Posts tagged ‘afford a designer’

August 15, 2012

Should you really hire a designer when building a home?

by rebecca elisabeth design
The better question is, can you afford not to hire a designer? Designers work daily with vendors, contractors, architects and anyone else that works on a home.  Project by project this extensive knowledge is developed and grows, and allows designers to add value to the design/build process by looking at it from the end perspective. Remember, designers are the closest to the actual home owner, in that designers work with the finished shell in the furnishing stage of home building.  Because of this, designers know the possible pitfalls and wrong turns that could come your way as the home is being built.

A few examples of some pitfalls, I’ve personally experienced in San Diego:
  • no place for window treatments to minimize glare from western exposure
  • door swings heading in the wrong direction
  • small closets in a large home
  • doors without screens and no windows in the room
  • lack of privacy in baths from neighbors or passerby
Designers will help and guide you through the process by:
  1. managing the decision making process to minimize stress,
  2. conveying decisions to the builder,
  3. overseeing the building process,
  4. looking out for your best interests and guiding you through this stressful time to ensure you get your dream home.

Consider this, creating lists and organize your project will likely take you 10 times longer than an experienced designer. Finding fixtures, fittings, appliances, furnishings, etc will take you 3-4 times as long as a designer who does this regularly. One of the problems is this, you only know of a few places to look for the things you need to specify, different showrooms show different things. You probably only know 3-5 brands.  You only have access to retail sourcing and, and, and.  If you do this yourself, you will be giving up your weekends and week nights, searching 1/4 of what is out there, likely get frustrated and loose sleep in the process. A designer can help mitigate these stresses. So, you need to ask yourself, what is peace of mind worth to you?

If you are on a tight budget you can still work with a designer but may have to work with them in a less convention way, to get the best results for your project. Consider paying a designer to review plans, walk framing, create space plans, suggest brands, schedule meetings to ask for advice, and make choices for your project from the selections you have found.  Please note that fees, for consultation only, are typically more expensive than hiring a designer to design your whole house, expect 1.25 – 2.5x the hourly fee, but trust me, this is well worth getting an expert opinion, especially on something that isn’t easily undone.

Please feel free to contact me  Rebecca, of to talk about your project.

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August 23, 2011

Great imports to help you accessorize your home

by rebecca elisabeth design

Accessories are what pull a room together. Matchy matchy isn’t so creative so consider pulling elements that share a color or material to create something more unique.  These are great accessories that would work in almost any home and are a great starting point for accessorizing any room.

Wall Hanging


RED interior can help you accessorize, contact us if you need help.

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February 22, 2011

Why it’s a big mistake not to include an interior designer at the start of the building process.

by rebecca elisabeth design
The Key of my mind...


Interior designer are sometimes only thought of in terms of helping with furnishings. While this is a part of what we do, consider the knowledge we have about how your space will really function once you are in it. We have an intimate knowledge of the ins and outs of how spaces are used and therefore can contribute greatly to the process from the start – even before you go for a building permit! Architects, builders, cabinet-maker and other contractors are finished with their work when they finish their part and the builder hands you the keys to the shell of your house. Let’s face it, when you get those keys, it will feel like you only just started unless you have had a designer involved from the start helping design the space that will be ready for you and your things.

A house isn’t a home until you can sleep in your bed, bathe in your tub, cook in your kitchen and relax in your living room. When a designer can give input all along the way, then “work arounds” and a “less than perfect” feel won’t be necessary. You should consider a professional designer as a part of the design/build team.

July 21, 2010

Can you afford an interior designer in San Diego or anywhere for that matter?

by rebecca elisabeth design
So let’s get to the nitty-gritty, the answer you really want to know…can you afford a design professional? There is no doubt about it, designers are a luxury item, that not everyone can afford.  If you don’t have a decent budget or you are a do-it-yourselfer, you probably shouldn’t hire a designer. You should analyze yourself and your budget before you head down the path of finding a designer.  This is critical, because if you don’t have the funds or the understanding of the value a designer brings to a project, you will both frustrate the designer and yourself in the quest to find a designer for your project. Fees you can expect to pay for a designer are as follows:

$35-50 an hour for a student designer.
They will have little to no experience in building and furnishings but may have great aesthetics to help you buy retail.

$65-85 an hour for a beginning designer
This may be a young designer with 1-5 years of experience in a design firm or a second-career designer that had other business experience to bring professionalism to the table. The later has most likely worked with a more experienced designer, for a year or two, to gain knowledge and sources for custom work. Source both custom and retail.

$90-175 an hour for an experienced designer
This is where most professional designers will fall. In this range, it is about selecting someone who you most connect with and whose portfolio you like. Sourcing in this category is 95% trade-only sources, in other words virtually no retail items will be used to design your home, thereby creating a unique look that you won’t see at your neighbor’s house in a month.

$180+ an hour for a “name” designer
In this category, designers have either been designing for 20+ years and have been able to demand these fees or they are a celebrity type designer.  The later has been extensively nationally published and is likely to have their own line of furniture, fabric or accessory. These designers often have a store front that requires higher fees for overhead. Sourcing in this category is 95% trade only sources, in other words virtually no retail items will be used to design your home.

If you are paying 90+ and are getting retail items, you are being over charged.  Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule.  If you need something in a day or a week it is likely you will get a showroom floor item or a retail item, as most custom furnishings take 6-24 weeks.  For example, custom rugs, made in Asia take about 4-6 months to be made and shipped. A professional designer should have sources, they use to design custom products for their clients, to create a home that is unique and customized to you.
April 23, 2010

In a down economy, should you be remodeling in San Diego?

by rebecca elisabeth design
As a way to cope with the current real estate and financial situation many, in San Diego and country-wide, are turning to “nesting”. The thought is “let’s make our home a haven” – the place we vacation every day. Whether that is your motivation or you have just been wanting to redo a room in your home, now is the time. With the San Diego market as it is, the best contractors/vendors still have business but are considering jobs of all sizes, and you don’t have to wait months or even years anymore.

With any project there is a laundry list of decisions to make, for some this can be daunting. An interior designer guides you through these decisions and keeps the entire project in mind with every decision – often times you lose this working with contractors, who make unilateral decisions rather than always keeping the whole in mind.

An additional benefit of working with an interior designer, is exposure to a plethora of products the public doesn’t have access to in retail shops. If you just need a second opinion, designers can offer you consultation services at an hourly rate. For the kitten-caboodle, a full service designer can help with space planning, finish selection, furniture selection, window treatments, hardware etc. etc. … Plus the same goes for interior designers, the good ones still have work but they are open to projects they may not have had time for a year ago.  Please feel free to contact me to set up a meeting to discuss your design needs.

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