Hiring an Designer or Decorator

There are several myths about hiring a designer or decorator. One of these is that “It’s too expensive”.  Another is “A designer will try to force a style on me that I won’t like”. In fact, the opposite is true. A designer can save you time and money in the long run by managing your budget as well as the work of other professionals, possibly saving you from hiring inexperienced or unscrupulous tradespeople. Another fear is that the home may become so formal and precious that it is difficult to relax in. Some clients love a formal home and some do not. It is quite possible to have a beautiful home which is easy to live in and care for.

charming cottage style bedroom with corrugated tin ceiling

Designers also do not necessarily work only with wealthy clients in formal, high end homes. Casual, homey interiors are a great deal of fun to create. If you look at some of the high end magazines, you will see casual interiors that can be very expensive, indeed. All this goes into the range of what a designer can provide to the client. The interior design process is a two way conversation which can produce inspiring results. Having access to the creativity of a designer or decorator is a wonderful thing. You will be introduced to ideas and ways of doing things that you very likely will not have thought of yourself. This can be a huge advantage with our busy lifestyles where we are pulled in many directions and not all of the influences that we encounter have our best interests in mind. Your designer or decorator truly wants your project to look fabulous when it is completed. After all, a recommendation is the best complement that you can pay to the designer or decorator.

charming contemporary small casual dining area with turquoise chair and marble wallpaper

 

With a wide range of resources at their disposal, interior designers can frequently obtain products you can’t find on your own, and that are often of a higher quality than you may have been able to find on your own. Having done their own shopping all of their lives, many clients who eventually make use of the services of a designer are amazed at the range of products that are available. In one recent example, one of our Oakville clients who had downsized into a lovely condo was able to have her home and décor entirely refreshed, decluttered and pared down with new furnishings which were comfortable and which fit well in her space. A few colourful accessories added bling and sparkle. Had she kept her older furnishings, she’d have been forced to live in a cramped space simply because her older furnishings were still serviceable. Those furnishings were donated to a worthy cause and went on to help a less fortunate family live a little more comfortably.small home with striking use of turquoise, black and white

Marguerite Roberts, head of Mulberry Interiors, specializes in helping you make the best of possessions that you may already own. It is part of the creative side of interior design. Her focus on the magic of colour, balance and proportion  has helped clients blend differing styles of possessions. Mulberry Interiors also is able to help you with the difficult decision of letting go of furnishings which simply do not work for your new phase of life.

dramatic small living room with contemporary chair, paired black lamps, and wall of artwork

Sometimes, styles are so very disparate that replacement is really the best solution. In these cases, we specify an action plan over time to gradually replace useful but jarring items with much more pleasing choices.

wide view of elegant relaxed upscale living room with deep brown wall colour

 

The input of the homeowner is crucial to any project. We truly enjoy an exchange of ideas, and believe that often the best results are projects where the client can see their participation in the ideas used in their own home.

updated and elegant dining room with abstract area rug in greys and blues, with deep navy dining chairs

 

The best way to ensure that your project is what you want is clear communication with the designer or decorator. Discussion between client and designer will bring out issues such as problems that currently prevent you from using your space as you would prefer. Discuss which heirlooms, artwork and other favourite pieces you want to keep. Be clear which pieces that you could live without, are willing to change or move to another area of your home.

wide view of contemporary clean lined living room with modern fireplace and upscale chair seating

Sometimes, after watching a television décor show, clients may have an unrealistic idea of what quality pieces actually cost. Have you noticed that the budgets presented for these shows do not include compensation for the designer or for the tradespeople? In the real world, these people do not work for free. Remember the old adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” Be prepared to pay for quality and great design.

dramatic deep blue living room with unique green silk loveseat sofa and watercolour splash area rug

 

This should not prevent you from having a wish list with a few extravagant things as well as practical, quality items. These upscale items often are what make the room look finished and are well worth the cost.

wide view of upscale contemporary living room with hot pink daybed chaise

 

Compare the cost of a sofa to the current cost of a car. Car prices have steadily increased over the past twenty years. Sofa prices sometimes seem to have not progressed as far. How much quality material is there likely to be in a $600 sofa? Not likely much. Be prepared to pay for quality. There is a mid range as well as a high end for quality investment pieces. We truly live in a golden age of choice.

upscale living room with classic fireplace, tall vase of purple flowers and wood edged sofa

Having determined your decorating goals, you are ready to consider the guidance of a designer or decorator to help you achieve these goals without costly mistakes and unfortunate choices. You should feel comfortable with your designer or decorator. Decorating is very personal and it is, after all, your home.

symmetrical and formal dining room or living room vignette with wood and mirror buffet and paired lamps

 

Since 1993 Mulberry Interiors, interior design consultants have been assisting clients in Oakville, Mississauga, Burlington, Brampton, Milton, Georgetown, Etobicoke, western Toronto, and Vaughan. We specialize in residential interior design and decorating and are at our most creative when we use colour as our theme. Photos are representative of the quality and creativity of work that we can do, not necessarily of our direct work. We offer a full range of interior design services such as choosing paint colours, space planning, furniture sourcing, custom draperies and soft furnishings, flooring selection and accessories. Call Mulberry Interiors now at (905) 849-6423 to book a consultation. We look forward to working with you to increase your enjoyment of your home.

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