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Sitting in an exceptionally well-designed restaurant on King Street has me thinking about the valuable work my colleagues in the Interior Design industry are doing every day. You may have been to BARO, formerly known as Valdez. I call the mood Ossington meets King Street, Now Magazine called it “New York, or Chicago Inspired”, and it’s a place I immediately made a connection with.  The design philosophy is simplicity with a touch of class and flare. With its Spanish influence, the introduction of nature and overall elegance, they brought the vision home.  Toronto is changing and continues to change for the better. We are competing with some of the world’s most renowned cities, and I can confidently say that includes the world of Interior Design.  We see this in every neighbourhood and on every front - hospitality, commercial and especially in home design.

With this in mind, I began to reflect on how truly important a trained Interior Designer is on every project. Clients are financially savvy and appreciative of beautiful living spaces, at times they contemplate saving on the interiors aspect of the project. I’m here to ask you to reconsider - and this is why.

You’ve been there right? How hard can this be? I can do it … they do this on TV all the time! Then you jump onto Pinterest or Houzz to gather some inspirational pictures and interior design ideas. When you look at your watch to see how much time has passed or the feeling of being overwhelmed by choices sets in, the attempt to execute on your idea makes you quickly realize that this was not as simple as you thought.  You’re right – it’s not simple. Designers have spent years on their craft, vetting the best trades, and suppliers to execute any concept. Interior design is beyond decorating - it’s ART, it’s TECHNICAL, it’s a VISION. Design is achieving HARMONY through creativity and collaboration.

It’s easy to underestimate how much time is required to design, select and implement all of the features that will beautify and add personality to your custom home!  In our experience, some clients have taken a year off to focus on the entire interior design of their home. They later expressed, with surprise and a newfound appreciation, how much work it truly was. Whereas clients who have chosen to hire an Interior Designer have reaped the benefits of experience, resourcefulness and, most importantly, a great final product that reflects who they are and exactly what they’d envisioned for their home interior.

Trained interior designers work hard in the background to create masterpieces. They add value to the project from inception to create a functional design concept. From vision development, creating mood boards to crafting harmony throughout the house, all the way to preparing plans, purchasing the materials and final execution - there’s a lot to be done! At the end of the day, the Interior Design investment is a very small fraction of the cost of the project, but it makes a huge impact on the outcome.

Not having a designer on board is like not having a coordinator on the day of the wedding – despite all of the hard work, things might fall apart or not look quite right without someone to oversee it all. Even with the best vision, lacking a design team captain without the expertise and knowledge to properly execute the plan can be hugely problematic and result in a different looking product. A trained, expert designer overseeing a project and offering input ensures your interior design ideas can be accurately executed, with your financial investment secured.

I’m here to tell you having an Interior Designer as part of your project team is uber important.  Design doesn’t have to be unaffordable. With the right team, the right design can be budget conscious while meeting your wishes. Let’s give interior design the time and credit that it needs, and understand the creativity and time investment your home requires for a great final product!

- Nikki Mobini is the Managing Partner at Upside Development.

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