A friend of mine has a problem many would find daunting. “I want my apartment to be more comfortable. I want it to feel like home. I don’t want to spend a lot of money, and I can’t afford to buy a lot of stuff right away. Help!”
I told her to call an interior designer. She told me I was crazy. I told her I was not.
I explained to her that most of us just assume we have to have large homes or hefty checkbooks to justify hiring an capable interior designer. The real deal is this: Before you buy furniture, art or accessories for your apartment, you should take stock of what you already own and what you want to keep. Develop a solid understanding of what you need “before” you shop. That way, you can make wise decisions instead of compulsive, uninformed ones.
” The biggest mistake people make is buying something just because it is on sale, ” tell me New York City-based interior designer Chris Coleman. ” Then the piece arrives, and it doesn’t make any substantial sense in the space. Sometimes it doesn’t even fit through the door. “
An interior designer must be well-informed not only in visual design but also in construction structure; project management; life safety issues; environmental issues; finance/budgeting; building function; accessibility; construction; building materials; local, state, and federal codes;
Hired design help can be surprisingly affordable and intelligent move. Most interior designers will charge a consultation fee (around $125 per hour) to assess the room or domicile in question and devise a good plan. The plan provides a suggested room layout, along with furniture, fabric, and color ideas.
New York based Use-What-You-Have Interiors charges a flat rate per room (between $250 and $375) to help clients make the right choices based on their important lifestyle, stage of life and earnings. They start with what you own and rearrange it so it looks best. ” Everyone who works for me can walk into a house or apartment and tell a client what is good or bad about it within five minutes, ” tell me, founder Lauri Ward. ” We come up with a good design plan plus a source list and an idea list so the person knows what to invest in now and later. ”
If these rates seem a bit steep, just remember that the end result of these consultations is an apartment you feel proud to call home.