Sunday 9 May 2021
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newtimes - 24 days ago

Should you hire an interior designer when constructing?

Many homeowners struggle with the question of whether or not to use an interior designer. Though some dismiss it as being too costly to pursue, key players in the construction field recommend not to overlook these services for the many benefits associated with them. Interior design is the art of planning the interior space of a building to enhance the experience and the aesthetic of the user. As a real estate agent, Simon Sondern, founder and managing director of Vibe House, sees the end results as he works with home buyers each day. “I would be happy if many more people would use professional interior designers because it makes all the difference,” says Sondern. “There are so many issues with bathrooms and kitchen layouts here. An interior designer can advise better usage of the space, which can make all the difference,” he adds. Sondern notes this is especially true if clients are looking for investment property. “It would be advisable to work with interior designers to make your property more suitable to as many people as possible which increase your rent potential,” he explains. Architects not thinking of the interior design while designing, Simon says may result in estates not getting clients for quite a long time. Architect Medard Mugabo says when they are constructing, they start their concept for a building on what clients need and the number of people the property is supposed to host. He says that in most of the cases the architect will play both architect and interior designer. “In most cases we do it alone as architects and interior designers, but it’s highly recommended that after doing the architectural proposal, you engage an interior designer for further advice prior to submitting plans,” he notes. Mugabo explains that many clients feel that adding an extra layer of cost to a project isn’t something most will consider. But Mugabo cautions that changes made after building are more costly than any designer’s fees. “I will acknowledge that not everyone can afford an interior designer,” says Lisa Marler, managing director of Studio Marler in Kacyiru, Kigali. “But, there are ways to get the advice without bringing the designer in for the whole project,” Marler continues. Studio Marler is an interior design firm that has worked on hotel projects, commercial spaces, and apartment developments for the last six years in Rwanda. Each job and its involvement are tailored to the client’s need and budget. “I have worked on large projects for three years,” says Marler, “and I have done a one-hour consultation on a home to work through issues that the client didn’t feel were being addressed in the plans.” Asked about the shortage of interior designers in the country, Marler has mentioned that the company is growing and it has surely been hard to find talented people to work with. “I think it is the same everywhere,” she says. She nonetheless adds that more people are coming to understand the value of a designer.  “When I first got here eight years ago, the only people who would talk about my services were expats. That has changed dramatically and we have lovely projects in the country to show for it.”


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