Why You Should Hire a Professional Interior Designer

cindy beyer revised

This is a sponsored column by Cindy Beyer, ASID,NCIDQ. Beyer is a Reston-based interior designer and Reston Now Best Reston Business Award winner. Find her online at www.CindyLBeyer.com.

The interior of your home says a lot about you. Your home is your castle.  Many of my clients have said they couldn’t imagine the results after their project was completed. They say it was the WOW factor. I say, that is why you hired a professional designer.

There are many situations that warrant the hiring a professional interior designer. This includes something as simple as choosing paint and window covering to full scale renovation work such as a new kitchen, bath or lower level. In addition to achieving that WOW factor, a professional interior designer will save their clients’ money in many ways, most importantly the avoidance of costly mistakes.

Not only will a professional designer understand the context of the project, they will have access to many resources and their trained eye can make a world of difference in the final result. And those final results also will improve the value of your home.

My interior design credentials:  American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and National Council for Interior Designer Qualification (NCIDQ) indicate both a formal accredited schooling and certification as a professional. ASID and NCIDQ interior designers are credentialed and must pass comprehensive exams. Professional interior designers are able to work closely with architects and contractors and are comfortable with drawing floor plans, as well as understanding the implications of how interiors will be used as it relates to structural and available floor space.

Beyond floor plans, program management, installation and understanding how structural design will be used in a practical setting, a professional interior designer will also be knowledgeable in color and fabric design, space planning, window coverings, furniture design, architecture and much more. So when you see the initials ASID and NCIDQ next to an interior designer’s name, know they have been through significant amount of formal certification.

When hiring a professional interior designer, it is important to have an understanding of the scope of the work to be done. Let me share with you my process which I use when dealing with clients. Before my initial meeting with a new client, I ask them to spend some time making a list of their needs as well as any pictures they saved of items or rooms they like.

Upon our first meeting, I discuss how I work and take photos and measurements. Together,we then develop a detailed itemized list covering all areas of concern.  The next step is to draw up and present a floor plan.  Depending on the type of project this could include floor plans and furniture placement as well as construction and lighting if needed. A good designer can draw a floor plan in scale on the spot as well as sketches of what they wish to portray to the client. I usually present quarter-inch scaled drawing for my client for approval. All professional interior designers will understand space planning drawings.

Once the plan is approved we select the appropriate furnishings and finishes from my many manufacturers as well as The Washington Design Center. This can be fun and exhausting as well. I often present my clients with many samples from which to choose. Sometimes a client may become overwhelmed with visits to the Design Center. Looking at thousands of fabrics can make them “cry uncle.” After the furniture choices, I develop a comprehensive budget itemizing all purchases. It is very important to eliminate the surprise factor for the client.

I also may call on several of the many trades I work with such as contractors, electricians, plumbers, cabinet wholesalers and cabinet makers, painters, as well as drapery workrooms and installers. It has taken many years to compile a list of trusted accomplished associates, which is an important part of being a good designer. You are only a success if your trades accomplish a good job.

Lead times for good furniture and furnishings can take from 6-12 weeks depending on the availability. I use a white glove delivery service that will pick up the furniture at the factory and deliver and set in place. This extra time gives the various trades sufficient time to finish the required work as well as the client time to dispose of the old furniture. Once delivered, my happy client can relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

If you need any professional design help, please feel free to contact me at cindylbeyerdesign.com

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