We have all seen ads for “free interior design” from big furniture stores and “free design with purchase.” Right? So why do so many designers charge for their services?
There are a few things in play here. First the retailers who offer “free interior design” typically hire inexperienced designers attending college or that “designer” is technically a decorator without an education, however is a proven salesperson with a good eye for style or that can copy what they see others do. These store designers are also limited in their design offerings to you to what their store sells. Leaving very little room for creativity.
Second, in order to open accounts with wholesale pricing, deep enough to be able to make a profit, most furniture and cabinet manufacturers require the distributor to have a showroom to display their products. The lease, fixtures, utilities, product and man hours to maintain a showroom come at a hefty price, especially with all of that lighting! Then add on the wages and commissions to those “free designers.” Because face it, nobody works for free.
Third, kitchen and bath designers use complicated software to produce accurate work. The software packages are linked with the manufacturers libraries of current products and price lists, that are ever changing. As the designer creates the design, the software draws the plan, while simutaneously creating a parts list for the order process and prices it according to the clients selections. A process by itself can take hours and errors can be easily made by hand. These invaluable software programs increase the designers efficiency for their clients and cost effective for the firm. However, their yearly license fees are amoung the highest in computer software, typically costing thousands per year per computer. Oh and did I mention in order to run these beast software packages, it takes a beast of a computer to run it?
Finally kitchen and bath design is the most complicated design aspect of any home. We have all been in a poorly designed kitchen that makes it a hassle to make coffee, let alone a full meal, am I right? K & B designers go through specific training and education in addition to design college and have years of experience. There is so much more than just selecting materials to make it look dreamy. That’s the EASY part believe it or not! The hundreds of calculations to make sure everything fits. The thourough and thoughtful process to insure doors do not clash, the space has the best storage and function options specific to the clients needs. While adherring to building codes to insure the safety of the design from slippery floors, proper lighting, fire resistant materials and clearances, electrical, plumbing and ventilation needs and precauctions.
Good kitchen and bath design is a complicated symphony produced by trained, experienced designers armed with the proper tools and relationships to bring a safe, functional, beautifully creative space come to life. So if you’re going to go through the inconvience, the mess of a remodel and spend your hard earned money, why wouldn’t you WANT to have it done RIGHT?