It is quite embarrassing for me to come back here after over a year, expecting you all to be okay with my absence. I am sorry, okay…. there’s just been so much going on. I’ve gone from Miss to Mrs, Healthcare to Residential designer and opened one of the most luxurious showrooms Mere Green has ever seen. So please excuse my absence. Are we okay, friends again?
So, now that’s sorted 🙂 I wanted to really get into the biggest challenge I face as a designer- showing my clients the worth behind the dreaded DESIGN FEE!! For clarity, the design fee is the cost generated before a project begins, and is either paid in full upfront or in instalments to your designer to commence the work needed for your project. This is before any of the costs for the furniture & accessories etc, and so can sometimes feel like a slight burn to clients, and leaves them wondering- WHAT IS THIS??
Please be assured, this isn’t your designer trying to get money out of you for nothing, it is the cost behind getting the professional input and talented opinion you’re looking for when hiring your designer.
The work behind the concept
When designers work on your project, there is so much thought, time, negotiation and management of other third party suppliers going on behind the scene. When your designer says “we want to take the hassle away from you”, they really do meant it!!
As a professional designer, I wanted to share with you an average project and detail to you some of the common features that go on behind the scenes… any designers out there that want to add some things, please do!! It is important our clients know the worth behind the fees they’re paying for, to not only add credibility to the industry, but also gain trust in their designer.
- Meetings: This is the key, we meet with you (of course), suppliers, contractors, and even other designers such as kitchen or lighting specialists to ensure everyone is on the same page. It is crucial everyone working on your project is singing from the same sheet, to make this is success. Every time you see your supplier, you want to be reassured everything is going to plan- this is what we are there for
- Project Management: When you don’t see or hear from us, don’t assume we are sitting watching Loose Women on a Wednesday morning. If we aren’t chasing the people mentioned above, we are hard at work balancing budgets, sourcing materials, negotiating bargains and of course answering to your beck and call on anything related to your project. Most designers will offer advise to you at any time of the day, whether its your panic about the fabric on your sofa or the metallic of your door knobs. We are here to support and be your shoulder during the process.
- Concept: Even if you have never come across a designer before, you’re still likely to know or have seen a mood board (that creative board full of fabric swatches, paint colours and floor plans). This is the pinnacle of the process, and is the stage enjoyed by most. However, before presenting this to you as our valued client, hours of work is put in to perfecting the look and feel of your space. After taking your brief and understanding your needs, we trawl our directories of suppliers to gather the perfect pieces for you compiling, a list for you to refer back to in years to come. Should you ever wonder what was the exact hue of the green on that feature wall? All this energy and time is exactly what you’re paying your designer to do, using their talent, skills and professionalism to create your perfect space.
- Space planning: Nothing would be worse, that setting your heart on a grand sofa, and realising after delivery that it blocks the walkway to the door and you can just about get that lamp to fit next to it. Well, this is where space planning comes in- not only to making sure the sofa fits, but actually measuring the free space and ensuring a balance is maintained between free and occupied space. Space planning allows you to live in your space, using the furniture and accessories to their full potentially without being hindered or obstructed. Planning this requires, full measurement of the room and accurate floor plan drawings using dimensions of furniture through CAD programmes or hand drawings. Yes, takes some serious concentration and focus to perfect.
So that was brief, and there is little aspect such as travel and equipment to also consider but overall there is some hard earned hours going on behind creating you the beautiful space you’re looking for. After all, to get that professional finish you desire, a professional interior designer is what you need!
There are a number of options of service to choose from, at Mood we offer a Silver, Gold & Platinum packages which can give you flexibility in what you get from your designer.
Hope this helps clear things up, but always ask your designer the details if you’re in doubt. You work hard for your money, so you should always question how it’s being spent.