Interior designer versus interior decorator
If you’re in Wirral working on a renovation or new build project, you may not be wanting to spend your hard-earned income on roping in serious interior professionals and specialists. Money saved in the short-term is often money lost long-term, so think
carefully before you decide you don’t need designers and decorators.
Designers versus decorators
Although these terms are sometimes used fluidly, they are not one and the same.
A designer is best known and professionally represented in the field of interior architecture. They have many years of training behind them, having completed five or more years of university degree study, followed by apprenticeships and professional entrance exams.
Decorators can have a tertiary qualification, although this is not mandatory. A decorator attends to the décor aspects of your house on the inside such as choosing paint colours and window dressings. Decorators give expression to your personality and style vision. They save you enormous time and effort in producing a look, keeping it coherent and functional, and sourcing everything, including one-off pieces made just for you.
An interior architect oversees internal construction matters. It is his or her job to make sure new extensions are safe, executed within budget and is completed within schedule.
Interior decorator fees in Wirral
Fees are generally charged per room, and there may be a surcharge for very big rooms as measured in square metres. As a moderate estimate, expect to pay £300 to £600 per room upwards. It can be much more though, depending on what is included and excluded.
You could also hire someone for as little as £99 per room. In general, you get what you pay for but a low fee does not necessarily signal an inferior potential job. If the fee only covers a mood board, fabric swathe suggestions and a mock-up of a final room’s colour, ask if you can pay extra for services such as sourcing accessories and that miniature kids’ bedroom couch you’ve had your eye on. Knowing whether you are paying only for labour, or labour plus materials, is one of the key questions to ask.
Interior architect fees
As an interior architect is a highly qualified, fairly rare professional, their fees are generally higher than that of your decorator. Your interior architect may ask for a flat project fee, a per-hour billable rate or a rate based on the percentage of the project costs, amongst other fee structures.
No matter how your interior architect bills you, you could expect to pay the equivalent of between 5% and 15% of the project construction costs. The level of complexity, urgency and experience of the architect will be factors that push up the fee price.
Let there be light: the services rendered by an interior architect
An interior architect is a technical interior design specialist who comes on board when you’re initiating the project and starting construction. They do not join the project retrospectively, as they have to ensure health, environmental and safety standards are met.
· They create space optimised, safe, well functioning, great looking interior structures in accordance with your lifestyle needs.
· They create within the parameters set out by the applicable Wirral building codes and planning permission guidelines, ensuring your premises will pass any required inspections and that regulatory paperwork will be signed off.
· They oversee the building of new structures, such as walls, windows and stairways, and the breaking down of others. Your interior architect will make sure this happens within budget and according to plan.
· Your interior architect can oversee any internal rewiring that needs to take place as well as extra plumbing. They’ll make sure it complies with public health, safety and sanitation standards.
· They use computer-aided design to build you, scale models, calculate angles and work out which loads can be accommodated where with precision. This means they can also accurately calculate the building materials required at any given stage, with minimal wastage.
Mirror, mirror on the wall: the services provided by your decorator
· They bring to life your chosen style, making sure it works harmoniously from room to room.
· They execute your décor preferences within budget and save you time and hassle of wading through catalogues.
· They have a well-developed network of contacts for everything from specialist suppliers to bespoke materials manufacturers.
· Decorators prettify rooms with lifestyle and utility in mind. They are best placed to source hard-working, multi-functioning furniture pieces for big families, or to significantly enhance the appearance of small spaces.
What you should know about yourself and your decorator before awarding a décor mandate
· It is much easier if your decorator knows what your taste is. If you have to fuse different tastes, make this clear.
· Hire someone who has a track record and clearly displayed competency in the kind of style you’re interested in. Check their portfolio, website, social media and, most importantly, client references.
· If your decorator will be buying the furniture, fixtures and other décor elements required, decide upfront if they will be billing you for that separately, or if it is included in the budget. Either way, you also need to know if they’re putting a mark-up on the items they are purchasing. Ten to 20% mark-ups are standard.
· Find out if your decorator provides any add-ons such as storing any furniture you sign off for purchase prior to it being installed in the home, or approving décor contractors’ work, such as interior paintworks.
· Ascertain whether your decorator has a preferred supplier preference, due to earning a percentage of the price for any items bought from that supplier or retailer. If you have other retailers in mind for specific items, make this clear.
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