There is a falsehood (or should we say many falsehoods) among the general population as to what an interior designer actually does, or why we should hire them.
Some think interior design is all about playing with fabrics and furnishings, making everything pretty and perfect. And some think that design is only what they see on popular television shows and is unattainable for themselves. Sadly, television only shows a small part of the profession; there are many other responsibilities that happen behind the scenes, so we are going to attempt to raise the curtains (perhaps floral or damask curtains?) and show you the many facets of interior designers.
Here are 10 classic misconceptions or myths of interior designers that we want to debunk:
1) Interior Design is Mostly a Female Profession
There are numerous stereotypes within this industry, but the largest one is that design is predominantly a female profession, and the men that do enter into it are, as this Journal Of Interior Design article by points out, ‘Gay until proven straight’.
This is most ridiculous in the year 2015! Obviously, design is a job open to any sex, and a man can easily be interested in this career where spatial reasoning is a predominant skill. Let’s put this myth in the garbage right now, shall we?
2) Designers Just Play With Fabric Swatches
A large part of an interior designers job is to make spaces functional, safe, and beautiful. They not only play with fabrics, paints and decorative items; they must determine space requirements, layouts, read blueprints from builders and architects, be well-versed in building codes and inspection regulations.
If you are working with an accredited designer, then you can rest assured they have attained a lot more from school than just the opposing colors on a color wheel.
3) Interior Designers Are Unaffordable
This is a big one—a lot of people assume that interior designers are just for the rich. This is such a huge falsehood that stops most people from picking up the phone to call a designer for help.
Here is what everyone needs to know: Designers will work within your budget. If you only want help with one room, or just a wall color—most are willing to offer advice for those very small projects. Pick up the phone and just ask them if they are willing to take on a small, budget-friendly job. You will be so happy that you did!
4) Designers Are Rigid And Uptight
We understand how this myth has been generated—television. Of course, there are a lot of design shows that highlight a rigid designer who seems hard to deal with; who expects things ‘their way or the highway’—we suggest that a lot of this is an act for television in order to garner great ratings.
Unfortunately, it may stop some everyday people to look toward a designer for help. Designers live just like the rest of us, they are not rich (well not many of them) and they are more down-to-earth than many people think.
5) Designers Are Omniscient
While most designers will certainly know a lot more about design than the average layperson, it doesn’t make them all-knowing. As a client, you need to be clear and concise about your wants, needs and budget constraints.
Designers can only give you what they know, and if information is lacking, well, then they will fill in the blanks with their own personal ideas of what you need and want. It may be a dream-come-true for a designer to hear the words ‘Do whatever you want’, but this scenario is unlikely to result in a home that speaks to who you are.
6) Their Homes Are Stage Perfect
We imagine a designer to have a perfect home. Funny thing is, many are much too busy working on other peoples homes, leaving them very little time for their own.
Sure, they get discounts at all the great showrooms, giving them opportunities to design the home of their dreams (which many designers have done for themselves), but this is not the case for all designers. Most designers find themselves squeezing in small moments on Sunday afternoons to focus on their own home— and we all know that a great design cannot be completed in half a day.
7) I Can Do It Myself Why Would I Hire?
This is a big misconception. Many people feel they have a good eye for form, function and color, allowing them to design their own home. While you may actually have a great idea of what you want and how to get it, there still remain some valuable proponents of design that only a designer can give you.
For one, designers have access to showrooms that you are simply not allowed. Also, those showrooms are deeply discounted for designers who can, in turn, offer you that same discount. Designers are backed by intensive four-year degrees, they truly know more about design than the rest of us, even if we are good with color, style etc.
8) They Won’t Reflect My Taste
You want your home to reflect who you are—no one wants to be left with a home looking like a stale, false magazine cover where it seems no one would ever really live.
A good designer would never let their own tastes mesh or take over a client’s taste. Before any project begins, a designer will sit with you and learn all your wants and needs. Only after a clear image has been created and approved will they then create your space. Yes, YOUR space. In the end a design should reflect who you are.
9) My Modest Home Is Not Worthy Of Design
Every home deserves a great design, no matter how small or how big. While it may seem that design is only for the rich and famous, it is simply not true. And as we have mentioned above, design can be affordable to every one and even the smallest budgets can create a well-designed home.
Regardless of size, your home should be your castle. We suggest you reach out to a local designer who is able to work within your budget. Turn your small, modest space into one you are proud to call home.
10) A Designer Won’t Give Me A Livable Space
As we mentioned above, we don’t want to be left with a stale, false magazine cover where everyone is scared to sit down, let alone live.
There are a lot of designers who are skilled at creating a homey environment that remains livable, yet also looks amazing. Before deciding on who to hire, be sure to ask the designer for pictures of past projects, and tell them that you want a space that is beautiful and livable. Perhaps you have kids, dogs etc.. a well-skilled designer can create a home that accommodates all your living needs.
As you can see, an interior designer can turn virtually any space into something of livable beauty. Designers may battle a lot of misconceptions, but their skills and expertise trump all the myths. Paying for the expertise of a designer is well worth it; they have the power to turn a plain and simple space into a happy home.
Did we debunk any design myths for you?