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When is the Best Time to Hire a Interior Designer?

In the past several years, the construction and renovation industries have seen unprecedented growth. As our homes have been tasked with being not only homes but offices, gyms, and schools, families are building, renovating, and redecorating like never before.

Our homes are more important than ever, and we're demanding even more from them. To make sure that you're leveraging every square inch of your home, hiring an interior designer is an important part of your project's equation.

Today we're focusing on when during your project is the best time to hire an interior designer, and it depends on what type of project you're doing. We'll step through three of our most common types of projects, and recommend exactly when you should be bringing a professional interior designer into the conversation.

New Build

If you're planning on building a new home, the best time to reach out to a designer is as soon as you begin working with your architect or builder - or possibly even before that! Often, a builder or the architect will have base floor plans for you to start with. But these base plans may not encompass all of the dreams that you have for your new home and require customization.

During the planning phase, it's critical to talk through how your family will use the new home. This also includes the furnishings plan, lighting plans, and the need for light control within these new spaces. Based on these requirements for your family, we make sure that the plans for the layout, electrical, plumbing, and cabinetry support your family's needs and ideals.

For example, if you have your heart set on a curbless shower for your primary bathroom, it's important to know that so that the appropriate underlying joist structure can be planned for before construction begins. It's much more expensive to retrofit that feature into an existing traditionally constructed floor.

Recommended Timeframe: Before or during discussions with your architect and/or builder.

Renovation projects

We always recommend that you bring in an interior designer at the very beginning of a renovation project - even if you're working with an architect or contractor. It's important that you bring someone in to look at the space with a fresh set of eyes and help to problem-solve what's not working in your current layout.

We're constantly collaborating during the project to review designs and help to troubleshoot issues, and this partnership makes for the best final spaces.

Also, interior designers have a network of trusted trades that we've built relationships with over time. And because we work so closely with our trades, if needed, we can recommend our own trusted trades that are part of our network for your project.

If you've ever tried to reach out to contractors independently, you may have experienced frustration in getting them to return your calls, provide estimates, and follow up. I can assure you that it's not because they aren't wanting to be responsive, but rather because they are so inundated with work.

By including a designer in the early stages of planning and partnering with a contractor and/or architect for your project, you're sure to get a space that you love.

Recommend Timeframe: once you begin dreaming of your new space, but no less than eight months before your desired completion date.

Decorating Projects

When you're ready to invest in new furnishings, window treatments, and decor for your home, it's important to bring in an interior designer from the start. Designers help clients with space planning and selections. We also have exclusive access to vendors that they didn't even know existed (and have a superior level of quality many of the retailers available to the public).

Also, we offer Full Service Design, which is a service that provides not only the complete design plan and all of the selections, but also manages the purchasing, tracking, receiving, delivery and installation of all of these elements.

With the continued extended lead times due to the pandemic, you need someone on your side to not only help you with your vision for your space, but also the ability to execute the vision. Close collaborations with our reps at these vendors help to keep us up to date on the status of every item.

And of course, we can't ignore the issues surrounding both the labor market and the supply chain for furnishings, lighting, window treatments. This is something that we as designers manage every single day.

In talking to representatives in the furnishings and decor industry, many manufacturers of custom furnishings have lead times that are over 27 weeks out on average, with some being up to 11 months. One vendor has a backlog of over 10,000 items before they can manufacture the orders that are being placed today.

This is our current reality, and these issues aren't going away anytime soon. We have processes in place for weekly order tracking to ensure that we never lose sight of your project, and keep the lines of communication open with our clients.

Recommended Timeframe: As soon as you know that you want to re-furnish a space within your home reach out to a designer. Keep in mind that you must be realistic with your time frames to make sure that you have your furnishings in time for your desired end date.

The Sooner the Better!

There's been unprecedented growth in the home building and renovation industry. Our homes have had to work harder than ever, and families are choosing to invest in their spaces to make sure that they function to fit their needs and look amazing.

Because of this demand, interior designers are often booking weeks to months out before we are able to begin new projects. Gone are the days where you'd be able to hire a designer the week before your builder needed to know your exterior siding and stone color.

The key to your new build, renovation or decorating project is planning ahead. By setting realistic timeframes within the realities of today's world, you can still get the beautiful home that you want. Just be sure that you've got a great team assembled to make your design dreams come true!

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