10 Frequently Asked Questions about working with an Interior Designer

Poton Interiors 

1. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INTERIOR DESIGN AND INTERIOR DECORATION?

If your project includes just the furnishings, light fixtures, and some accessories, then “decoration” is the appropriate service for your needs. Many trained designers also offer interior decorating services. 

If your scope of work includes new construction specifications, or you are working on a renovation of your existing home, meaning - an overall plan that takes into account a concept, a budget, and construction, you are looking for an interior designer who has received training. The decisions you make lead to the comprehensive design concept and specifications, and it's all in pursuit of one result: your stunning home. 

When you work with us here at Ponton Interiors, you are working with a team of award winning and trained designers, with credentials that include NCIDQ and ASID designations. 

2. WHEN SHOULD I HIRE AN INTERIOR DESIGNER?

We suggest you hire an interior designer before or around the time of hiring an architect, builder or general contractor. Knowledgeable designers are able to enhance the project and ensure that you receive the end result mirrors your dreams. We’re here to guide you and be your advocate through the process. 

3. WHAT'S THE REASON FOR BRINGING IN AN INTERIOR DESIGNER EARLY IN THE CONSTRUCTION OR DESIGN PROCESS?

Building or planning a house without a designer is like making a movie without a director. With a designer on board, you will have someone taking charge of all the decisions, someone who knows exactly how all of the pieces in your very large project puzzle impacts the next, and someone who can, and will, take all those pieces and create a home that is breathtaking in every way.

4. WHAT ROLE DO YOU PLAY IN THE PROJECT?

Our team is your unbiased expert resource. We are the liaison between all your various services, architect, contractor, and trades people. We communicate the information on the who, what, where and how of your home to the appropriate parties. 

5. HOW DO WE EXPRESS YOUR STYLE? 

We dig deep before we start to understand your vision. We begin with meetings that set the intention of establishing direction through inspirational elements. In those meetings we ask a lot of questions and listen hard to your answers - because your answers tell us who you are, and what you care about. Your answers tell us what you love, what’s sentimental to you, and what you want to express about yourself. After we get to know you, and through detailed consideration, we integrate images that communicate our ideas into a new vision for your home. 

6. CAN WE SHOP TOGETHER? 

Generally, shopping is not the most efficient way to work with your designer. Our experience has shown us that the key idea of working with an interior designer is to have one person steering the ship. This lets the original design vision be executed seamlessly, effectively in a way that is truly service oriented for the client. 

7.  WHAT IF I SEE SOMETHING ONLINE THAT LOOKS SIMILAR TO WHAT YOU SPECIFIED FOR LESS MONEY? CAN I BUY THAT MYSELF?

Imagine baking a cake and having someone else trying to add ingredients at the last minute or frosting it in a style that isn't in keeping with the original intent. The cake won't be as the baker, or in this case the interior designer intended. It's tempting to do your own shopping to save money, but in the end, we find that it costs our client in scale and quality mistakes which means they end up buying items twice and experiencing frustration from the extra costs. If you prefer to do your own purchasing, we may not be the right designer for you as we offer full interior design services.

8. NOW THAT I’M THINKING ABOUT RENOVATING, I OCCASIONALLY WATCH HGTV SHOWS: IS YOUR PROCESS SIMILAR TO WHAT I’VE SEEN ON TV?

Calling it “Reality TV” is really a bit of a misnomer, because it is not “reality.” These shows can be fun because they show results, but not a process. The process is a big  part of any design practice. Reality shows are based on months and months of pre-planning, which is probably the only place where the processes do overlap, but they cant show that prep work in 30 minutes. So, what you see is the big, flashy and fabulous reveal. Not in real time and not in real life. For your home to have the big wonderful reveal is certainly our goal. Our goals are based in real time, which is often six months out, or more. 

9. HOW DO YOU SET A PROJECT BUDGET?

The budget is where the realistic picture of your project begins, and we wont start a project without one. We will walk you through the process of estimating your investment based on our extensive experience with interior design. We find our clients may know how much they want to invest, but may not know what is reasonable to spend on furniture and fees for a project like yours. We guide you through this process. Budget up to 35% of the value of the finished home for interior design services, project management and furnishings. Our goal is to work within your investment range. 

10. WHAT IF I WANT TO DO MOST OF THE WORK AND JUST NEED AN OVERALL PLAN? 

We suggest working with a firm that specializes in a limited scope such as an overall design plan.