What it’s Really Like to Work with an Interior Designer
We’ve all seen the HGTV shows that depict the glamorous world of home renovations and interior design.
Unimaginably dated homes are transformed into luxury living spaces before our eyes, and we get to watch it all play out 30-60 minutes at a time, believing that the process is as simple as they make it seem.
But if you’re tv-watching skeptics like we are, you probably have questions. Is all of that real? What happens behind the scenes? How much did that really cost the clients? And what is it truly like to work with an interior design team?
Well, you’re in luck…because today we are diving into that very topic: what to expect during your design project. Let’s get started…
What Does HGTV Get Right and What Do They Get Wrong?
Wrong: Decorators Don’t Cost a Cent
While we are made to believe that the design budget is spent completely on the renovation aspect of things, and therefore the decorating component must be free, that is far from the truth.
Decorators charge for their design services, as they should. Meaning that your overall project budget needs to account for the decorating/design fees that you’ll be charged.
Wrong: Designer Furniture is Out of Reach
Certain shows depict homeowners having to make concessions on furniture quality in order to get everything they want in their finished space.
However, the truth is that designers have access to a whole world of affordable, quality furniture that stands the test of time and adds beauty to the home, all without breaking the bank.
Wrong: You Need to be a Design Expert
We tend to see homeowners who know their stuff on reality home television. They understand exactly what their personal aesthetic is. They have ideas about what will and will not work in their current space or the home they are in the market for. And they appear to have done copious amounts of research ahead of time.
The truth is that working with a design professional is liberating, and you don’t need to have any design knowledge before contacting us. In fact, it is our job to do the research for you, which means that the decisions you are asked to make are informed, and don’t require much time or effort on your part at all. Sounds great, right?
Right: The Process is Fun
We will give credit where credit is due…HGTV does a phenomenal job of depicting the fun and excitement of each and every home renovation or interior design project. After all, we wouldn’t watch if it was boring, would we?
When hiring an interior designer, you can expect that same level of camaraderie, fun, and elation at the reveal. The process is fun and your final result is even better!
What Does the Lakeside Living Design Process Look Like?
Great question! Here is a brief overview of the process we follow when working with each of our interior design clients…
Step 1: Our Complimentary Design Consultation
If you’re looking for professional interior design, or even just some inspiration, one of our experienced designers will sit down with you one-on-one and get a feel for your unique style. Once a contract is in place, we will move forward…
Step 2: A Plan Tailored to Your Home and Lifestyle
As your interior design guides, we’ll lead the way. We want to help make your space feel just like home, which means not only getting to know your space, but getting to know you: where you’re from, your likes and dislikes, the hopes and dreams you have for your home.
With a complete understanding of your needs, vision, and so much more, we will discuss the scope of the work, solidify your budget, organize and prioritize all aspects of your project, and then cultivate a custom design plan that brings it all to life…
Step 3: Presentations and Re-Design, if Necessary
Our team will spend time pulling together everything we have learned from you and creating a design that ties together your lifestyle needs, design wants, personal aesthetic, and project budget into a beautiful package all wrapped up with a bow (figuratively, of course).
We then present our plan and ideas to you, listen to your honest feedback, re-design components if necessary, and start specifying products for the space. Once we have all agreed on the final plan…
Step 4: Purchases, Installation, and the Reveal
Then we make it happen! Our team will purchase, receive, and inspect every component for your new space. We address shipping issues, deliver the items to your home, and install them for you, without requiring you to lift a finger.
Once everything is in place, we reveal the completed design and celebrate alongside you as you experience your dream home in real life for the very first time.
Who is the Design Team Behind this Whole Process?
At Lakeside Living, our core design team is a trio of phenomenal women, and equally incredible designers (and supported by a team of other invaluable women that we’ll introduce you to another time)…
Meet Veronica, Lakeside Living Owner and Design Consultant Extraordinaire…
At the age of 4, Veronica learned to sew on her grandmother’s lap, and that was the very first step toward the conception of her design business. She went on to Custom Home Furnishing Academy for certification in custom upholstery, window treatments, and bedding. Just a few years later in 1995, Veronica established Lakeside Living Design.
She has an eye for creating one-of-a-kind spaces that bring her clients’ visions to life, and a warm and welcoming demeanor that keeps customers returning year after year.
Meet Barbara, Design Consultant and Outdoor Furniture Expert…
Barb has worked in retail as a business owner and buyer for over 30 years. For the past 15, she has focused specifically on outdoor furniture, becoming our resident expert in all things deck, dock, and patio. Many homes in the Northwoods have benefited from her ability to create interesting, comfortable, and peaceful outdoor spaces.
And when she isn’t on the showroom floor or in her office working that furniture magic of hers, she can likely be found sipping a frozen margarita with dear friends.
Meet Tracy, Design Consultant and Color Connoisseur…
Tracy has 15 years of retail experience, having spent the last 8 focusing on outdoor furniture and helping customers create beautiful outdoor living spaces. With her knack for mixing colors and textures that are pleasing to the eye, she is our go-to gal for not only outdoor furniture, but all of the beautiful accessories that accompany it…throw pillows, rugs, and so much more.
She adores working with customers from concept to completion, delights at seeing any project brought to life, and has a lifelong passion for animals…especially hippos (you’ll have to ask her why).
When Should Clients Reach Out for an Interior Designer’s Help?
As soon as possible, no matter the project!
If you are building from the ground up, the sooner an interior designer is involved, the sooner space planning is addressed. By enlisting a designer’s help from day 1, that designer will be able to work hand-in-hand with your contractor to create a perfectly personalized home for you and your family.
If you are remodeling it is also a good idea to have a decorator or designer involved early in the process for the same reasons. Once a contractor has gotten so far into the project, there is only so much a designer can do to work within the parameters of the renovation that is already under way.
If you are reinventing/refreshing any room in your house, a decorator can pull all the details together for you from their rich selection of product lines. This streamlines your product search and planning process, freeing you up to do what you enjoy.
So, if Lakeside Living sounds like the perfect match for your project, whether that is a whole home remodel, a new build, or a quick room update, don’t wait. Give us a call right away and let’s get to know each other.
Other Common Lakeside Living FAQs, Answered…
How much does it cost to hire an interior designer?
We charge $75/hour for a designer’s time once your project is under contract all the way through to the completion of the space. Keep in mind that our initial consultation is always complementary, so feel free to explore the possibilities before you are locked into a commitment with our team.
What services does Lakeside Living provide?
We do interior space planning (inclusive of floor plans), furniture selection, fabric options, accessory specification, window treatment design, wall color/treatment specification, flooring options, and more.
Does Lakeside Living handle remodeling jobs?
We are not architects, so we do not remodel spaces, but we do work with your architect or design-build team during the planning process so that the final furniture layout is considered and space planning is addressed well before the final house plans are in place.
Does Lakeside Living design kitchens and bathrooms?
We do not design kitchens and baths, but again, we do work with kitchen and bath designers to optimize space and room efficiency early on in the renovation process. We also help with cabinet and hardware specification, countertop selection, flooring options, and wall covering or paint color specifications for those particular rooms of the home.
What is the biggest benefit to hiring a designer?
Designers and decorators often make suggestions and offer solutions to problems that the client does not even foresee. By having this critical role filled by a trustworthy professional, you can rest assured that your building, remodeling, or design team is complete…and will think of absolutely everything along the way.
If you’re ready to talk about the home project you’ve been dreaming up, please stop by or give us a call to make a safe, private appointment to visit our showroom.
We would be honored to get to know you, talk about your space, and get the ball rolling for a remodel or refresh this year that helps you fall in love with your Northwoods home all over again.
Until next month,
The Lakeside Living Team