Thursday, March 1, 2012

5 Big Blunders of 'Do-It-Yourself' Interior Designers

We can all appreciate the notion that do-it-yourself projects save money...that is the intention anyways. But do you really save money in the long run ? What is your time worth ? Do you have the expertise and time and patience to solve the myriad problems that will arise ?  If not, hire an interior design professional !  Here is a list of our top 5 Big Blunders of 'Do-It-Yourself' Interior Designers :

1] Not realizing you lack the time and knowledge to design for yourself.
The reason why designers charge, is because an awful lot of time, knowledge and experience goes into every project. Paradoxically, the simplest, most elegant designs probably took the most time to resolve all the issues and to select just the right materials and products.  Under-estimating the time it will take is eroded by the fact that you will have to do a lot of research for your project, knowledge that a designer would know from the get-go.

2] Half-hearted analysis of the design problem to be solved.
Designers tend to look at the bigger picture.  Is replacing the pedestal sink with a vanity really going to solve the problem of bathroom storage ?
For example, would you have thought of this bathroom storage solution? :

3]  Focusing too much on the money you will save now [e.g. on materials, design and labor] and not enough on other, longer term costs. Things such as correcting mistakes, replacing low durability materials, replacing inferior quality products or trendy products more frequently, and realizing a reduced return on investment can cost substantially more [i.e. money wisely invested into your property can provide you with a much greater ROI when you go to sell].

4] Making mistakes by not paying attention to planning and the [design drawing] details....
especially with things like flooring, trims, baseboards, counter tops and door swings which amateurs tend to overlook.

Without a plan [ideally a scaled floor plan, and an elevation if you are installing something on a wall], how do you know if what you have in your head translates into reality? How do you know everything will fit and exist harmoniously?

5] Focusing on style and comfort, instead of scale.
Most furniture stores are large, with high ceilings. But once you get that Eames lounge chair home, you realize it is way too tight in the corner by the doorway to your dining room.  Over-crowding, or widely separated pieces [bottom image] is one of the most common mistakes, overlooked by amateurs.



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Thank you so much for taking time to read my interior design blog ! Much appreciated, Yvonne