Whether you are looking to renovate your London home or revamp just one room, hiring the best interior designer for the job can seem daunting. Many people also assume that creating luxury interior design will be a huge extra cost. In fact, the opposite is true. A good interior designer will actually save you money. They will also take away the stress of the process, so you get to enjoy transforming your home rather than pulling your hair out as problems arise. And finally, they add that magic touch.
At Catherine Wilman Interiors we believe there are 8 good reasons for hiring an interior designer.
1. An interior designer will save you money
The fee for using an interior designer can be repaid many times over with savings made on a project. With access to a worldwide source of suppliers, they can get large trade discounts on products and pass them on to the client.
Also, by compiling a detailed Schedule of Works at the start of a project, they avoid costly mistakes further down the line. It is easy to overlook small details, but an experienced interior designer will know what to include before the final budget is agreed.
2. On budget, on time
Rather than starting a project on your own and not knowing how much the final cost will be, an interior designer will compile a Schedule of Works with a breakdown of prices for each element of a project. This is an essential and complex calculation that can be overlooked by a non-professional.
London-based interior designer Catherine Wilman says: “My job is about finding the right people to do the right job at the right time and for the right price. We have 20-years’ experience of putting budgets together and keeping to them. For the client, it means they know exactly how much everything is going to cost before any work has started. There are no surprises further down the line.”
3. Take the stress out of renovating a property
By taking on the role of Project Manager, a good interior designer will handle the project from start to finish for the client. Clients do not have to search for their own contractors as a design practice will already have an approved list of firms they have worked with for many years and can guarantee a high standard of finish.
Interior design firms such as Catherine Wilman Interiors provide a full turn-key service and liaise with the contractor, architect, and subcontractors including electricians, plumbers, and other specialists. It also includes joinery firms who can create bespoke pieces of furniture such as wardrobes, bathroom cabinets and TV units.
4. Create the perfect space
The best interior designers in London will know how to make the maximum use of space. They will start each project with an initial consultation to get an understanding of the brief and space they will be working with. Next, detailed drawings of all the interior elements are produced. Using these plans the designer will choose layouts for furniture, lighting, flooring and wall finishes within the property. The final layout is then agreed with the client.
The next step is to create concept boards (moods boards) for colour schemes, window treatments, furniture, accessories, and art. Once the budget is agreed and the designs approved the designer place orders for the merchandise.
Catherine says: “We manage every stage of a project to ensure all the orders arrive on time into our West London warehouse. As well as project-managing contractors, we organise the installation of all the furniture and accessories into the client's property and oversee any extra decoration that is required.”
5. Planning applications
An interior designer will pay particular attention to lighting plans to ensure they work with furniture layouts and room designs. On a complex renovation, the untrained eye can overlook a simple decision such as where to put a plug socket. It’s too late at the end of a project to realise you can’t place your £600 Porta Romana table lamp where you want it because the lead does not reach the power supply.
Catherine says: “To make sure everything is wired up correctly, we work backward from how we envisage the finished interior will look. We start with the furniture plans, then go back to basics to check the electrical points are in the right place.”
6. Add maximum value to your home
If you are thinking of selling your property, it pays to have a well-designed home. A good interior designer will help boost a home’s appeal to potential buyers and help it stand out from the competition. It’s a sure-fire way of getting a premium price, especially in the London property market.
7. Fees cover all budgets
One of the first questions clients ask is ‘how much will it cost?’ Many interior designers will charge a flat fee for the entire project, with costs in London ranging from £5,000 for a small project to £250,000+ for multi-million pound developments.
At Catherine Wilman Interiors we prefer to charge a percentage of the total project cost. This is typically 15 per cent but can vary depending on the complexity and timeframe of a project. We aim to get our clients the best deal possible on all costs, whether that is with tendering for contractors, negotiating architects’ fees, or dealing with suppliers.
8. A trained eye
Creativity, imagination and artistic flair are great traits for anyone working as an interior designer. So too is an eye for detail and listening skills. It’s also essential to be aware of the latest interior trends and be good at solving problems. Lots of people have an interest in interiors, but the best interior designers are the product of years of training for the job.
Catherine Wilman gained a BA (Hons) Degree in Interior Design and Architecture at Middlesex University and joined her father John Wilman at the family wallpaper business, as a junior designer, before setting up her Kensington-based interior design practice in 2000. Catherine insists all her staff have a design degree background to ensure the highest standards in every project. It is because of this training and experience that the team can have a ‘magic touch’ on a project that pulls everything together.
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