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When to bring on an interior designer for your new build or renovation



While it’s never too late, engaging an interior designer early in your new build process has many benefits.


For many families, building or renovating a home is as exciting as it is daunting. Thankfully, the project becomes much easier with the right team of professionals. The experts you choose will help guide you through every step of the process—taking you from a dream in your head to a home you love.


With new construction, the primary professionals you'll be working with will be your architect, interior designer, and builder. These three professionals will also bring in tradespeople and other partners at various points throughout the process.


The architect’s main role is to design the structure, creating the building to suit the landscape in the best way possible. They also start the process of creating hard construction documents for your new home.


The interior designer's job is to take the architect's plans and make sure the interior spaces are designed to be functional and aesthetically pleasing.


The builder is responsible for land surveying, determining the project's feasibility, and bringing the plan to life.


A question that often arises is: at what point in the process should you bring in an interior designer?


The short answer? As soon as possible.


Once you have connected with an architect and they’ve drawn up plans, it’s helpful to have a designer on your team to work hand-in-hand with the architect to ensure that the interiors of their plan account for all of your functional needs and design preferences.


Architects are thinking about roof lines, exterior symmetry, and the overall structure of your home. Meanwhile, an interior designer can help modify interiors on their plan with functionality and your style in mind.


In a perfect world, it is important to bring in a designer before your builder gets to work—and before the foundation is poured if you’re project is new construction. Doing so allows your designer to check for and remedy errors on paper—a much simpler fix than moving walls or rerouting plumbing!


Hiring an interior designer early can help you get things right the first time.


Hiring your interior designer as early as possible will save you time, mistakes, and unnecessary expenses. A designer will also help you make choices that lead to the best use of your space and create a timeless interior.


Floor plans that feel right


Typically architectural plans include generic layouts for kitchens, bathrooms, and interior spaces. Having an interior designer review the blueprints can maximize your space by ensuring that the design accounts for how you live your life or anticipate living in the home.


Your designer will consider traffic flow, maximizing storage, window placement, and typical furniture layout. They'll also review the plans for outlet placement, doorway clearances, and plumbing locations. You may only realize the effect an off-center architectural feature is once you run into trouble trying to arrange lighting and furniture in a room!


I recall reviewing the cabinetry design in a project's floor plan and realizing there wasn't enough room for the door to swing open without hitting the cabinetry. Thankfully, we caught and adjusted this issue before construction began, saving money and headaches.


Less stressful material selections


From cabinets and countertops to light fixtures and tile, you must make many decisions when building a new home or renovating. It can be overwhelming, and it's not the builder's job to get deeply involved in these selections. Beyond that, they need these decisions made quickly.


Your designer can act as a liaison between you and your contractor and architect, translating your wishes and ensuring every detail is accounted for. You’ll also save time and confusion with a designer to help coordinate showroom visits and vendors related to materials selection. For instance, I often narrow down choices and accompany clients to showrooms to make the process much less intimidating. What may take you a few trips back and forth to multiple tile stores over multiple weekends will take just a few hours when working with an expert who knows the inventory and how to use your time best.


An interior designer can help you choose finishes, fixtures, and materials that best match your style and your home's architecture. Your designer will also be able to advise about the durability of various options and make recommendations based on your needs. We are experts at knowing where to save and where to splurge to make the best use of your budget.


Decisions about your materials will impact how much you enjoy your space as well as the resale value of your home.


Timeless, cohesive style


A designer can help you make choices that unify your space and feel timeless, beautiful, and truly yours by looking at your entire home with an expert eye.


In addition to their knowledge, your designer will have access to products and vendors that you wouldn’t otherwise, making your home look unique. A designer can also help you choose the right paint colors and overall color scheme for your home, plus know when and where to add details that can make an incredible difference.


If your project is underway, there is still time to bring an interior designer in.


While earlier is best, the good news is that it’s never too late to add an expert to your team.


An interior designer can jump in at any point in the process, helping to take the burden off you and the builder when selecting finishes and fixtures. Your designer can also provide the builder with all the paperwork and specs they need in a language they understand. One of the most valuable things I do for my clients is act as a liaison between them and their builders regarding the function and look of their interior spaces.


I love helping families bring their dream homes to life, especially when I’m there, from the first architectural drawings to styling their bookshelves. Seeing them move into their new space, designed thoughtfully with their life and tastes in mind, is such a satisfying moment.


If you’re considering building a new home or renovating your existing one and want to learn more about the process, I’d be happy to speak with you.



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