I was recently helping a client who decided to update her flat and fully refurbish her bathroom. A time consuming and stressful job for a working parent with kids, she decided to hire an interior designer.
Like many others, she had been on Pinterest to find images that represented the bathroom of her dreams. She was looking for an interior designer to help her copy the look and to source the tiles, furniture and sanitary ware.
When I spoke with her, she had also already found a builder and made arrangements for them to begin work. Did she know what she needed the builder to do in the bathroom when she hired them? The answer to this question is no. (If you recognise yourself in this scenario then please keep reading!)
The client had a Pinterest board of ideas, the builder had been organised, and now she felt the next step was to hire an interior designer to oversee the project and source what was needed.
Let’s take a look at her bathroom designs for the home in more detail. Then we’ll discuss the role of an interior designer.
The tasks she set included the following:
- Retiling the whole bathroom.
- Installing a new vanity unit with one or two large basins.
- Building a shelving unit on the side of the vanity.
- Replacing the WC.
- Replacing the shower kit and taps.
- Installing a large mirror above the basin (find out how this makes a small bathroom look bigger).
- Removing the solid end of the bath wall and replacing it with glass screen.
- Updating the colour scheme to white-light beige.
- Updating the furniture finishing to natural oak.
- Budget: unknown.
These tasks are complex – especially if you don’t know your budget and have an extremely limited timeframe of 10 days until your builder arrives to do the work!
The questions to now ask yourself are:
- Do you need an interior designer?
- Can you have the bathroom of your dreams?
My answer may surprise you!
No, you don’t need to hire an interior designer. And, no you won’t have the bathroom of your dreams.
Why? Let me explain:
To collect all the desired elements of your bathroom (the ones you chose from Pinterest), you would need to source them from a variety of different retailers. This can take a considerable amount of time!
To finalise the total budget amount that you can afford and are prepared to spend will take a bit of thought.
Once the budget is finalised, you will need to take a look at your top choice of finishes and will likely need to replace them with more affordable substitutions. This too takes time!
Has your builder quoted you? The quote will be inaccurate since they will have had no guidance for what needs to be done in terms of the bathroom layout, wall elevation and specifications of the finishes.
If you would like the refurbishment to run smoothly and your builder to acquire all the materials in time, you will have needed to make your choices, decided on your final budget and ordered all of your materials before they come to the site.
If you are decisive and good at making up your mind, then a good interior designer will need two weeks to accomplish this project. But this still leaves very little time for you to think about the many questions that you will be asked. You will have very little time to think properly about your project.
What happens then?
Well, it’s likely you end up ordering what is available from the retailer that the builder brings to you. There’s nothing wrong with the finishes – I’m sure he knows a good shop, but the choice is limited in only one place.
What happens next?
I’m sure you can already guess:
You end up with a good bathroom, that looks similar to the one you wanted. But is it great?
If you’re looking for affordable interior designers in London, please take a look at our packages or contact us directly. Not only do we offer free consultations, but we customise our services to your style, space and budget.