and with great intention, because otherwise it might not feel true to the time period.

Will you choose details like color choices and tile patterns based on the era?

Looking at designs from the time period in which your home was built is a great place to start for inspiration. You certainly don’t have to do a checkerboard tile floor in your 1950s kitchen, but some modern homages to details like that will help your home feel cohesive.

A great example of incorporating true-to-the-era hard goods is this home we worked on in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood. Built in 1891 across from a church, it was once used as a rectory. To keep with the history of the property, we bought a vintage church door to use as a primary bedroom door, alongside exposed brick. Then we incorporated more modern furnishings to avoid feeling stale.

Interior: Centered by Design

Jessica Helgerson, an interior designer based in Portland, Oregon, is a pro at amplifying the original beauty of a space and making everything feel like it “fits.” Her perspective on design is informed by a respect for historical architecture coupled with an appreciation of playfulness and brightness of modern design. (Follow her on Instagram for loads of inspiration.)

Credit: Jessica Helgerson

Choose Your Soft Goods or Furnishings

Soft goods are the furnishings you’ll add to your home, and there are a few ways to approach these. There’s no right or wrong choice here — it’s really up to your style and tastes.

The spectrum of choices ranges from making a “time capsule” to juxtaposing modern with old. For instance, you may choose to:

  1. Pick items that feel as if you’re in the original era of your home.
  2. Include just a few of these older items mixed with newer pieces.
  3. Go for a complete juxtaposition with modern furnishings in an old home, or home with detailed architecture and moldings.
  4. There is no right or wrong way to decorate old houses, but I prefer a mix of old and new furniture forms and architectural details. A consultation with an interior designer can help you determine where to begin and what might look better as old vs. new details.

In Claire’s Own Home

In my own bungalow, we paid homage to the era in which it was built by introducing some Hollywood Regency, Art Deco shapes and finishes. This included diamond motifs throughout, including brass sconces with a diamond backplate. Keeping the original black-and-white entry tile, and mimicking the kitchen in the same color palette. And we also honored the original architecture of the home by recreating some of the arched passageways into other areas of the home that only had small openings or doors. You can see here how we recreated an arch into the kitchen that was not there before.

 

What questions do you have about how the architecture of your home should inform your design? Is your style more inline with the era of your home, or do you prefer a juxtaposition of styles? Tell us in the comment below or get in touch to tell us how Centered by Design can help with your next design project.


Centered City Guide: Santa Barbara

June 23, 2021 City Guides 0 Comments

It has been a long time since we have done a city guide on the blog! Check out past city guides here if you are planning some post-vaccine fun summer travel. Doesn’t it feel so good to be out and about again? I think for many of us, our neighborhoods became our entire world for a year. As an interior designer, I believe our surroundings impact us greatly, and looking at the same places again and again for a year has definitely had an impact on my creative energy. Luke and I decided to take a babymoon to Santa Barbara and I came back rejuvenated and full of fresh inspiration! 

Before I tell you all of the wonderful places I’d recommend visiting in Santa Barbara, a quick plug for the concept of a babymoon. Luke and I realized we haven’t been away together from our first born, Willa, for more than a day in the entire three years she’s been on this earth. Taking time away, just us, is so important for our marriage and we want to make it a priority to do this more! It was a special time together as we wait in expectation of our second child, a little boy coming this summer.

Places to Stay

Palihouse Bar

We stayed at the most beautiful boutique hotel, Palihouse Santa Barbara. They have classified their unique aesthetic as “Vintage-Preppy Meets American-Riviera”, explaining, “Interiors reflect our penchant for mix-matched furnishings consisting of highly-curated new and vintage pieces and special unexpected touches throughout.” They put the perfect words to their vibe! I loved the abundant use of plaid and ticking-stripes and the consistent color palette throughout. I found inspiration around every corner. 

Palihouse Lobby

Even if you are not a designer, here’s my pitch for why it’s worth staying in a creatively-designed, beautiful hotel when possible. We all have creative potential inside of us and often, we just have trouble accessing it. Vacation offers the perfect recipe for that creativity to sprout again: ample time, limited distractions, and a change of scenery. I always feel most creative during vacation! If the places you stay and visit during vacation can help accelerate that creative outflow, I believe you will get more out of your time away. When I’m in that creative space, I can dream bigger about the future and imagine possibilities beyond my daily routines and burdens of everyday life. Isn’t that part of why you get away and take a break? Okay, soapbox moment over. 

Palihouse Bar

After our time in Santa Barbara, we also made a stop in Malibu. There, we stayed at Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club. The define their style as “cozy ranch chic”. It had a much more neutral, relaxed vibe, but was equally beautiful. I think it’s a great place to stay with kids actually. They had lots of activities and it was up in the mountains, felt very much like a place to go with a group and hang out for the week!

Lobby at Calamigos

Places to Eat

We went to a bunch of cute, tasty places to eat during our trip. Here are a few of our favs!

Gjusta Goods – Restaurant and Shop

Things to Do

We mostly chose Santa Barbara for the beauty and nature! We spent a good amount of time enjoying the sunshine by the pool, walking along the beach, and taking hikes. Here are a few of the spots we visited, including a few from side trips to Malibu and Venice!

Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market

Douglas Family Preserve

Overall, we had a great trip! We were only there for five days, but feel like we got plenty of quality time, sightseeing, and relaxation in and were so excited to see our daughter when we returned. I don’t know when we will be able to have time like this again in the near future with baby #2 making an entrance very soon, so I am grateful we made it happen now.

How does anyone actually live in Santa Barbara? How would you possibly get any work done? The CA vibes were awesome and the weather was so good to us. Looking forward to a future visit, it was the perfect mix of nature and culture for us.


5 Ways to Visualize Your Design

How to Visualize Furniture in a Room

Ready to design or re-design a space in your home, such as your kitchen, family room, or master bedroom? Let the planning begin! But before you get started, it’s important to be able to see how all of the pieces will come together, including all your colors and textures, and how to visualize furniture in a room. As interior designers, we put all of these ideas into practice for our clients (see more reasons to hire an interior designer), but they’re all easy to implement yourself, too — well, except for No. 5. Read on for our top ideas on how to visualize your design.

1. Create a mood board.

Interior designers typically create mood boards in Adobe Photoshop, but you can easily use a program called Canva for an easier, free option (it even offers mood board templates). Start by finding images of the products you’re considering, and make sure they’re on a white background so you won’t have anything distracting on your board. The goal of creating a mood board is to get to the essence of your pieces you’re putting together and see how they’ll complement each other in a space.

When reviewing your mood board, consider questions such as, How do the visual weights of each piece look together? How do you feel about your color palette? This is the early stage in which you can determine whether you have too much of something, or if a piece or two feel too heavy, etc. The best part about mood boards is that you can keep changing and iterating until you achieve the look and feel you’re going for.

Don’t want to go digital? If you feel like grabbing some magazines or printing out images of the items you like and going to town with scissors, there’s no shame in doing an old-school mood board. No matter what mode you use to create your mood board, remember to keep a spreadsheet with links to every item you’re including so you won’t forget where something came from.

How to Visualize Furniture in a Room

2. Gather samples.

Visuals of each piece of the room you’re designing are helpful on a mood board, but they’re only one-dimensional. To truly get a feel for the textures, the scale, and the colors you’re working with, it’s smart to request physical samples or swatches so you can hold them in your hands and truly see how to visualize furniture in a room. For instance, you can request a fabric sample for a sofa you’re ordering, or a wood sample from a dining room table. Most retail companies will offer samples for bigger-ticket items. Even if you do have to pay a small price for them, it’s much cheaper than ordering the whole items and making a mistake when they don’t work together.

3. Experience your floor plan.

To help you picture the layout of the space you’re working on and learn how to visualize furniture in a room, try this interior designer trick: Use painter’s tape to tape out the dimensions of each piece you’re planning on putting in the room to get a sense of how they’re going to fit together. This is especially important to do for the larger pieces in the space.

4. Try your paint.

You always want to get a sample of the paint color you’re going to use, as one color can look different in every space it’s used. Some companies will offer a 12-by-12-inch square of a paint swatch you can use if you don’t want to actually test out a sample on your walls. If you’re going with wallpaper, request samples of that, too, to make sure it works in the room with the lighting you’ll have.

5. Order renderings.

If you want to take room design to the next level, you can hire a service to create a photo-realistic rendering of how your completed space will look. You’ll need to send them the items you want included, and they’ll be able to deliver a 3-D rendering of the theoretical finished product. This step is one the every day homeowner may not take, but renderings are a perk of working with an interior designer. Centered by Design creates renderings mostly for kitchen projects, as that’s such an important room in the home to design exactly right.

Are you interested in working with Centered by Design on your home design project? See our offerings here, including single room design, or drop us a note.


Today Show Features Willa’s Playroom!

I have long LOVED the Today Show! It was a thrill to see a photo of our very own daughter’s playroom used as an example of the reemergence of wallpapers popularity. You can watch the quick segment with Hoda and Jenna linked here!

Interior designer Elizabeth Mayhew shared her inspirations with Hoda and Jenna from her home to show off the latest trends in home design such as grandmillennial style, accent walls, floral wallpaper, mixing and matching styles and the emphasis on comfort.

You can read more about Willa’s playroom and the design process here: https://centeredbydesign.com/how-to-create-a-playroom-design-both-kids-and-parents-will-love/

And this post has some easy ideas to update your kid’s spaces: https://centeredbydesign.com/creative-design-ideas-for-kids-room-or-playroom/

I had a great time getting creative and being BOLD in this fun little room in our home. Spring year ’round!

playroom design playroom design

playroom design playroom design


5 Common Mistakes Homeowners Make with a Bathroom Reno

Thinking of doing a bathroom reno? Great idea! Not only can a bathroom reno make this essential space more functional and aesthetically pleasing, it will also add value to your home. (We renovated ours a few years ago — you can see our planning and inspiration here!) If you’re not working with an interior designer from the start, however, you may risk making some common mistakes with a bathroom reno. Here are five big things to avoid in a bathroom reno (and also check out our post on reasons to hire an interior designer to learn more about how we can help!).

bathroom reno 1

Credit Centered by Design

Mistake #1: Not having a clear floor plan for your bathroom reno.

It’s relatively simple to update your bathroom finishes and keep everything in the same location. But if you’re going to alter the location of anything, you need to consult with a contractor. They’ll help you ensure you’re able to move plumbing where you’d like to move it. If you want to convert from a tub to a shower (keeping it in the same place), it will probably be simple to do. Sometimes moving a toilet isn’t a big deal; other times, a home’s plumbing is stacked in a certain way, so moving toilet is very expensive. And if you want to completely flip a layout, that requires a conversation with both a contractor and a plumber. You want to take this step to ensure your new bathroom will be functional as well as pretty.

Credit April Tomlin Interiors

Another thing to think about when it comes to your floor plan, if you’re replacing a small shower or tub with a larger one, is the size of the water heater in your home. You may need to upgrade your water heater or even install larger pipes in your wall to enable proper water flow for a large tub or multi-head shower.

bathroom reno 2

Credit Centered by Design

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An Interior Designer’s Guide to Nursery Design, 2 Ways

nursery decorating

With our leader Claire expecting baby No. 2 later this year, we’re abuzz with talk about nursery decorating ideas these days. While designing a nursery can feel like an opportunity to go wild with a theme and all the furniture and baby accessories, there are a few common mistakes new parents often make when getting ready for nursery decorating.

Read on for Centered by Design’s top tips for designing a nursery that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing (because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in there!), and check out two recent nursery design boards we put together for a client.


Don’t overfurnish.

Nurseries are usually smaller rooms, so the last thing you want to do is cram them full of too much stuff — but it’s easy to do. Nursery furniture tends to be on the larger side, which means it fills up a room quickly. Instead, try to focus on just the key pieces, such as your crib, changing table, rocker or glider and maybe a lamp. Remember: Wherever you can streamline, do so. Get the essentials, then fill in around that.

Be creative with crib location.

We tend to want to place cribs in the center of a wall, but that doesn’t always work (depending on your nursery’s shape) — and it’s also not a hard-and-fast rule. When designing around an unusually shaped wall or room, you can make a crib work in other places by creating symmetry around it, through items such as window treatments and artwork.

Think outside the box.

Sure, sweet pastels and baby animals are adorable now, but if you’re looking to create a nursery that will age along with your child at least until pre-teen years, consider being more intentional with your design. For example, start with a pattern you really love and design around that — maybe it comes from a wallpaper, a fabric or even a crib sheet. And don’t forget, as an adult with a baby, you’re going to be the one spending time in the room (your baby won’t notice or care) — so be sure to make it a space you’re going to enjoy being in.

Focus on five key design elements.

When it comes to designing a nursery, try not to overthink it! The process should be exciting and fun as you eagerly anticipate your little one’s arrival. To keep it simple, the top five design elements you should consider for a nursery are: window treatments, paint, bedding, a rug (even if you already have carpet, use one!) and lighting (helps a room to feel more stylish and have more personality).

Overwhelmed by all the paint choices out there? Download the designer-tested Top 9 Colors for Kids’ Rooms for ideas.

Choose the right window treatments.

Window treatments are a big deal in nurseries for obvious reasons: Your baby needs to sleep (and so do you!). Here are a few types to consider:

  • Outside mount Roman shades
  • Inside mount Roman shades
  • Drapery
  • Cornice (an ornamental upholstered box that attaches above your curtains or shades)

No matter which type you decide on, you’re likely going to want to line your window treatments with blackout lining or fabric. If you want to really keep a room dark, outside mount Roman shades are a good option as they let in the least light leakage. Avoid lightweight fabrics for drapery, because blackout lining will add too much thickness to them and ruin the aesthetic.

To learn more about how to choose the right drapery and shades, download the Insider’s Guide to Decorating with Window Treatments.

Go for performance fabrics.

For furniture such as gliders and window seats, you want to be sure to choose a fabric that will withstand spills, messes, diaper explosions — you name it. We love performance fabrics, often pre-treated with Crypton or similar, like this collection from Schumacher, which are great for upholstering a bench seat.

Are you thinking of working with an interior designer to design your dream nursery? Contact us today to tell us more about your vision and how we can help bring it to life!


We Are Hiring

March 29, 2021 Interior Design 0 Comments

Interior Design Assistant & Marketing – Full Time Role

Email Resume, Cover Letter and Portfolio: info@centeredbydesign.com

2 years experience in the design industry preferred, looking for immediate start date:

    • Design
      • Support Lead Designer with furniture sourcing & material selection
      • Assist in ideation for client projects
      • Create client proposals in IVY (project management software)
  • Assist in creating design boards
  • Maintain design library
  • Assist on installations / photo shoots
  • AutoCAD or SketchUp drafting 
  • Photoshop/ Adobe suite for design boards / renderings 
  • Social Media Management 
  • Manage Tailwind/ Pinterest
  • Work with Claire on Newsletter
  • Project Management Assistance
    • Placing & Tracking Orders: support Project Manager with tracking
    • PO Management / IVY / Quickbooks
  • Assist with FFE schedules and receiver communications
    • Vendor Relationships & Library Management
    • Look for the latest and greatest in vendors
  • Set up new trade accounts
  • Keep library and office supplies refreshed monthly
    • General Office Management
    • Errands & Weekly garbage / recycling
    • Schedule monthly studio cleaning

 


Cabinet Hardware: Installation Tips & Tricks

March 22, 2021 DIY Projects 0 Comments

One of the simplest, most budget-friendly ways you can update your kitchen (or any room with cabinetry) is to update your hardware. New cabinet hardware can dramatically change your space and easily be done in an hour or two — talk about a quick transformation! There are many options out there to choose from when it comes to cabinet hardware, including cabinet knobs and cabinet pulls. Consider this your handy guide to cabinet hardware installation with tips and tricks from interior designers to make it easier.

Types of Cabinet Hardware

The two main types of cabinet hardware are knobs and pulls. While the general design rule is “knobs on doors, pulls on drawers,” we at Centered by Design believe rules are made to be broken — so feel free to choose whatever works best for your space and lifestyle.

However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Overall, using pulls will give you a more modern look, while knobs lend a more traditional, sweeter vibe to cabinetry. If you have a kitchen with paneled appliances, you’ll also need appliance pulls. There are also many variations on cabinet hardware, including cabinet latches, bin pulls, finger pulls and more.

When counting how many pieces of cabinet hardware you need to replace your current set, we always recommend counting twice — and then counting again. A pro tip: Place a colored sticky note on each cabinet you’ve counted to ensure you don’t duplicate (when tallying up what you need in a large kitchen, counting can be tricker than you’d expect!). It’s also a smart idea to order a few more pieces than what you need, as sometimes cabinet hardware can come with imperfections.

Considering a larger kitchen reno? Download our 50-page Insider’s Guide to Kitchen Design PDF to guide you through the planning and execution.

Credit: Jack Creasy, Traditional Kitchen Knobs and Bin Pulls

Credit: Sarah Sherman Samuel, Modern tiny knobs and half moon finger pulls

Credit: Plain English, Round or ball knob

Sizes of Cabinet Hardware

This is really up to personal preference and the look you’re going for. But, here are some general rules of thumb when it comes to hardware sizing:

  • Pulls should typically be one-third of the width of the drawer. (For example, a drawer that’s 24 inches wide would need an 8-inch pull.)
  • Knobs should fit on your cabinet rail (on Shaker-style cabinets) with a little room to breathe on all sides. (If you have flat-panel cabinets, size is personal preference.)
  • Appliance pulls nearly always come in 12- or 18-inch lengths (occasionally bigger), so get one that’s proportional to your appliance size.

Something to think about if you’re on a tight budget is that pulls are generally more expensive than knobs, since they’re larger.

Credit: House and Home, Linear pulls

Credit: Frenchy Fancy, Modern Finger Pulls

Placement and Installation of Cabinet Hardware

The best part about changing out your cabinet hardware is that there’s no need for drilling holes (unless you’re switching from knobs to pulls or vice versa, which would require filling in the holes and potentially hiring a carpenter). You can just remove your existing hardware and replace it with your new pieces.

With that in mind, you generally won’t have to worry about the placement of the new hardware. But as a general rule, pulls should be directly centered on a drawer front, and knobs placed at the corner of the cabinet where the rail (horizontal) and stile (vertical) panels intersect. If you have two knobs on a wide drawer, each should be placed on the outer thirds.

To install: Start by hand-tightening the screws on knobs and pulls, then use a screwdriver to ensure they will stay in place.  If you have thick drawers or cabinets, you may find that the screws that come with your new hardware are not long enough. In that case, feel free to use the screws that used to hold your current hardware to attach the new ones.

Below are all cabinet installation photos from the Centered by Design portfolio of work:

Where to Buy Cabinet Hardware

You can find cabinet hardware at any building supply store, including many options at Home Depot and Lowe’s. However, if you want a more designer or customized look, look beyond those basic stores. Here are four of our favorites:

House of Antique Hardware: Vintage and antique-inspired hardware will add a punch of character to any kitchen or bathroom.

Restoration Hardware: High-quality hardware makes a difference, and there are many options here.

Anthropologie: If funky, patterned and/or colorful is what you’re seeking, check out their eclectic and unique offerings.

Schoolhouse: Classic and clean hardware found here will go with every type of aesthetic.

Want more ideas for stores to shop when designing your home? Download Our Favorite Resources for Interior Decorating PDF.


Peek Inside Our New Chicago Design Studio!

February 24, 2021 Interior Design 1 Comment
new Chicago design studio

We have some exciting news: Centered by Design is moving to a new Chicago design studio!

Spring has a way of making everything feel fresh again. We may still have snow on the ground and freezing temperatures in Chicago, but we’re already looking forward to starting anew in the next few weeks. I’m so thrilled to be sharing a first look at our new Chicago design studio with you today! We’re currently renovating the space, so consider this the “before” — and we will be sure to share the “after” photos with you when it’s completed.

new Chicago design studio

Why and Where We’re Moving

Our two-room office in Lakeview has served us well for the past three years, but as Centered by Design has gotten bigger, we’ve outgrown the space (it turns out, working at one big table doesn’t always bode well for deep focus). We wanted more room to work, as well as to grow our sample library and use our office as a dual-function workplace for our team and showroom for current and future clients.

After searching for the perfect new Chicago design studio for months, I finally came across one I fell in love with. It’s located in a prime spot in Lincoln Park and gives us plenty of room to grow. When we first visited the space — a historic building that formerly housed Drehobl Art Glass, a Chicago company that started making stained glass and beveled glass windows in 1919 — we recognized its immense potential. Not only was it filled with abundant natural light, but its detailed architecture and molding gave the space so much character. We knew it would be the perfect space for Centered by Design’s second office.

Now, we’re working on making it truly feel like our own. Here’s a peek into what we’re doing to update the space ahead of moving in.

Layout of the New Chicago Design Studio

new Chicago design studio

When you first enter the space, our new conference room is to your right. This is where we’ll hold client meetings and presentations. We love how it’s very traditional and has large windows facing the street that let in so much natural light.

The long wall to the left will be our custom cabinetry showcase. This will be an area to show off our capabilities in this area, with different cabinetry installed along the wall, kitchen, island, open shelving… and even the bathroom will have its own custom vanity. Cabinetry is one area that Centered by Design really excels in, so we can’t wait to use this space to really reveal to clients all the bells and whistles they can choose in designing cabinetry with us for their own homes.

Across from the cabinetry showcase will be our custom-built desks (from our favorite furniture maker) and a full kitchen, and we’ll have a nice big storage room in the back.

Continue reading →


7 Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer

February 19, 2021 Interior Design 0 Comments
why to hire an interior designer

If you’ve never worked with a professional to help you decorate your home, you may be wondering why to hire an interior designer, what they actually do and what the value one can bring to you and your home. Today we’re going to answer all your burning questions about why an interior designer is worth the investment from our own Claire Staszak, principal and owner at Centered by Design.

why to hire an interior designer

They will help you manage your investment in your home.

Consider this a long game. People often think hiring an interior designer is expensive. While interior design isn’t an inexpensive service upfront, the opposite is actually true. One reason why to hire an interior designer is to help you stay on budget and on track. A designer has so many resources, so when you find the designer who’s a good fit for you (based on your style and the level of project you’re looking to do) and if you’re transparent about what you can spend, your project will be that much more successful. An interior designer truly can help you save time and money in the long run. They do this through helping you to choose top-quality vendors, materials, and pieces that will stand the test of time. Interior designers aren’t into always choosing the most expensive products, either. Yes, they (should) have great taste. What that means is that they can take a $5 tile and make it look like a $50 tile — because they have the knowledge on where to spend, where to save and the vision to bring it all together.

They’re pros at handling projects you’ve never tackled before.

The No. 1 thing to look for in an interior designer is solid experience. As with any field, the longer they’ve been practicing their craft, the more experience they’ll have, and therefore the quicker they can make decisions and know the right way to handle any situation that pops up. While a DIY kitchen renovation can go south any number of ways for a homeowner, a good interior designer has been there, done that when it comes to just about any problem. They can easily help you manage and navigate through any challenges along the way. Interior designers also have technical skills, such as drawing in scale, that come in handy. While interior designers don’t (typically) design the exteriors of homes, they specialize in interior architecture. When working with a good interior design firm, you should be getting a large set of drawings, of everything from floor plans, to elevations, cabinet and tile details and so on.

why to hire an interior designer

They’re well connected.

When you hire an interior designer, you’re not just getting one person. You’re getting access to their entire team of vendors in whom they’ve developed trust through working with them over the years. You can’t do a renovation single handedly, and an interior designer is someone who has the team members already in place to make your dream projects a reality. Think contractors, cabinet makers, tile installers, countertop fabricators, drapery seamstresses, and many more. It’s important to ask an interior designer for references upon meeting with him or her. You want to know they have that strong network and also ask for photos of their work (including before and after transformations) to be sure they’re the right fit for you and your project.

why to hire an interior designer

They’re the ultimate organizers.

Besides assembling an amazing group of vendors to help you execute your project, interior designers are highly skilled with organization. Feeling scattered in your ideas of what you want your renovation to look like? An interior designer’s chief role is project manager. They’ll help you corral all those vision board ideas into one cohesive vision and bring your dream look to life.

Their job is to stay cool, calm, and collected.

Remember that part about handling challenges with ease? An interior designer will deal with all the headaches of a home renovation (or help to remove them completely) for you to ensure you get back to normal life as soon as possible. Working through a renovation while you’re living in a home, especially with a family, is a disruption of your daily life and not easy to deal with. The more people you can have on your team — namely, a highly skilled and experienced interior designer — the quicker problems are going to get solved, with little crisis management needed on your part.

They’re fun to work with.

If you meet an interior designer whose work you like and respect, and with whom you have a good connection, the process of working with him or her should be enjoyable. After selecting the right designer, you should feel comfortable handing over your trust to that person. From that point forward, you’re only saying yes or no to ideas and perhaps making small edits along the way. For the most part, you’re turning over the project — and freeing up your own decision-making ability and headspace. Doing a renovation shouldn’t feel like “work” on your part. The interior designer will manage all of that for you so you can sit back and enjoy the process and final result.

They’ll help improve the value of your home.

Unless you’re going for a specific alternative look, most interior designers will steer homeowners toward a classic design that will stand the test of time while reflecting your personality and lifestyle. Ideally, anything an interior designer works on will still look beautiful 10, 20 or 30 years down the road. It’s proven that homes that have had the touch of an interior designer sell faster and for a higher price than those that haven’t. It all comes down to quality, choosing pieces and styles that last longer so you won’t need to replace or change them every few years.

Are you thinking of working with an interior designer on a home renovation project this year after learning about why to hire an interior designer? Centered by Design can help. Start here by filling out a quick questionnaire about your project and style. We offer complimentary phone consultations to determine if we’d be a good fit to work together. We can’t wait to hear from you and learn how we can help to design your home to stand the test of time!