• Stephanie Hilton Design

What can a Designer do for you?

It's common thinking that hiring an Interior Designer is a luxury expense that only wealthy people can afford. But did you know, that hiring a qualified designer will save you both time AND money? Here's why.

Designers are trained, qualified professionals who spend 2-4 years, or more, educating themselves on design practices and methods, building code requirements, CAD drafting, 3D rendering, construction practices, documentation, space planning and spatial adjacencies, and human factors.

When planning a renovation, or building a new home, there are many steps involved in the design process that the homeowner may not be aware of. There are many important steps involved in the design process. Design planning and proper execution is a carefully thought out process, which requires far more than picking tile and paint. Read about our design process here.

Rule number 1: design before you build.

There are many documents your builder will require order to bring your project to life, and without delays. There may be building permit drawings of your job is required to be permitted, then construction drawings which detail the elements of the design. These might include detailed elevations, millwork drawings, tile layouts, lighting plans, finishes plans, and other details that could be missed if working without a complete set of drawings. Working without drawings and on the fly can cause delays in your project, miscommunication in the design, and likely errors. You can also expect specification packages, which are detailed documents listing your finishes, plumbing, lighting and other design elements, where they have been sourced from, where they are used and how they are to be installed or applied.

Delays cost money. And mistakes are even more costly. The homeowner may not know if a particular tile or stone can be used in a certain application, such as a wet space. But a designer does. We know what drain you need for that faucet you love, and what type of bathtub you need for your bathroom (yes there are MANY different kinds of tubs!),

If decisions are being made to slowly, or not at all, while construction is already in progress this causes delays which in turn costs the client money and brings your project to a screeching halt. A good designer will be with you during the build, making regular site visits and ensuring that installations are going as planned in the design. and answering questions that the builder may have.

The biggest bonus of being, and working with, a designer is the discounts. Who wants to pay retail?! Designers receive large discounts on everything from lighting, plumbing, tile, flooring, to furniture. These discounts can be anywhere from 10-40% off list price. Typically these discounts are extended to the client at cost plus a markup, so the client is still receiving pricing well below retail. Ask your designer about these discounts, and how they are extended to you.

Last but definitely not least, designers are able to bring a vision, to life, and make it look like it's right out of a magazine. I can't tell you how many clients I have met with who kinda sorta know what they want, but do not know how to pull it all together. A designer does just that. We listen to your goals, wants and needs, and are able to execute it beautifully. We stay on top of current trends, new products on the market, so that we can bring you the best advise possible.

Th best advice I can give to any homeowner is to do your research. Ask for referrals, ask to see a portfolio or website of projects to see if your style and taste is in line with theirs. Ask them about their process, and how they work and what you can expect from them. Set up a consultation before you hire. Some designers charge a consultation fee, which lets them know you are serious about hiring a designer.

Stephanie Hilton is a full service Vancouver Interior Designer servicing Vancouver, the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.

She specialises in Residential Interior Design.

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