What is it like to work with an Interior Designer?
And also, what in the world does "Full Service Design" even mean?
I'm with ya, folks. When I first started out on this journey of mine and did research of other designers in my area I kept coming across the buzz phrase Full Service Interior Design and I really had no idea what that entailed. Little did I know but it was the official name for what I had in mind when I started out on my journey.
In a nutshell:
Now, I like to add the word "planning" to my full service offering, simply because I truly believe proper planning will lead to a successful design and successful renovation project - but honestly, planning is usually a part of every designer's full service offering.
When hiring a Designer, you are basically hiring on a second GC who has a better eye for design and a more realistic design budget. As designers, we often work super close to the GC on projects and it is a very important relationship to nurture, full of collaboration and partnership.
All of the full service projects here at CMPD follow a strict project management methodology. Yes, the design and creative portion of my role is awesome, great, fun!... but the planning and project management is really the important part. From the initial consultation to the project reveal, full service design means we manage everything for you, and I mean everything.
With that said, some clients do want to maintain control of certain aspects of the project, which is their right, but for full service to work properly the clients have to have complete and utter trust in their designer. And by trust I don't just mean trust in their eye for design, but trust in their instinct, their honesty and their humility. Trust that they will own up when they have made a mistake, trust that they will be honest with how things are going, or how hard a renovation can be, and most importantly - trust that they will get your project done, and done well.
Interior designers don't just sell pretty spaces, we sell a service, an experience. Full service design allows renovations to be seamless for their clients - worry free, stress free, fun. Need flooring? If you were to source this yourself you would most likely run around to 4 or 5 flooring stores, view sample after sample, material after material and work with sales person after sales person. Now, for some folks out there - they enjoy this process, but for others, just the thought of all that running around makes them second guess a renovation. Now picture hiring a Designer and the samples are brought to you - specifically curated to your taste, chosen with your needs in mind. You might end up looking at 5 samples as opposed to 50, and it only took an hour of your time.
I frequently listen to podcasts and one of my favourite shows has always been Oprah's Super Soul Conversations. She starts each and every episode with:
"I believe that one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time... Taking time to be more fully present." - Oprah Winfrey
To me, that quote sums up the true value of full service design quite simply - saving you time... and making renovations enoyable!