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Interior design is often regarded as an afterthought when restoring one’s home. A new extension to an Edinburgh town house – tick. Egg and dart cornices made as good as new in the traditional Georgian drawing room – tick. The lounge and adjacent kitchen opened into one living and eating space to meet the demands of the modern family – tick. Now the real work is done, it’s time to bring in the cushion fluffer – if budget allows. It’s true that programmes like Changing Rooms with its garish colour schemes and interior design disasters – such as Linda Barker’s teapot-smashing episode of 2000 – hasn’t done much to shine a positive light on the industry but, creating cringe-worthy TV to capture viewing figures and the essential role of a professional interior designer in real life are simply worlds apart. A client-centred interior designer is worth their weight in gold and is the reason why Edinburgh builder, Mackenzie Hughes – specialists in restoring and converting Edinburgh period properties – has added renowned interior designer, Lally Walford, to its close-knit team of professionals.
Consign any thoughts of home-made papier-mâché columns to the bin where they belong. Here are 3 tips from Lally Walford on hiring an Interior designer when restoring your Edinburgh home and why their role is essential when creating a look that fits your lifestyle.
Clients tend to view building and interiors as separate projects rather than one holistic component in achieving the look and functionality they desire. By including an interior designer at the beginning your architect, builder and designer can work as one team to ensure your restoration project is more streamlined which can save you money in the long term.
An interior designer should help a client define their vision for their home to fit around their lifestyle with their personality reflected in the design. Start with the goal in mind. Don’t just think about how your home will look once the transformation is complete but also how it will feel. What will each room be used for, by whom and when? Will the rooms energise or relax you? Will they make you feel inspired or allow you to unwind from the stresses of the day? Once you have a clear answer to these questions a good interior designer will help you plan your lighting and electrics in conjunction with your architect and builder before you decide on other steps – such as where you should put your sofa.
Speaking of sofas, never buy online without having tried it out beforehand in a furniture store. The same applies to beds – always lie down on them first and if two people are to sleep together, ensure that both of you try before you buy.
The client / designer relationship should be organic but, with the client right at the heart of the process. A good designer will be emotionally invested in their client’s vision and in constant contact with ideas based on gaining a thorough understanding of what the client wants to achieve. Creating a Pinterest board is an excellent tool for both designer and client to add ideas to the mix as the relationship develops.