Yes, you read that right. There are many misconceptions about what an interior designer does. The main one is that they are only for the wealthy, people who are happy to get rid of what they own and subsequently spend outrageous amounts money on pricey goods famously marked up by absurd percentages. Yes, those people do exist and their homes are ready to be shot for a glossy magazine, but that's not what most interior designers do.
Surprise, surprise. Designers are not only for trust fund families. In reality, an interior designer will not only save you money, but will also save you hours of frustration and stress -- which undoubtably is priceless.
The top five ways a designer saves you cash:
1. Discounts (there is no one who doesn't love a discount)
Furniture stores from Restoration Hardware to the "trade only" offer discounts to designers that range from 10% to 50% off. Also, crafts workers like tilers, painters, carpenters, and flooring specialists who often work with your designer will give you the best price as they know your designer will give them more business if they do great work and are reasonable. Using a designer is like getting things at a bulk rate without buying the bulk.
2. Reuse, Recycle, and get BANG BANG for your buck
Interior designers love a challenge. If you must keep that sofa because it was a gift from your grandmother, they work with it (it might be reupholstered with new legs, but hey, grandma won't mind the makeover). They also know that on a budget, sometimes a fresh coat of paint and new hardware can make a piece of furniture feel brand new.
Finally, a designer has an eye that can give you an expensive look without the expense. So instead of buying that $1000 DWR mirror, why not save $800, buy an identical one at IKEA for $200 and spend the difference on an insane chandelier or amazing art.
3. Time IS money
With their years of knowledge and experience, a designer quickly sizes up and offers sensible suggestions on how your space can be improved. They create a plan including a timeline, a budget, and a list of priorities. It is their job to know where to find a Spanish revival dining chair or who can custom make that kitchen banquet. They answer the hundreds of questions on details such as finishes and sizes that come up in every room so you don't have spend time figuring it out (and perhaps fixing it if you get it wrong). They coordinate with the stores, contractors, architects and other artisans to complete your project on time and within budget.
4. Learn something, and become a wiser investor
Unlike the fickle fashion world, a wide range of furniture actually never goes out of style or loses its value. A designer will know what those pieces are and when and where it makes most sense to use them. Your designer is like your personal furniture investor (buy the Eames Lounge Chair, don't buy the Glacier mirror) who insures you don't waste money on junk but make the most sensible decisions based on your budget and priorities.
5. Impress people, especially potential buyers
Everyone loves an aesthetically pleasing picture. If your home is eye candy, people will want to buy the candy. The value of your home increases, showings increase, and that results in an exponentially faster sale. A faster turn around equals faster money in your pocket.