pink curtains on a window

When to Hire a Designer & When to DIY

It might seem like an unnecessary expense to hire a designer. After all, you probably know what you like and would enjoy putting it together. I get it! Let me just forewarn you based on my own experience: the result of going designer-less is usually less than stellar.

There is more to a good design than just choosing finishes you like. When not done correctly, the way the finishes work together (or don’t work together) can create big problems.


The bad: when you don’t hire a designer

It’s easy to create a new “look” (you don’t want) from materials that you thought would work well together but produce an unexpected result.

Another problem is that the parts you thought were perfect don’t make a cohesive whole. Although the individual pieces you chose are good, they don’t seem to have any authentic style or “soul.” This is frustrating since you spent a lot of money on new furniture, but you just can’t seem to make them look the way they looked in the magazine.

A designer can help

dining table with flowers

I cannot emphasize the importance of hiring a designer as soon as possible during a renovation process. Although it is common for designers to be cut out of budgets to save money, many times, in the long run, you end up spending more money trying to fix the design mistakes you make.

Regardless of which styles you tend to like and dislike, getting the overall feel, you are looking for can be challenging. It’s all about making a space function and look good, and while you might be good at knowing what you like, you need a trained professional to help you pull it all together!

Designers can actually help you save money

girl sitting on couch with her back to the camera

Designers spend countless hours planning your space behind the scenes. It is crucial to find someone who will take the time to tailor your space to fit your needs. Clients don’t realize how much thought and planning goes into finding the proper layout and finishes (size, style, limitations, price, etc.). When considering whether to tackle the renovation yourself or hire a pro, keep that in mind.

Another way you can save money is by hiring a designer who can come up with innovative ideas. Interview a few designers before you settle on one. And make sure the one you select has the background and know-how to repurpose items you already own. Also, be sure to hire someone who has a history of finding deals.

A designer can also help you save money by steering you away from copying the “look” of the day (think sliding barn doors) to prevent your home from becoming outdated within five years. If you enjoy the current look, your designer can ensure that you mix in new and older elements, so your home doesn’t become dated.

When to DIY

bathroom sink

There are times when you don’t have to hire a designer. Maybe you’re upgrading with flea market finds. Perhaps you plan to DIY your kitchen with used cabinets from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. You can definitely DIY if you’re planning to sell your home and simply need a few coats of fresh paint and a new backsplash. And of course, if you’re on a shoestring budget, are updating your rental, or have a tiny home that you just want to sharpen up a little, then DIY is probably your best option!

And if you really want to try your hand at designing, then, by all means, give it a go! There are magazines, websites, and even community college courses that can help you learn more about interior design and how to apply it to your home. You might even be able to consult with an interior designer but do the bulk of the work yourself.

Just remember, you get what you pay for

Benjamin Franklin once said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has faded.”

A word of caution: Kitchens are expensive. Bathrooms are also costly. So is furniture. If you’re doing a renovation, you’ll have to get these things one way or another. 

When you don’t hire a designer, you risk spending more than you would on your kitchen or bathroom if it doesn’t turn out the way you want. Don’t take that chance. Don’t discount the idea of hiring a designer because you think you don’t have the budget. In most cases, their benefits far outweigh their costs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top