Unlocking Home Design Potential: 5 Reasons to Work with an Interior Designer Beyond Finishes

Original Mid Mod Fireplace, raised concrete hearth, modern furniture, large red area rugs, custom artwork, retro furnishings, inside out brick wall, exposed brick, leather side chairs, linen sofa, flokate pillow, wide plank oak flooring - Midcentury Modern Renovation - 81st Street - Indianapolis, Christopher Short, Architect, HAUS Architecture

When working on a home, whether building or renovating, there are a lot of things to consider. We’ve previously touched on the benefits of working with an Architect in that process and how they are beneficial from start-to-finish, including interior finishes.

But what about an Interior Designer? Are they necessary? Will they really make that much of a difference? And, aren’t they just going to try to get me to spend more money? You want a project that will look good inside and out, but maybe you’re tempted to just manage the furnishings yourself using trusty Pinterest or Instagram. After-all, selecting the furniture and fixtures is the “fun-stuff”, right?

We all know of that one home we’ve seen, though. You know the one, it’s so cool from the outside, but then you walk inside and something seems off. The design and finishes inside and out may have been integrated well. However, the architecture of the home is so completely different from the furniture and art. That bright pink art, with the cobalt blue sofa… If only someone had helped make everything cohesive and suggested how neutral art with pops of rust and green might go better with the blue sofa.

In this article, we’ll discuss the 5 reasons you should work with an Interior Designer on your project beyond finishes into interior furnishings.

#1. WHAT YOU PUT INSIDE YOUR HOUSE CAN EITHER EMPHASIZE OR DISTRACT FROM THE ARCHITECTURE OF YOUR HOME.

You just spent all this time thoughtfully designing your home with your Design Team (Architect, Interior Designer, Landscape Architect). You love how it’s going to look from the street. You appreciate the way the spaces are designed and how they thoughtfully integrate architectural design inside-out. It all looks amazing in the 3D model and in your head, but what about furnishing it? You look online and buy a sofa you are so excited about. You waited weeks for it to arrive and once it’s there it’s just not right. The sizing works in theory, but something is just off. Is it the color? Is it the size? Is it the style of the item? Something’s off, but what is it exactly?

Having an integrated Interior Designer as part of your design team can help avoid all this. A specialist who is trained in this area of design with years of relevant experience can really help find creative pieces and layouts that are comfortable and livable, but also work with the style of the home.

An Interior Designer fully engaged with the design team from the beginning will work to reinforce and enhance the established architectural concepts into the interior furnishings for cohesive, exciting and comfortable results. They will know what pieces to place where, how to play with volumes and sizes of furniture, and what materials to bring in to best coordinate with the architecture.

Open concept Kitchen + Dining + Living optimizes natural light and panoramic views of Grandview Lake - Modern Lakeside Retreat - Grandview Lake - Columbus, Indiana - HAUS | Architecture For Modern Lifestyles

#2. YOU SPEND MORE TIME INSIDE YOUR HOME THAN YOU DO STANDING ON THE SIDEWALK APPRECIATING THE ARCHITECTURE OF IT.

The architectural design of your home encompasses both exteriors and interiors. In fact, the full integration of exterior to interior is paramount to a successful design and outcome. And it’s true that we spend most of our time engaging with the home from the inside. However, whether we are engaging from inside or outside, we are almost always engaging with furniture, appliances, fixtures, art, hardware and certainly tech. So whether inside or out, furnishings absolutely are a key factor in an outcome. So why not give as much thought to these important finishing touches?

Guest Bedroom includes en suite bathroom with skylight - Industrial Farm Modern - Back40House - Pendleton, IN

We get it, the inside feels easy-enough to tackle. Once we have walls and spaces you can slap whatever you want within and call it a day, right? But why would you cut corners on the piece of the home you engage with every single day? You wake up, go into the kitchen to get coffee, and see that light fixture above that table that has never been quite right. You know it could be better, but you don’t know how to get there, so you start yet another day with that nagging thought that you need to find a new table. But you don’t have time. So the table stays and the thought cycle starts over again the next day.

Working with an Interior Designer gets you items you love, in a way that makes sense for the home. Every morning you’ll wake up in awe of how beautiful your home is, questioning how you got so lucky to call these beautiful spaces yours. And you’ll pour your coffee and walk outside to water the flowers, take 5 minutes to stand on the sidewalk and appreciate the architecture of your home from the outside. Then you’ll walk back inside to all your beautiful furniture and lighting and appreciate your home from the inside as much as you do the outside.

#3. YOUR INTERIOR DESIGNER WILL SAVE YOU TIME.

Sure, there is a cost to using an Interior Designer to help you on your furnishings – but as the old cliché goes, time is money. You may be better off spending your money to utilize a professional than spending your own time and risking it still not coming together well.

Also, you’ll have put hours-and-hours into just searching for furniture, checking measurements, and deciding fabrics before you’ve even ordered a piece. Once you’ve placed the order, you now have to put even more time into tracking it and troubleshooting if something gets lost or arrives damaged. And now you have to somehow get it into your home and in the right place.

One of the biggest benefits of hiring an interior designer is that we do it all for you. We sift through all the options out there, we look at sizing, we gather information on cleaning care, we place and track all the orders, we troubleshoot when problems arise, and we install it all in your home. You not only save yourself time but you save yourself headaches. You get to look at and discuss all the pretty and “fun stuff” while your Interior Designer deals with all the “un-fun stuff”.

#4. A PROFESSIONAL INTERIOR DESIGNER HAS ACCESS TO UNIQUE PRODUCT OFFERINGS TO HELP ACHIEVE A TRULY UNIQUE SOLUTION.

We all want items that are functional for how we use our spaces, but we also want items that look good and feel unique. A lot of what you see online is a lot of the same stuff. The functional items don’t look that great, the stuff that looks great doesn’t look functional, and the unique items are insanely expensive. You’re stuck because you need a sofa, but you aren’t excited about any of them and they are all pretty expensive.

Using an Interior Designer gets you access to items that are not commercially available to everyone. There are lots of furniture brands that work “to the trade” only, meaning they will only work with design professionals. The right Interior Designer has extensive product knowledge, and when you factor in all the brands that are available only through a designer, you’ll encounter numerous items you have never seen before.

Wood dining chairs with brown leather fabric.
Photo taken by Colleen Freiburger while working at Heidi Woodman Interiors.

We know what you’re thinking, this sound pricey. But not all of these options are insanely expensive. There are still a lot of affordable options that work only to the trade. These ‘exclusive’ brands do not immediately mean a budget increase – they simply allow for more options even within a tight budget. And typically the affordable options available to designers are much higher quality than the affordable options available commercially.

Additionally, designers will have access to brands, or know of trades, that can get you custom pieces for your space. Not every space works with standard furniture sizing and might need a custom-sized piece. Or, maybe you have back issues and need a specific shape of seat and firmness to be comfortable. Designers will have a way to accommodate those ‘custom’ requests while still achieving a piece that looks good.

#5. WORKING WITH A PROFESSIONAL DESIGNER FOR INTERIOR FURNISHINGS WILL MAKE YOUR HOME FEEL EVEN MORE TIMELESS.

When you consider all the reasons listed above – interiors that are cohesive with the architecture, that it’s the part you engage with most, it saves you time and energy, and you get access to items you otherwise wouldn’t – it becomes clear that using an Interior Designer gets you items that will feel timeless in your home.

The items are specific to the home, feel unique and high quality, and fit the size of the rooms as well as the architecture of the home. Everything feels good in the space and doesn’t leave you with a list of things that need replaced.

You will invest one time upfront and be left with a home and furnishings that you are happy with for a very long time. Working with an Interior Designer helps you avoid the routine of buy a piece, find out you don’t love it, wait some time to justify the money spent, and then try again. You get the best option the first time, and don’t have to wait 3 years to buy a new sofa that hopefully fits the space better.

View into Master Bedroom features curated artwork, furniture, and light fixtures - Ingo Maurer - Bridge House - Fennville, Michigan - Lake Michigan

In essence, the collaboration with an Interior Designer for interior furnishings ensures that every aspect of the home, from its architectural integrity to its everyday functionality, is thoughtfully considered and expertly executed. It is an investment not only in the physical space but also in the quality of life and enjoyment derived from it, making it a decision well worth pursuing for any discerning homeowner.

Written by Colleen Freiburger.