Three Myths About Interior Designers


There’s no doubt that we are living in a DIY “golden age”, but there is a valid reason why there are entire websites dedicated to “Pinterest Fails.” For some things it is just better to get the help of a professional. For example, our family’s pet corgi is in his adolescence now, and while I consider myself dog savvy, I know that I need help with this challenging little herding dog to correct some of his less than ideal behavior. So I’m seeking out a professional dog trainer to address the problems that I don’t know how to fix. An interior designer can do the same thing for you and your home.
You can watch HGTV all day, but if you want someone who has the knowledge and experience to help bring your ideas together, it’s a good idea to consult with a professional interior designer. But if you have ever had reservations, here are a few of the myths I’d like to clear up about working with one!

Myth #1: Your Home (and You!) Will Be Judged

The cliché that all designers are fashionista snobs just isn’t true! The majority of us are down to earth people who just want to help you love your home by improving how it looks and functions. We aren’t judging you on the current state of your home! If your house was already where you wanted it to be, why would you call us in the first place? And we’re not judging you; few interior designers are living in their vision of the perfect house. We have kids, pets, crazy schedules, and we’re on a budget too. Our homes rarely look perfect. The photos on Instagram don’t show the pile of everyday living junk pushed out of the way to get the perfect shot. And it might just shock you to hear it, but the job isn’t nearly as glamorous as it looks on TV. We spend a good bit of time shuttling from store to store for tile, hammering nails for art, dealing with piles of paperwork and hauling furniture.

Myth #2: It’s Too Expensive

There’s also a myth that hiring an interior designer is way too expensive. Often, I hear, “I’m on a budget. I can’t afford an interior designer.” But if you are on a budget, what you can’t afford is to make mistakes! A good interior designer has the knowledge and experience of having worked on many projects similar to yours – and they think ahead to the whole picture – often saving you both time and money in the long run. I recently helped a client salvage a marble backsplash disaster and prevented another client from a costly granite countertop mistake. Both clients would tell you my consultation fee alone was well worth it in order to prevent mistakes that could have cost thousands of dollars to correct. Maybe you don’t have the budget to complete the whole room plan now, but a good designer will give you a well-designed plan that can be implemented over time, as your budget allows. And especially if you are planning a renovation, it’s good to get a designer involved before you start selecting fixed elements to ensure you get the finished, cohesive result you want!

Myth #3: You’ll Lose Control

Do you fear a designer will waltz in and commandeer all the decision making and before you realize it your home will resemble a furniture showroom in a store you’d never go into? A good designer should work with you to make your home reflect the personalities and tastes of the people who live there. They should always put function first and let form follow; you should never feel steamrolled! The designer should want to hear about how your family lives and the final decisions should always be made together. Good design is a collaboration and communication is key. It’s your home, and you, not the designer, will be living there.

There are a lot of common misconceptions about interior designers and I hope I’ve pulled back the curtain on some of them. Just as a good dog trainer helps you create and execute a plan to train your dog to be the best he can be, an interior designer should be a professional who shows you the best way to transform your dreams for your space into reality. Some people have an amazing natural eye for style and might not need any professional assistance. But for most, designing a room can be a little like falling down a Pinterest rabbit hole. Sure, you could design and style your home yourself. You can cut your own hair, too. But really, should you?

Brie Hays is a certified Interior Designer and True Color Expert. She is available for design work and paint consultations through Harlow Hays Design Co. Follow her on Facebook or Instagram for decorating tips, or check out