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What to expect when working with an Interior Designer

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview by CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd
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Here on homify we are filled to the brim with inspiration regarding beautiful houses, tranquil gardens, luxurious hotels, and even a few dreamy yachts! And of course, in the majority of those examples, the exquisite beauty and details are all thanks to professionals like Interior Designers, Architects, Gardeners, and many more.

But have you ever consulted an Interior Designer for your dream project? Do you know what to expect when it comes to working with one? More importantly: do you even know what an Interior Designer and Decorator does on a daily basis? 

Allow us to answer those questions by also highlighting one of South Africa’s most distinguished and busiest professional interior design firms: CKW Lifestyle. Located in Johannesburg (but working on numerous projects right across the country), CKW Lifestyle combines its passion for interior design with its expertise in structural elements, interior architecture, customised furniture, project management, soft furnishings and upholstery, and décor and accessories. Flaunting over 30 years’ experience, the firm was first established as Craig Whitehead Interiors in 1996 before becoming CKW Lifestyle.

Let’s glance at some slides from the company’s 3D presentation for one of their newer projects (the refurbishment of a modern villa in Bedfordview) while learning more about Interior Designers and their services. 

What does an Interior Designer do?

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview by CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd
CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview

CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

This professional uses their creativity, knowledge and skills to envision, plan, and outfit a space in a way to make it beautiful and functional while also adhering to the client’s requirements. Visual beauty needs to be balanced with structural planning and functionality to reflect the client’s lifestyle and the desired mood. 

In order to do their work better, an Interior Designer also cultivates professional relationships with other experts in the industry such as contractors, artisans, vendors, etc. 

Working with an Interior Designer: Find the right fit

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview by CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd
CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview

CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

Working with the right professional is just as important as clear communication and timing. Fortunately, most Interior Designers are quite flexible in their designs and styles and can work on a variety of styles and trends like modern, contemporary, rustic, Asian, and many other looks. 

But be certain to review the designer’s past work before hiring them for your project. Like other professionals, Interior Designers also have their own strengths and weaknesses. 


Working with an Interior Designer: Contact them early

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview by CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd
CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview

CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

To save time and money, it’s best to have all the relevant professionals begin work on your project as early as possible, whether it’s an entire renovation or just a simple spruce up. Using their skills, an Interior Designer can influence the flow and layout of a project in the early stages. Plus, it’s never too soon to start thinking about colour palettes, furniture arrangements, materials, etc. 

Working with an Interior Designer: Communicate clearly

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview by CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd
CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview

CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

The role of an Interior Designer can vary significantly on a project. They can be very involved, such as being your sounding board while you evaluate the Architect’s design proposals, or they can be tasked with smaller responsibilities, like the décor and furniture touches. 

Always communicate clearly what you want and need from your project, as that will not only influence the final look of the space, but also affect the billing- and fee structure. To make it easier on the Interior Designer, provide images of things you like (wallpapers, garden furniture) and stuff you don’t like (flooring materials, indoor lighting fixtures). But remember to also let the professional explore a concept as freely as possible! 

Working with an Interior Designer: Allow them to do what they do best

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview by CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd
CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

Villa Refurbishment in Bedfordview

CKW Lifestyle Associates PTY Ltd

Interior Designers are trained to see spaces in a different way than the rest of us. Even better, they have been taught how to materialise those visions via furniture, colour, patterns, etc. 

Thus, although it’s important to share with the Interior Designer what you like and don’t like, keep an open mind. Allow them to read between the lines, contact their resources to see what’s available, and match that with your vision. 

It’s still not too late to check out 7 interior design trends for 2019


What kind of project would you use a professional Interior Designer for?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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