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5 Myths About Working with an Interior Designer

Not all interior designers work the same way, but there are some common myths that our industry encounters over and over again. Frankly, this list could probably be a mile long, but nobody has time for that. What are the biggest myths we have been encountering lately? Come take a look…

(P.S. You can learn more about a designer’s life here, get questions to ask your designer here, or discover the reality of a renovation here.)

Myth #1: My designer needs to be in my house.

Noop. And if you think about it, this isn’t new. Designers have always designed spaces out of thin air. That’s why we’re designers. We can see and imagine what’s not there. We collaborate with you, develop a plan, and clearly communicate it (with drawings and photorealistic 3D renderings) so you can visualize the final result, too.

The best part? Whether you’re working with us in-person or virtually, we have so much hands-on experience (17+ years of it), that there isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. This brings an extra level of expertise and support to every aspect of the design, project management, construction, and implementation.

Can you tell which is the rendering and which is the final result in our San Francisco Style Project?

Myth #2: I need a designer to purchase high-quality furniture for me.

This isn’t true. We are happy to give you a design plan with high-quality options that you can purchase on your own, through our Designer on Demand service. It’s perfect for hopping on our calendar to get support with as much or as little as you need. No strings attached.

While it’s not always necessary for us to do all of your purchasing for you, you may still want us to, and that’s okay. We have connections with all of the best resources around, and it takes a tedious task off of your to-do list. If you’re interested in white glove, done-for-you service, Full-Service Design is the answer.

Beach House Project | Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

Myth #3: I can use the same paint color as my friend.

Sure you can, but it’s not going to look the same. Paint reflects differently depending on the light source (artificial vs. natural), the direction the room is facing (north, east, south, west), the other elements in the room (like the flooring or a stone fireplace), and even the color of your neighbor’s house. Really.

Selecting a paint color is a nuanced skill that takes patience and a discerning eye. An interior designer takes your ideas and suggestions and makes paint color selections tailored specifically to your home. When designing a new build, we will wait until the last step to select paint colors. And yes, we will send you multiple white options to choose from because not all whites are the same.

Myth #4: I can buy the same rug online for less.

Doubtful. In our experience, rugs never look the same in person as they look online. The colors are always off, the texture is never what you expect, the material and craftsmanship is unlikely to be the same quality, and even the pile height may be too high or too low.

This is why we always show you rug samples in person before deciding. If you had to design your whole house and see only one thing in person first, it should be your rugs. Who knew? If you’re working with us on Full-Service Interior Design, we will also show you materials samples for the other products we source for your home.

Beach House Project | Photographer: David Duncan Livingston

Myth #5: Construction timelines are set in stone.

Not so fast. Literally. Just when you think you’ll be in your home within 6 months, you learn that your shower valves are on backorder which leads to a domino effect… the plumber and tiler need to be rescheduled, the painter gets pushed out, and you can’t install the drapes until everything gets back on track. You get the idea.

Construction completion dates are a moving finish line and totally out of your or our control. We advise being open-minded to the possibility and flexible if and when it occurs. This will make the process easier for everyone. Trust us, project delays are the last thing anyone wants, and the entire team is doing its best to reach the finish line as soon as possible.

Did any of these surprise you? Well, they won’t anymore. If you’re beginning a renovation or new build and would like professional guidance — and far fewer surprises — you know where to find us.

Until next time,


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