The Role of an Interior Designer in a Home Remodeling Project

Are you planning a home remodeling project? Whether you’re renovating an existing space or building a new home from scratch, hiring an interior designer can make all the difference in creating a space that reflects your personal style and meets your budget. In this article, we’ll explore the essential role of an interior designer in a home remodeling project and how they can help you avoid common budget mistakes.

Why You Need an Interior Designer

When it comes to new construction homes, it’s crucial to understand that architects primarily focus on the overall floor plan and the exterior design of the home. While they may have some understanding of interior spaces, it’s not their expertise. This leaves room for confusion and overspending if the budget for finishes, lighting appliances, cabinetry, hardware, and other details is not properly addressed.

This is where an interior designer comes in. They are the experts in translating your vision into reality. They work closely with you to understand your preferences, lifestyle, and budget, ensuring that the design aligns with your expectations. An interior designer will provide you with a detailed allowance for finishes, lighting, appliances, and other essential elements, helping you avoid any surprises during the construction phase.

The Importance of Experience and Credentials

When hiring an interior designer, it’s crucial to consider their experience, education, and credentials. While there is no regulation for interior decorators in the state of Michigan, it’s essential to distinguish between a decorator and an interior designer. Interior designers have typically obtained a bachelor’s degree in interior design and may have additional certifications like the NCIDQ certificate or LEED AP accreditation if sustainability is a priority for you.

Working with an experienced and qualified interior designer ensures that you receive professional guidance throughout the project. They have the expertise to navigate the complexities of design, construction, and coordination with other professionals involved in the project.

When to Bring in an Interior Designer

It’s advisable to involve an interior designer early in the remodeling process. Before diving into the interior design phase, they will perform an in-depth analysis of your architectural plans or existing residence. By developing space studies and considering factors like proposed partitions, lighting, and electrical placements, they can provide valuable insights and make necessary changes to the schematics if required.

Using plans, sketches, material samples, and product photos, the interior designer effectively communicates their vision to you. This collaborative approach ensures that you’re involved in the decision-making process and have a clear understanding of the design direction for your home.

Electrical and Low Voltage Controls

One aspect often overlooked when remodeling or Building your home is the electrical plan. An interior designer or lighting specialist should be involved in designing the electrical layout to ensure proper placement of lighting fixtures and controls. While hidden lighting within walls and ceilings is essential, decorative light fixtures also play a significant role in enhancing the overall ambiance of each space.

To avoid any budget surprises, your interior designer can guide you through each room, providing recommendations on the type and quantity of decorative lighting fixtures. They can also assist with the placement of controls for shades, lighting, and sound, ensuring a seamless integration of technology into your home.

The Design Development Phase

Once you’ve approved the conceptual design, the interior designer takes charge of guiding you through the selection process. This includes choosing tiles, flooring, cabinetry design, appliances, and plumbing specifications. Their expertise will be instrumental in coordinating all the details, from wall and woodwork finishes to custom millwork designs and door styles.

Using detailed CAD documents, the interior designer can develop comprehensive specification packages for the interior development, which can be shared with contractors or bidders. This ensures that every aspect of the design is well-documented and helps with value engineering and prioritizing expenditures.

Enhancing Your Home’s Exterior

While much attention is often given to the interior design of a home, the exterior design is equally important. An interior designer can assist you in making exterior selections that complement the overall aesthetic of your home. They can provide guidance on materials, colors, and finishes that will withstand Michigan’s four seasons.

Coordinating the exterior selections with the electrical plans and the placement of exterior light fixtures is vital. By selecting exterior light fixtures early in the process, the interior designer can ensure that the mason has the necessary information for proper installation before the insulation of brick and stone.

Structural Considerations for Interior Design

When working with architectural plans for a home remodel, it’s essential to consider the structural implications of interior design choices. For example, tile and flooring selections need to be aligned with the structural requirements of the space. The material selection for countertops and the placement of heavy items like islands or furniture can also affect the architectural structure.

An experienced interior designer will collaborate with architects and contractors to ensure that the architectural drawings accommodate the desired flooring and counter options. By coordinating with all parties involved, they can address any potential challenges and find solutions that meet both aesthetic and structural requirements.

Construction Documents & Procurement Services

Interior designers bring extensive experience in working with contractors, enabling them to develop precise design development drawings. These drawings serve as comprehensive documents that cover all areas of interior development, including tile and hard surface installation, as well as custom millwork drawings.

Additionally, interior designers can assist with procurement services, ensuring that the specified materials and products are obtained efficiently and within budget. Their expertise in sourcing and working with suppliers can save you time and help you make informed decisions about the best options for your home remodel.

Understanding Design Professionals’ Fees

It’s essential to have a clear understanding of the fees associated with working with design professionals. Each firm may have its billing structure and profit margins. Some firms make a markup on items like cabinetry, while others may allow clients to purchase directly and receive referral fees. Transparency is key, and reputable interior design firms will be upfront about their pricing structure and any additional costs involved.

At our firm, we prioritize our clients’ best interests. We only refer trusted suppliers and contractors who will take care of our clients, ensuring that they receive the best quality and pricing.


As you embark on your project, remember the essential role of an interior designer. They bring expertise, creativity, and a keen eye for detail to ensure that your space reflects your personal style and meets your budget. From the early stages of design development to the procurement of materials and coordination with contractors, an interior designer will guide you through every step of the process. By collaborating with professionals who understand the intricacies of interior design, you can transform your home into a space that truly feels like your own.