Should I hire an interior designer?

At the moment, our house is a combination of sparse and hodge podge.

We were considering moving and didn’t want to put funds toward decorating, but we’ve now decided to stay and would like to tie all the rooms together. This basically includes repainting most rooms, finish the dining room (includes buying furniture), install hardwood floors in some areas, accessorizing and buying additional furniture as needed.

Since our house if very open, we’d like to be creative with colors and maybe do some faux painting. We have no expertise in this area and are now considering hiring a designer to just deal with it all once and for all. (Rather than do it room by room ourselves and end up with something scary and clashing). Our budget is about $25K for everything (including design fees, hiring a painter, furniture, etc.).

I have absolutely no idea if this is something that would be “worth it” for a designer to take on and also no idea where to even start the process.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

I have always wanted to hire a decorator to help with decorating, but have never had the money to afford it. But I did buy good quality furniture. I went with a mid- to high-end furniture store, and they have decorating services (for a fee, of course). They help with the layout of the room, color consultation, etc. I believe the fee was $100 which was absorbed if we bought our furniture there. That decorator also knew people who specialized in window coverings, etc., so you may want to start at the furniture store and see how many services they offer. Good luck! Sounds like a blast.

Do you know someone with tastes similar to your own, who’s home you admire? If so, I would just ask them for advice rather than actually hiring a decorator. Or, you could hire an art/design student from your local college for practically nothing. If you can find an interior design student, they would be thrilled to get something for their portfolio, and would be more budget conscious than actual designers, who may be trying to push high end furnishings. But hey, I’m cheap and love doing my own interior design, so ymmv.

I’m not offering an opinion on the question at hand, just that interior designer and interior decorator are not the same thing. The former is a branch of architecture, and in many states are licensed.

One option might be a color consultant. We hired someone to come in for an hour–cost was less than $100–with a punch of paint samples. I know I wanted good colors, but didn’t trust my own tastes and felt I’d either go too cautious and boring, or too garish.

She interviewed us about what we wanted and then gave us her advice on colors. She was really helpful in terms of discussing mood, what would go together well, what would keep the eye flowing from room to room, how light would interact with different hues and shades, what made sense given our current and potential future furnishings and decor, and what might be appealing to future buyers. In one room, for example, we used a darker shade on one wall and a lighter shade of that same color on the other three. It gave me the saturation I wanted without darkening the room too much. I also wanted a yellow kitchen, and she helped me select a yellow that wouldn’t disturb the next homeowner (apparently some people really hate a yellow kitchen–who knew?)

I felt it was money well-spent–and not just because it wasn’t much money. I didn’t want advice on other aspects of decorating because we weren’t planning a major overhaul (unlike you) but I mention it because maybe this has some appeal to you.

Now, how to find one? I don’t know. I found her through a friend who’d used her (I said “God, I love your paint colors!” and she replied “Thanks, but credit goes to this this awesome consultant I used…”) This person was affiliated with a decorating store that did a lot of blinds and window treatments.

Thank you for the good suggestions!

(I definitely meant decorator and not designer – thanks walloon)

CrankyAsAnOldMan, a color consultant sounds like it may be a fantastic idea, since I think our real challenge is going to be color choice so everything flows from room to room.

One other thing that I’ve learned from millions of hours spent watching decorating shows…don’t buy “trendy” prints or colors when you buy your furniture. A neutral color will allow you to completely change the look of your room without spending a fortune.

We went with a medium khaki on our couch and chair. When I get sick of it (which I am, incidently), you can change accessories, pillows, area rugs, etc., and get an entirely new feel for a few hundred bucks. A flowery print or an intense red couch? Well…you’re pretty much stuck with that until you either reupholster or buy completely new stuff.

As told by Christopher Lloyd…and he really knows his shit.

I did it like Renee said; I asked a friend of mine who illustrated childrens’ books to design a color scheme for my rooms. As a starting point, I had a few artcards (and, in one case, a color poster) in which the color combinations really pleased me, and together we chose one, in which the basic colors were similar to the floor or to my existing furniture. She took it from there and made a sketch.
An extra nice thing was that afterwards the framed poster fitted perfectly in the room.

I gave her paint-sample-cards from an inexpensive brand of paint to choose from, though. The price of paint varies extremely. And while I do believe that in heavy duty paint, (for boats or ouside use in extreme weather) is worth the price, I don’t think price and so called “quality” matters with indoor paint.