Who designs the inside of my house?

We often get asked this question. The answer depends on whether you are renovating or building, and what stage of the build you are in if it’s a new build; or you’ve already finished building and you want to turn your house into a home, with your unique tastes.

When building a house, your first port of call is usually an architect. Sometimes it’s a builder with a great reputation…like Ohlson & Whitelaw, who will then work with their team of experts.

If your project is a new house, your architect will likely work with an interior designer to ensure the inside is as beautiful as the rest of your home. If you’re renovating your home — moving walls, or anything structural, you’ll likely talk to your builder (us) and/or an interior designer.

Interior designers have studied all manner of things including drawing, colour, fabrics, spatial planning, architecture, computer design, furniture design and more. They bring this knowledge to the table and work closely with you to help reflect your style, balanced with the architectural style of your house.

An interior designer works with plans, looks at the functions of the spaces, what’s in the spaces, and then their aesthetics. So for instance, they will recommend the types of vents that will look best in each room and how the outlets will look and work within the design. It’s a much deeper relationship with you and your project team.

Interior designers can do everything from spatial planning to helping design and renovate interiors, draw-up initial floor plans through to placing the final decorative touches. They’re very creative people that consider form and function. You might call them “space transformers”.

Good interior designers are not cheap, and you don’t want cheap results either. Depending on your budget, you could hire one for several hours or weeks or work on a flat fee or percentage of the build cost. Depending on your project, you could budget several thousand to over $10,000. Talk to us or your interior designer about your project for a better handle on costs.

“What about an interior decorator?” you might ask. Interior decorators will enter a home build project after all the structural work is completed and focus purely on the aesthetics of your space. They are great at helping you decide on a colour scheme, or style approach, and may even help you to purchase furniture and accessories.

Who you hire depends on your needs. If you need structural changes, like moving a wall or adding windows or a door, work with a great builder like Ohlson & Whitelaw and/or an interior designer. (Your builder will be involved either way.) But if you just need help deciding on a style for your interior, and help with purchasing paint and wallpaper and furnishings and accessories, then an Interior Decorator will be the cost effective option for you. They know what works without getting technical.

We work with several interior designers and interior decorators and would be happy to help. Talk to us about your needs and we’ll steer you in the right direction.

And on this last day of a long, hot summer, change is definitely in the air. If you have a building change or addition on your horizon, we’d love to hear from you.

See you next month.


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