For today’s piece, we thought our readers might like a treat in the form of an in-depth interview with professional interior design firm Just Interior Design. Based in Cape Town (but taking charge of design projects nationwide), Just Interior Design is fully committed to translating a client’s needs, wants and personal style into a full-fledged design project, from the first concept to the approved sign-off stage.
In addition, this seasoned firm also offers expert advice on staging properties in order to ensure maximum return from potential buyers or occupants. Other popular services offered by them include space planning, joinery design, kitchen- and bathroom layouts, furniture layouts, plus electrical layouts.
Let’s get inside the minds of these first-rate design professionals!
Q: What does an interior designer do?
An interior designer’s primary goal is to, in short, combine form and function. Designers have the training and capability to combine the form and function in anything from an entire home to a piece of furniture in order to make life for clients more practical and aesthetically pleasing.
Examples of what interior designers can do: a basic scaled furniture layout before the foundations are cast, this will allow for the positioning of light fittings as well as plug points, thus preventing a situation where there might not be a plug point where you need one, or in the same right, an unused plug point staring at you in the face; selections of floor and wall finishes; sanitary and brassware; not to mention selecting the correct kitchen.
Q: Why is it necessary to hire an interior designer?
With the skill of an interior designer you have a professional to assist you in achieving your end goals with the correct advice. Most people who bypass the services of an interior designer usually spend more money on a project by correcting mistakes which could have been avoided by the professional skills of a designer.
Q: How do I choose the right interior designer?
This is a very personal decision. A good starting point is to do some research on a designer’s overall style and approach to design. The next best step to take is to meet with a few designers and to feel if your approach to design and problem solving is similar. This will sidestep any potential future issues.
Q: Can I work with interior designers in other cities or countries?
Yes, you can. Designers are able to carry out designs from anywhere in the world if they have the correct information. If a designer has detailed drawings of a space, a design can be conceptualised and implemented without the designer ever physically stepping foot into the space.
Q: How do we get started on the design process?
A good breakdown of the project from the client is always the best place to start. If a client is clear on what they want from a space, and what they don’t want, the designer can conceptualise the perfect design in a short period of time.
Q: What should I do before I contact an interior designer?
Do some research on the styles you like. Start on homify or Pinterest and collect images of spaces that excite and inspire you. These will help the designer with the overall concept design for your project.
Q: What can I expect from my first meeting with an interior designer?
The first meeting usually entails the client describing what they are hoping to achieve and if possible, do a walk-through of the space. Seeing how people live in their space greatly aids a designer in creating the perfect design.
Q: What happens if I don’t like the design?
Most designers will be more than happy to change a design. Never accept something that you are not completely happy with. An interior project is usually a large investment and generally stressful on clients so it is always best to be honest.
Q: What kinds of projects can interior designers do?
A designer can help you with something as small as a design for a piece of furniture to the design and planning of an entire building. The scope usually depends on the designer’s experience and training. This is why research is key.
Q: Must I use your contractor or architect?
Once a design has been handed over to you, the designer has no ownership and so you are free to obtain costings from any contractors and architects of your choice. Designer will have suggestions based on contractors and architects they know and have worked with. These ongoing relationships between designers and contractors generally work in the favour of clients.
Q: Can you manage an entire design project?
Designers usually prefer to manage their projects since they have the skill and are familiar with every aspect of the design, making it easier to overcome any obstacles. You can, however, manage the project yourself if the designer has provided you with all the information.
Q: How involved do I, as the client, have to be in the design project?
It is important that you are fully involved in the design process as this will affect the outcome of the project. Once all decisions have been made, you can sit back and wait for the call to let you know the project is complete.
Q: Are interior designers expensive?
I always use the doctors consultation story to explain : when you go to the doctor, you pay him (or her) for their expertise, they use their knowledge to determine what the problem might be and prescribe medication to fix the problem; sometimes they get it right, sometimes they don’t, sometimes the medication works, sometimes it doesn’t. Do you get your money back? NO… A professional designer knows that he or she needs to be guided by their clients to determine how the space is going to be used, and what style preference the client has, and from this a design concept is born.
Q: Is there a contract between the designer and the client?
A professional designer should offer a contract to safeguard you and themselves should any issues arise in the future.
Q: How do I work out a budget?
You need to assess the scale of the project. Is there any building required? If so, remember this will usually include architect fees as well as submission fees to council for approval. If you are just looking to update a space in terms of aesthetics you need to consider the style and quality of finishes you are looking for.
Generally, a budget is split into a few categories in order of importance: Service fees; building costs; fixtures and fittings; finishings. It is best to ensure that more permanent items are of good quality and that the work carried out is completed professionally to avoid any future issues.
Q: Can an interior designer save me money?
Absolutely. By avoiding any potential mistakes which you may overlook, a designer may save you from costly disasters. A designer will commonly not charge you more for something than if you were to buy it yourself. Normally the only extra cost you will incur are the designer’s service fees to ensure the project runs smoothly and safely.
We hope our detailed chat with Just Interior Design made you think twice about the importance of a professional interior designer’s services, and how their presence in a project (whether it’s a simple touch-up or a full-on renovation) can, indeed, ensure more eye-catching results for you, the client.
Speaking of expert advice, have a look at these 6 renovation projects that will increase your home’s value.