FAQs Regarding Working With A Designer- Part 1

We spoke with Andrea and Jen of Fiddlehead Design Group. They shared with us ten frequently asked questions about hiring a designer, here are their first five answers… more to come!

Why hire a designer? 

  Contrary to popular believe, hiring an interior designer can actually save you money, not to mention time and stress.  Your designer can help you break down your project into a manageable, step-by-step process and help you prioritize what to do first and so on.  For example, many clients will decide to change out their kitchen countertops only to realize down the road that they want to change the layout and/or other materials such as cabinets, back splash or floors.  Had they talked to us in the first place, we would have asked these important questions up front and created a long-term, comprehensive master plan that could be done in phases but in the proper order so as not to make costly mistakes.  In general, we like to create a master plan for all of our clients projects so that they know what needs to be done and in what order.  This helps them create a long-term budget and have the peace of mind to know exactly where to begin and end.   

How much will a designer cost?
  Most designers in the Twin Cities will charge an hourly fee for their services.  The amount varies from designer to designer, but an average would be anywhere from $85-250/hour.  Our hourly rate is $150 and you get both of us working on your project.  Depending on the project we are typically able to estimate the amount hours it will take.  If you end up purchasing furnishings from your designer, s/he will typically give you their designer cost price plus a mark-up.  Most likely you will not be paying retail price.   

How do I get the most from my designer and keep my project affordable?
  This is a really important question because the client actually has more control over this than they might think.  During our first conversation it important for us to get some critical information such as budget (most important), time frame and expectations so that we can create a plan to work with you in the most effecient way possible because we charge an hourly rate.  We always give our clients “homework” before we meet, such as creating image folders/files and a priority list which gives us intial direction and can save quite a bit of time in the long run.  We also encourage all decision makers to be involved from the beginning of the project. 

How long does a project take?
  Completely depends—don’t you love that answer?!  There are many factors that come into play here such as scope of project, logistics, and how quicky the client is able to make decisions.  We’ve had clients who are ready to go, who know what they like and can make very quick decisions.  On the other hand, some clients need much more time to wrap their head around each decision that makes up the overall project.  We typically try to keep the process moving so that the project doesn’t lose momentum which can be detrimental.   

How can an interior designer help add value to a home?

  Most good interior designers will also have a pulse on the overall market and home values.  Many of us work directly with realtors and can give our clients great advice as to where they can get the most bang for their buck.  This is especially important when doing a remodel such as a kitchen or bathroom.   

Stay tuned for more…