“FREE” – As consumers, we hear the word “free” and we instantly perk up and whatever sales pitch that’s about to be delivered our way we at least give it a few seconds of our attention. Of course, nothing is ever truly free when it comes to retail, but sometimes the offer is a good deal. Like buy two pairs of shoes and get one free, or spend $150 at the make-up counter and get a free gift.
Just like retail, you can find interior design related services offered as free or deeply discounted consultations. Most furniture retailers offer “free design services” meaning they’ll layout your furniture and assist you with selections that are properly scaled and proportioned to your space. If you’re looking to purchase a new sofa and maybe a few occasional chairs, certainly, take the retailer up on that free design service to ensure a nice layout for your home. If, however, your project is a bit more involved with new flooring, paint/wallcovering, lighting, or even expanding the space and rearranging the floor plan and moving walls, there’s definitely value in hiring a full-service interior designer as opposed to the “free design services” offered by individual retailers.
When hiring an interior designer we work with you to create a cohesive, all encompassing design where every component of the space works together. It’s more than just picking things out. We work with you to determine your goals for the space, what’s working/not working for you, and problem-solve to deliver a design that’s going to perform to your needs and speaks to your aesthetic. More importantly, because we understand the final goal and see the big picture, we’re in contact with all the trades and we are aware of all the selections needed, and we understand how one decision can impact another.
The value is having an individual that’s your main point of contact, that knows the desired outcome of the entire project. Those “free” consultations do not include the furniture salesperson contacting and coordinating with the lighting, plumbing, flooring subs or general contractor to ensure that everything is going to work together. So, depending on your project, that freebie may not be such a great deal after all.