5 Reasons to Hire an Interior Designer Before You Build or Remodel

by Lisa Stewart 8 Nov 2017

Working with an experienced interior designer teamed with your contractor can help control costs while upgrading creativity so you end up with a distinctive home that flows beautifully throughout. 


Why hire an interior designer? 

1. Couples don’t always agree. Designers can reconcile conflicting styles and make unlike things work together in surprising ways. 

2. Designers keep up with the latest trends and techniques in building construction. We come up with beautiful creative ideas and solutions that you would never think about. Builders appreciate what we bring to the table.

3. Interior designers know when to splurge and how to save without sacrificing style. Allowances can be blown easily, so designers can oversee selections of cabinetry, lighting and other items to help keep you on track. 

4. Designers know the best sources. Most designers have access to unusual items not available to the public. 

5. Designers use common sense. There are so many gorgeous things out there. You can become emotional when trying make multiple important decisions at one time. “I love this. And I love that!” Feeling overwhelmed, the temptation is to admit defeat and let the builder or sales staff choose. Really? Designers are in the best position to help you make decisions that are practical and that beautifully contribute to your overall design vision. 

Time to call Lisa! Read more here.

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC. 

Tips for Hiring a Contractor

by Lisa Stewart 8 Nov 2017

An interior designer’s advice for remodeling or building.

Are you considering working with a contractor for remodeling or building a new home? Here are some things to consider.

Get at least three estimates that include everything from repairs, warranties to clean-up. The unforeseen things can get you, and you don't want to be gotten!

Don't be too quick to jump at the lowest bid. A Consumer Reports survey showed that people who used the lowest bidder got poorer quality work. On the flipside going with the highest bidder doesn't guarantee great work either.

Call at least three references. Ask about quality, clean-up, how changes were handled, if calls were returned, and if the job was completed on time and on budget. If not, find out why.

Make sure the contractor is licensed. In North Carolina, a contractor's license is only required for jobs costing $30,000 or more. But while a license doesn't guarantee success in a job, it does indicate a certain level of professionalism and competence. You can check their licensing status at the NC Licensing Board of General Contractors.

Get proof of insurance and verify it so that you're not liable for problems. Ask them to provide you with a Certificate of Insurance dated for the project dates and issued by the Insurance Provider before they start work on your home.  

Get a written contract that specifically lists what will be done, a payment schedule and a time table, including a completion date.

Ready to start a project? Read more here.

Lisa Stewart is an interior designer serving the Triangle area of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC.