Vellum Interiors | Full-service interior design & styling studio in Sydney • Residential • Design & Decoration

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Reasons to hire an interior designer (not just a builder) on your renovation

 

Recently, a client came to me who had already engaged a builder (usually I am hired first, and engage a builder on the client's behalf). Having never renovated before, the client wasn't clear on how it works when you hire both a designer and a builder. 

This gave me an opportunity to really think about the value that an interior designer provides to the renovation process, in collaboration with the builder, and I wanted to share my thoughts here. If you've got any questions about how this can work for you, I'd love to hear from you -- email info@velluminteriors.com.au.

You'll have a better result at the end

  • Interior designers think holistically about your home and how you live, rather than just thinking about the build works. We create drawings for the structural works as well as furniture and lighting plans, and this means we consider details like where power outlets and lighting should be positioned to maximise flow, function and ambience in each space. These plans also help the builders to see what the overall goal is for your home, and gives them a clear road map to get there, so that you, the builder, and the designer are all on the same page 
  • An interior designer also offers a third-party, outside view of what could be done to your home, and help ensure the needs of everyone in the household are met. This can be especially useful when a couple has very different tastes and styles, or if you're a family who all want to contribute to what the home looks like
  • Because we are immersed in the design industry, designers have access to trade-only suppliers and design your space using items that aren't accessible to retail customers. This means your home won't look like everyone else's, because you'll have a huge amount of resources available through your designer, above and beyond what you could access on your own
  • We are always considering the best way to plan things in your home to suit you, and will design a space highly tailored to your needs, thinking about all the details of your lifestyle and how you want to live. We ask these questions from the very first consultation, to get to know you and your family so we can create a home completely customised to you. For example, if I have clients who are both professionals, I like to ask what they do to relax. Asking this question could lead to creating a space in the bedroom that provides a quiet sanctuary, or it could mean that one of the bathrooms includes a full-size bathtub.
  • An example of this is the doggie beds I designed to fit into the laundry joinery below -- a small touch but a thoughtful one, that considered my client's need for more floor space for laundry baskets, as well as a warm, enclosed spot for the dogs to sleep at night
Rosie the sausage dog curls up in the custom-built joinery that perfectly fits her doggie bed

Rosie the sausage dog curls up in the custom-built joinery that perfectly fits her doggie bed

Builders are builders - not designers!

  • Having a builder is essential to carrying out your renovation, however, if you've just got a builder and no designer, it means that you are responsible for making all the design decisions, beforehand and during the build. If you aren't around and a decision needs to be made, it's more than likely that the builder or tradie will make that decision for you, based on what they think is best (or easiest) which may not be one you agree with, or that best suits your overall goals for the space. When you have a designer, we make these decisions on your behalf (making sure you're happy with the outcome), and communicate them to the trades
  • Builders focus on constructing something to the best possible standard, but they may not consider how it can be optimised for your lifestyle and family, or what colour/finish it should be in order to suit the style you're going for. In my experience many builders have a set template of paint colours, finishes, and plumbing items which they'll put into every job for ease (again, because their job is building something, not designing it to the best for you)
  • The best solution is to let the builders do what they do best, and an interior designer do what they do best! Working together, they will create a much better result than a builder on their own. 
I designed this outdoor joinery in close collaboration with the cabinet-maker and builder to ensure we used materials that were suitable for outdoors, but also highly functional (the bench seat has storage to house the cushions), and suited the style of the overall project.

I designed this outdoor joinery in close collaboration with the cabinet-maker and builder to ensure we used materials that were suitable for outdoors, but also highly functional (the bench seat has storage to house the cushions), and suited the style of the overall project.

You will save time

  • One of the great benefits of hiring an interior designer is that we establish a timeline upfront for your entire project. This plan doesn't just include the schedule for the renovation works (as a builder would provide), but also things like when we need to order the tiles, tap ware, appliances, lighting etc. so they arrive on site in time for the works to start, when the curtains will be installed (always at the very end!) and when the furniture and styling installation will take place. We manage the purchasing and co-ordinating of deliveries on your behalf, saving you hours of logistics!
  • Co-ordinating your own renovation can be like taking on a second job (or a full-time job if you're not employed). Being a trained professional with experience on many renovations, designers can come up with solutions on-site, or select paint colours and finishes in a fraction of the time you could do it yourself. We execute your project with efficiency, and at Vellum Interiors, as part of our 12-step process, and present to you all items and costs to you upfront, saving time on multiple meetings and back-and-forth.  
Even for a relatively small-scale project like this one, the timeline spanned 4 months and included co-ordinating the furniture and accessories deliveries so they would arrive the day after the works ended. 

Even for a relatively small-scale project like this one, the timeline spanned 4 months and included co-ordinating the furniture and accessories deliveries so they would arrive the day after the works ended. 

The project will be more fun! 

  • At Vellum Interiors we make sure clients have a fun, enjoyable renovation experience. It should be an exciting time for you, because your vision is coming to life!! We shelter you from any headaches that come up, there are less decisions for you to make, and we make sure things are 100% complete when the trades leave the site (no leaky taps, no drops of paint where they shouldn't be!). Managing these things on your behalf mean you can focus on the fun stuff.  
  • Many homeowners managing their own renovations become weary with them after a while because it can be tiring making all those decisions! As the designer on the project, we keep the momentum and excitement up, we get things done and we love to celebrate milestones with you. We become emotionally invested in you and your home, and are just as excited as you are to see it come to life.   

If you could do with some help on your renovation, I'd love to hear from you! Email us at info@velluminteriors.com.au or to view our services, click here.