With the end of fixer upper as we know it, how are people going to decorate their houses? What will happen to all the shiplap? Why does Joanna's hair and makeup always look on point? What will be the next design trend or trend setters?
These are all questions I asked as I was binge watching fixer upper while getting house rehab plans drawn. As a designer and creative, I can be fairly cynical towards other designs, but WOW. That last season of fixer upper was incredible. Jo and her team beautifully executed so many different design styles throughout the last few seasons. Its something you don't see too often in the design industry.
What I have loved about this show, is that it has been the re-ignition of passion for great design. Just like R Kelly said, hot and fresh out the kitchen. Kitchen contractors rejoice! People want those open layout, subway tile covered kitchens. Through this show, they see the value in renovations not only financially but personally. Their story not only included a thriving design build company but an empire. You can now be your best Joanna Gaines by shopping at Target. Your dishes, both ceramic and meals, can all be straight from Magnolia. When it first came out, I was like "Whoa, thats beautiful! But I'm sure its expensive." Nope. Its charming and affordable decor. So my thought as a designer and having all of this accessible, "why hire an interior designer anyway?"
My story and journey to how I became a designer is long and not really a detour I am willing to make on this particular blog post. I will say that I have always wanted to be an interior designer, even before I really knew that it was a real thing. My mom always pushed the creative boundaries in our home and allowed me to have a say in my own space. To give you a taste... I once had a hot pink room with a gold four poster bed draped in tulle, with oriental monkey motif textiles. I remember it being incredibly extravagant but feeling completely normal for a middle school pre-teen to call a bedroom. Many years later and after a "come to Jesus" moment in my life, I decided to return to school and study interior design. Since that time, I have worked with general contractors, visual stylists, and incredible experienced designers in the Multi-Family and Commercial Design industry. Each has not only challenged me push myself as a problem solver (what I prefer to call myself over Designer) but has taught me different view points in design. Design as a whole cannot be learned from having a natural talent or eye, nor is it something you can only learn with a formal education. Those two things help tremendously, but its working under incredibly talented people that teach you how to succeed.
Back to my question: why hire an interior designer anyway?
First I will address what I feel constitutes an Interior Designer. He/She is one who can look at a space holistically (regarding the geographical demographic, architecture of home/building, and overall user experience), visualize and communicate the best vision both spatially and aesthetically, and manage the execution to the end product.
5. Outsiders Perspective. When you live in a space it is hard to take yourself out of the space, especially when it comes to finances. After toying around with my own living room for two years, I think I have finally figured out the best plan. This is mainly because I didn't want to wait to save money and buy appropriately scaled pieces. A place where I needed an outsiders perspective to challenge me to dedicate my funds appropriately.
4. Resources. When I first started in the design industry, I remember soaking up every meeting with our product and material vendors that I met with at my firms. When you are working with an experienced designer, they will have an internal catalog of furniture and material manufacturers categorized by style, availability, and price point. Its one of those things where I wonder how much brain space this amount of knowledge takes up. It also requires discipline to being in the know of the latest trends and products.
3. Relationships. This is easily the absolute best part of my job. A good designer can create a beautiful room. A great designer will connect with their client, listen to their needs, get to know the way they use their space, vet their materials and resources to match their clients' needs, and create a beautifully tailored and organic space.
2. Experience with non-controlled variables. No one space is alike. There is always going to be a random pipe running through your open living concept plan, or HVAC running right where you want to line up recessed cans. Designers though sometimes tedious can roll with the punches, or better yet, make lemonade from lemons.
1. A properly trained interior designer will not settle until they've found the perfect solution. As discussed, a perfectly tailored space has many demands. This easily connects to needing an outsiders perspective, but more specifically a designers perspective.
I mentioned the designers who have challenged and trained me. To this day, a designer... who has become more like a mother to me, never lets me settle. Constantly presenting her with ideas and designs, but she will never let me rest until she sees something she has never seen before. It annoys the junk out of me but I am forever grateful for the way she stretches me and knows that there are better ideas out there.
Being an interior designer is as exciting and beautiful as it seems on tv. Fixer Upper makes it look so dreamy. It honestly is. I get to work with amazing people and families. Their homes or spaces while needing work, express their personality and lifestyle. To me it is an honor (and stressor tbh) that they allow me to help transform their space. It is a lot of work being available, knowing how to best execute a plan or understanding how to best delegate a budget with the highest return on investment. But that is why we are here. Interior designers get the best job. We get to help breathe your fullest Magnolia home into creation or whatever you desire. So thankful that I get to work my hardest to do what I love!