Home Improvements – What the Savvy Home Owner Must Know About Interior Designers

Home improvement projects must have a plan. You wouldn’t build a home without blueprints so why would you attempt a home improvement project without a plan? But, where do you start?

Getting the Best Professional Help

For a home improvement project, often your best bet is to start with an Interior Designer. I’ll explain my reasoning in a minute. First, let’s review the specialties of various home building professionals:

Design/Build General Contractor: These folks typically have a lot of varied abilities and can provide more services under one roof. They may lack some of the depth that the specialists may have, however. General Contractors (GC) are most often used for major projects like large remodels and building a home from scratch. Even when using a GC, it can be an advantage to start with an Interior Designer to help you get what you want.
Architects & Residential Designers: These professionals specialize in the look, size, style, and major structural materials of your home while preparing blueprints from which to build. Again, these professionals specialize in bigger, more complicated projects that involve major structural components. If this is you, you may still want to start with an Interior Designer before going to an architect.
Interior Designers & Decorators: The lines have blurred between decorators and designers. Traditionally, the designer is often better trained and credentialed but often decorators do the same work as designers do. They work inside the structure, focusing on color, room sizes, furniture, ambiance, and livability.

As you can see, all of these various projects can benefit by starting with the professional interior designer. The goal is to provide a superior living experience inside the dwelling. The proper lighting, color, space, and balance really have major effects on lifestyle and even people’s health.

An Interior Design Specialist

Whether a decorator or a designer, these professionals sometimes specialize in working with builders and architects. This can be a real advantage to you in preparing for your home improvement project.

The best interior designs are based on great home designs. If you start your preparation with an interior designer who is familiar with and works with builders and architects, you can get the major advantage of designing the home around furniture, light sources (windows, etc.) entry and exit ways, room locations, and the general flow you’re trying to achieve.

The cost for a designer can be quite minimal and depending upon your project and how the designer works, you may find that the designer saves you money overall.

Minor vs. Major Home Improvements

With a major home improvement, there may be interior (or even exterior) walls that need to be moved to accommodate your project. Before you go to the builder or architect to draw up these plans and blueprints, it’s often wise to consult with an interior designer to clarify your desires so you can convey those ideas to your architect and get the plans drawn correctly.

Simple home improvements may require only the interior designer without needing an architect. Either way, using an interior designer or decorator can aid you in deciding what you want for your home improvement, then getting it.

Creating Curb Appeal – Before and After Photos of Home Improvements

Do you love watching others creating curb appeal from dated yards or from old houses? Have you ever seen the before and after photos/renderings in home improvement magazines? Have you ever wished you could have a new design makeover done for your home?

I enjoy seeing what a place looks like and what it can become. I imagine it gives home owners hope that their place can look fresh and new again…a place they can be proud to come home to.

With the different homes I’ve owned, I can never resist making them the best they can be. I’m sure if you enjoy home improvement magazines like I do, you’ve probably seen these (before & after) images. I like to think of them as a (problem before) and a (design solution after).

It’s a results oriented approach that I like. These before & after pictures speak to me in a way that a single rendering by itself can’t quite do.

Maybe it’s because it shows a starting point to know how and why the new design came to be what it is. It’s similar to a behind the scenes look at the design process. People love to see how things are made.

The rendering becomes a visual plan to work from…a blueprint of where you want to go. You might choose to take on your home improvement all at once or you can take your time and do a little each year. You can work at your own pace as you have the time and the money.

At least you know where you’re going. Without a plan like this it becomes more challenging to know where to start. Often it feels a little overwhelming so you never begin.

2 examples of where these before & after images have been published are “Cottage Living Magazine” (which is now out of print I’m sorry to say) and “This Old House Magazine.”

I appreciate the homeowner’s letters being included so we can read what their concerns were at the time. It also gives us insight into why the home design solution was designed the way it was.

Quite often coming up with a design solution leads to other interesting elements that will also improve the over all appearance.

I like to see the list of products used to complete the finished look. Showing a picture of the product or material along with a place to find it makes it convenient for the interested homeowner who wants to take on their own before and after home improvement project.

Browse through some before and after photos today, you may just get inspired to do some home improvements of your own.