Atelier Lane has just opened in Hong Kong. We offer full-service Interior Design, Interior Styling and online services. Over recent years, there has been an explosion of new services that interior designer/stylists offer and I've heard a lot of discussion about the question whether or not to hire an interior stylist. How do I know what the best option for me? How do I know if I am making the right decision? These are questions that you will ponder on and today I want to help you answer them.
I don't know about you, but when I am looking on Instagram, Pinterest or other major interior style websites, all I see is the same stuff. I mean, I love a Scandi style living room but everyone is doing it, so I wonder if everyone's homes look the same. We are all unique, with our quirks, our likes, and dislikes, so we all should have homes that reflect us, not what you see in magazines, right. However, when I see a space that pops amongst a sea of 'same', I know that a designer has been involved.
So how do you know when to go it alone and when to call in a professional?
1. It's formally functional.
As an interior stylist I can always tell when a home has been styled by a professional - it's because of the spacing and layout. The spacing and placement of the furnishings, artwork, lighting have all been planned to maximise the use of space and the way you walk through the space. It's symmetrical, the legs of all the furniture mimic each other, the coffee table is the right height and size, the rug is actually the right fit for the space, the art mimics the windows and doors, the mirror is perfectly centered. When it comes to form and function, a designer always does things harmoniously.
2. We help refine your ideas.
It's common belief that an interior stylist/designer will take over your home and you will end up in a home reflecting their style, not your own. This is untrue. A good interior designer will work with you, refining your vision, taking your ideas and making them better for you. In the end, it's your home and you are the ones living there, not the designer.
3. A professional assessment.
When you are shopping for a designer/stylist to work on your home, you want to make sure you are getting the right information. Pay for a proper consultation. Don't skimp out and try to get decor advice for free. That's what blogs and Pinterest are for. You want someone to help with the overall layout, look and feel of your home, you want it to make sense. You're not going to get proper advice by just asking for tips here and there. I have seen so many homes that have a very mismatched vibe. Your home is your sanctuary and you want it to nurture your lifestyle and family, not drain you. A professional will be able to come in and let you know what's working and what isn't when the lighting is off, when the placement isn't functional, etc. s and had an enormous, beautiful home and thought he was hiring a designer...which leads me to my next point)
4. You will save money!
If you pay for a designer, here are a few things you might miss out on. Accidentally paying too much for something, when you can get the same thing for half the cost at another place, ordering the wrong size, fabric or wallpaper, wasting money on trades who install the pendant light in the wrong place, choosing wall colours that don't give the feel you want, buying furniture that doesn't fit in the space, I could go on and on. Typically designers have experienced most of the mistakes for you and know ahead of time, the right way to go. You want experienced people working on your home so you can save money from making the wrong mistakes. Trust me, they happen!
5. You can afford it.
This is a big one. Obviously, hiring a decorator involves paying someone so you should count that into your budget on top of what you want to spend on furniture and accessories. But take heart! In the end, you will save - time, sanity, costly mistakes but you will save. We also get discounts on furniture. I normally pass these discount onto my customers so its a win win. You get the same furniture you want, plus an expert to help you with paint colours, accessories, and pulling the whole room together.
6. The bad guy.
Let's face it, when you are renovating or working on a home (especially your first time), you want someone who will ask the right questions and fight for you. Contractors, electricians, inspectors and the like can be pretty intimidating. It's really nice to have a middle man (your designer) who can ask questions for you, get things done for you and generally be the "bad guy" and stand up on your behalf. Many of my clients are so nice and hate to ask for more than what they are given. A designer will do that for you.
7. Unique ideas.
A designer is going to come up with things you wouldn't normally think of. Like this picture above. How many people would turn an empty nook like this into a chic little vanity? It was a clever move and not something you would normally think of. Designers will be able to come up with unique solutions for your home and again, with the ability to avoid costly mistakes. The more unique the space, the cooler it is, this is why you want a designer who gets your personality. Tip: Don't just hire any designer! Have a meeting or lunch, see how you get along with that person. They need to "get you".
8. Increase your value.
A good designer will have the ability to turn your home into a space ready for a magazine or showcase. Here's the thing, there is a big difference when it comes to decorating a home stylishly and one that is decorated properly for photography. If you know you are going to sell your home in a few years, you want it designed for resale at some point. You are going to need stellar photos to help sell your home and there are specific ways to enhance your home for photography. These things designers know. If this is the case, try asking a real estate agent for the name of a designer in your area, they typically will have fantastic & dependable resources.
Why not enquire about how Atelier Lane can help you with your next interior project. We are now located in Hong Kong. Interior Design Hong Kong.