8 Things About Interior Designers Everyone Thinks Are True…That Aren’t!

I actually find myself saying that I really don’t like the term ‘interior designer’. But I can’t quite think of another one that says what I do, any more clearly. I’ve tried and come up with one or two, such as ‘interior beautician’ but that sounded like a travelling manicure lady!

And I know it’s because when I say “I’m an interior designer” people assume a few things about what that must mean.

Now I’m not quite sure how this sort of impression came about…it may have been TV and film where the designer behaved a bit like that woman from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ who was a rather formidable and scary lady!!

Or maybe from the pages of Hello! magazine that always features the absolutely fabulously designed homes of the super rich, with swags and tails and enough fabric to circumnavigate the planet twice.

Or maybe, because a few years ago it wasn’t a common thing for people to spend money on. It was only the very wealthy that might talk about having an interior designer, darling.

Probably your mum never had the opportunity or inclination to use one as it wasn’t what most people did, and probably cost a small fortune.

So, I wanted to chat about these misconceptions and put my own case forward! Things have changed and interior design has too…I do things differently. Bear with…

MISCONCEPTION 1: INTERIOR DESIGNERS COST A FORTUNE AND THE FINAL BILL WILL BE OUTRAGEOUS

Well, my services are all priced up-front so you know exactly how much it will cost you and you know exactly what your money will buy.

You’ll be crystal clear what you are paying for and what I will deliver for that price. Just check out one of my most popular starter services here called 1 Hour – Get Me Sorted! 

It’s a low priced package where you get me for an hour, usually longer, to ask me anything you want about one of your rooms or even a few rooms or problems you have around the home.


Or my main interior design service is laid out here and again the cost is upfront and clear and so is the simple and straightforward process, so you always know where you are with everything.

I really do like to think I can actually save you money, rather than be an extra cost…if you’ve ever bought a sofa that you ended up never liking, or anything for that matter that was bought and later regretted, maybe it was too big/small, the wrong colour etc. you’ll know what I mean.

Those are the annoying and probably expensive mistakes that I can help you avoid.

MISCONCEPTION 2: DESIGNERS TELL YOU TO BUY VERY EXPENSIVE THINGS

Well, for a start when we work together, one of the first things we do is go through a series of pretty in-depth questions that help me to get inside your head and understand what we’re trying to achieve.

You’ll tell me what is in the room that you want to keep, what sort of things you like and what you definitely don’t!  The colours you really want and if you’re open to suggestion, how you want the room to feel, what can’t be changed and what could perhaps be looked at.

It’s a great time to really focus and talk about all sorts of possibilities! And can be very exciting!

And that is part of my challenge. It’s all about me delivering to you a solution to the problem you find impossible to do yourself.

And critically, you’ll tell me how much you are roughly willing to allocate to it. So I work with that budget in mind when picking things for you, or tell you how it’s best spent and how you can stretch every single penny.

And, with me, do you know what, I’m always looking at clever ways to re-use existing furniture, where possible. And I don’t mean botching with paint the way that awful Changing Rooms programme did in the 90s by painting floors in black and white diamonds or wardrobes in petrol blue with a yellow handle…horrific, mainly!

No, if I think you could create a beautiful and stylish statement piece (another jargony word that annoys me, but you know what I mean – ‘hero item’ is the latest term🙄) I’ll certainly suggest what specialist to approach so it’s a proper professional job.

Often these are the pieces that turn out to be so unique and such attractive one-offs that they are the thing that gives your room that stylish edge. Almost always that is cheaper than buying new.

The edge I’m talking about is that it is hard to replicate and will never look like you got it straight from the high street.

Here’ just one of my many chairs I’ve included in designs. This old mahogany dining chair was professionally painted in black gloss and recovered in a sumptuous burnt orange velvet fabric. It was then used in a master bedroom as a very stylish dressing table chair.

 

And here’s another favourite of mine, sorry, don’t have the ‘before’ but it was just an old dilapidated chair which was stunningly transformed with proper wood treatment and a very striking bold printed fabric with a pink trim added.

This is one of my furniture re-designs. The sideboard as it was ‘before’ in the top picture and professionally painted (by a great furniture restorer who uses a spray paint system and top quality paint) to ensure a hard wearing and very professional finish. It was then used in an open plan kitchen and was indeed THE statement piece!!!!

And, don’t forget that you do not need to have all the cash up front to spend on any new items that are part of the design I give you, you can always work at your own pace and get some things now and some items later, when your wallet can take it.

MISCONCEPTION 3: DESIGNERS ONLY DO ENTIRE ROOMS, FROM SCRATCH

I can start with whatever stage you are at with your room…be it an empty shell or one you just want to totally freshen up from that dreary dated look you’re fed up with.

Sometimes people only want paint colour ideas for the walls. So, I offer a paint consultation where we cover just that. It’s me helping you choose a colour, or a few, and making sure they are going to be right the first time.

If you have 25 tester pots and random paint stripes over the walls and are no further on, I’ll get you out of that mess.🤓

Painting a room is one of the cheapest ways to transform it, so if you’re happy with the furniture you have but want a fresh new stylish update, then getting proper advice on colour combinations and paint is a great way to achieve a lot for a little!

And again, that or any other pain-in-the-neck issue that you can’t work out yourself is definitely something I can help with and again, The One Hour service would be perfect for that.

MISCONCEPTION 4: DESIGNERS ARE A BIT BOSSY

Well, I’m not bossy (don’t, however, check that with Mr C). I am a bit of an introvert and a wee bit quiet at times. As well as a daydreamer.

But I’m a listener too, I have to be. I’ll be listening to you and taking in everything you say and I will be creating something YOU will love and that functions properly in your home.

I totally believe that living in a space you really love not only nurtures you, it also hugely helps your well being and is a big destresser. That’s why I won’t ever leave you annoyed with something you dislike.

Sure, I’ll coach you to be just that little bit braver if I have a vision that I know will look a million dollars, however, everything is your choice in the end. But I know you’ll love it because I discovered what you do love and gave it to you in the design!

And because I’ve heard what you said and inwardly digested it all very carefully, my designs are loved by my clients.
Here what a happy customer said…

“I literally cannot recommend Heather enough! She is warm, friendly and so knowledgeable! I am so excited to get cracking with my decor!
I actually thought I was not too bad at interior design but I’ve learnt so much in just an hour!
Thank you, Heather!
Can’t wait for our next session!
Xx”
Hayley Gillard

MISCONCEPTION 5: DESIGNERS CAN MAKE A SILK PURSE OUT OF A SOWS EAR

I love that saying and just wanted to use it here, but if you’re not sure what the heck I’m on about, it’s that I can only work with what you give me – I’ll do my absolute best to source the very best value and best-suited thing for you, but if the budget is 50p, well, you’ll be making cushions out of tea towels!

What I can say is that my ear is always to the ground and I’m very good at sourcing things that look more expensive than they are. And, if it’s a reupholstering task to create that new beautiful piece, I can show you how to get the best hard wearing fabric that looks good too. I have lots of secret suppliers for the various things a home needs!

MISCONCEPTION 6: DESIGNERS HAVE AMAZING HOMES

Again, no.

Not yet and when Hello! magazine call to feature it, you’ll hear all about it.

My own home is an ongoing saga, just like yours. Mine is an old stone farmhouse, which sounds very romantic and cute, but treating and keeping the damp at bay isn’t cute.  Nor is the repetitive wall painting from having two adorable (mostly), sporty teenage boys who like to play indoor ball games. And because I work full time on other peoples homes, by the time it gets round to my own I’d rather flick on Netflix!

But, ok, I do use it as a bit of a testing ground for my ideas and it does have my eclectic style, which is a mix of things I bought when we lived in Hong Kong and some treasured bits of furniture I inherited all tied together with creative colour schemes. I’m a total colour lover and always looking for new ways to add it so I do a bit of experimenting at home, learn from it and that helps me when it comes to my work.

MISCONCEPTION 7: A DESIGNERS WILL GIVE ME HER OWN STYLE (NOT MINE)

As I said earlier I’m all ears (not sows ears) and my j. o. b. is to give you what I feel you will love living in. What I love living in is different to what you like. Your design will be all about you and reflect YOU.

Full stop.

Actually, a while ago I was chatting to a lady and when she found out what I did, the next question was ‘and whats your style’ meaning did I give everyone my style. It surprised me, so that’s why it’s made this list!

MISCONCEPTION 8: A DESIGNERS WILL GIVE ME A ROOM I’M SCARED TO USE

Noooo, not that ‘good room’ thing!!

I promise I’ll never do that or design a room that doesn’t suit your family. If you have furry animals, I’ll be looking at what works best there. If you have toddlers I’ll be very careful about hard surfaces and angular corners. If you’re a lady who lives on her own, we can make things softer and more feminine.

Basically, it will most definitely look good but it will also most definitely function the best it can to support your family situation and you can enjoy using it.

Now, if there is any other myth out there, please do comment below and I’ll let you know if it’s true or false! For me, anyhow.

And let me mention my free e-books which you can have with immediate effect by filling in the boxes below!