Coquitlam design-build custom home

Recently we were meeting with a client about their completed large home renovation. The client – who has impeccable taste and a fantastic eye for design – had taken on the design responsibilities for the project. He felt that he had enough experience and knowledge to make the decisions on his own, but this time he told us that he regretted not hiring a design professional.

Similar situations have happened over the years. With the explosion of interior decor on social media featuring heaps of DIYers and design-savvy bloggers – along with all of the television personalities (Joanna, Nate & Jeremiah, Sarah, etc.) that make the process look easy – some people think it’d be fun to design and decorate their own space.

But the truth is: it’s much more fun, more efficient and less stressful to work on it when an experienced professional interior designer is responsible for the project.

Coquitlam farmhosue chic kitchen
A Coquitlam remodel project that NOVERO designed with the client.

What Does an Interior Designer Do?

An interior designer’s work goes well beyond aesthetics. An interior designer is needed to streamline choices, track specs, and most importantly, provide full drawing packages for clients which  gives valuable information to the site team for installations. They see the potential of space, but are fully aware of the limitations.

Beyond the glamorous aspect of envisioning the look and then picking palettes and swatches, the designer makes sure that the space is entirely functional. They consider the client’s behaviours and lifestyle, traffic flow and space use, electrical and plumbing needs, wear and tear of materials, and so much more.

moodboard by interior designer Alison Giese
Source: moodboard by Alison Giese Interiors

Design professionals keep the project on track from start to finish. There are a ton of decisions that need to be made throughout, and the process can get tricky if decisions haven’t been confirmed, and/or products haven’t been ordered by a deadline.

An interior designer also cultivates relationships with contractors, trades, and vendors, who are crucial to executing the design. Strong communication skills are vital to the success of a project.

Our President Joele DiMeglio notes, “A designer is key to limit the mistakes made, and the duplication and of additional items being installed more than once. What has helped us so much over the years is working closely with designers, clients and installers to make sure everyone is on the same page during the build. Most people don’t realize how many decisions are needed in order for a project to come together…”

“While we offer interior design services in house for customers who prefer a full service experience,  we do work with a number of interior designers across the Lower Mainland. The biggest thing about this part of the planning process is being well organized, so you aren’t making a number of last-minute decisions.”

A master ensuite renovation that we completed in North Vancouver.

In-House Designer or Out-Sourced Designer?

What’s the difference between an ‘in-house designer’ and an ‘out-sourced designer’—and how do you decide which to work with? At NOVERO, we work with both.

“In-house” means the interior designer works on staff as part of the team within the construction company. In 2018 we decided to hire an in-house designer to improve the flow throughout the project from start to finish. Whether the project is large or small, the in-house designer assists in making decisions that the homeowner may not have thought of yet. The project moves more efficiently as the designer is on team and is readily available to handle snap decisions or issues that may arise.

“Out-sourced” refers to a design professional from outside of NOVERO that a client brings to the project. When a client approaches us and already has built a relationship with a designer, we will work together and build a schedule that will work for the client and construction timelines.

If a client comes to us without an interior designer and doesn’t have knowledge within this realm, we like to integrate our full-service team as an experience for the client.

“Whether you choose to source out an interior designer yourself, or work with our in-house designer, it is important to align yourself with someone with experience in residential interior design. This is important to the success and build of any project as the design and planning phase is – and should be – at a high priority level for all projects.” – Joele DiMeglio, NOVERO Homes

We stand behind working with a designer to help facilitate your project from beginning to end. We are builders at our core and we believe in the extensive benefit of having a designer as an integral part of the process.

choosing black paint colours
Source: Reviewing black paint options – Katie Newburn for Gardenista

How Much Does An Interior Designer Cost?

The rates for interior designers vary, as do fee structures. If you choose to work with NOVERO’s in-house designer, the design fees are built into the estimate with line items detailing the number of meetings that are included.

The benefits should outweigh the cost: the designer plans, discusses, documents, and manages all the details that are required for installations and facilitates the build process efficiently.

Port Coquitlam Townhouse Kitchen Remodel
A Port Coquitlam townhouse remodel completed by NOVERO

Interior designers skillfully filter through potentially time-consuming and painstaking tasks such as material selection. Imagine swiftly selecting a shade of white paint from hundreds of options to match the undertones of the stone countertop. They know what to expect from various materials, such as veining, wood grains, and types of paint sheens.

While it appears on the surface that designers are helping you spend money on finishes, fixtures and furniture, they are at the same time making decisions that have the potential to save you a lot of money. Sounds counter-intuitive? We have several stories to support this claim—just ask.

in-house interior designer Port Coquitlam
Our in-house designer, Jillian Fritz, at a client’s home

NOVERO’s Design Process

When a project that requires design has been approved, we allow at least 6-8 weeks for the planning stage, which includes design and product orders.

This involves meeting with our in-house designer and solidifying all the material decisions prior to the start of construction.

If a project is permitted, the design planning phase gives us the time to submit for permits and wait, while planning for design.

During construction, the designer needs to be available for umpteen installation decisions and last-minute changes. Designers are crucial to accuracy: Knowing exactly where plumbing should be installed, directing the height and spacing of the light fixtures, deciding where the tile should stop, and what to do when the client changes their mind about something in the middle of installation.

We have deep respect for interior designers for all the hats that they wear, and the broad range of incredibly important skills that they bring to the table.

Contact us to discuss your next project and to meet our designer. And if you’re new to interior design, check out our blog series on Designers We Love (we have a list of favourites that keeps on growing).