When should I appoint an interior designer?

Are you considering a new build or home renovation project? Leading your own home renovation can be a great way to ensure your home reflects your personal style. However, you’ll find that there are some parts of your journey to build your dream home that will hugely benefit from bringing on an interior designer.

For any interior design project, we like to build a unique partnership between the client and designer. In our experience with our own clients we find that, even when you have very strong ideas about how you want your home to appear, hiring a good interior designer to assist you at the right time is crucial to getting the end result you have dreamt of.

Knowing at what point you need to appoint an interior designer is something to understand before you embark on any building or interior design project. These days it is so easy to hop onto Pinterest or Instagram, decide you are ready for a change in your home and enthusiastically leap into the throes of a new and exciting interior project. Whilst you may begin with high hopes, so often the many decisions of a project (no matter how big or how small) can start to feel overwhelming.

At Pfeiffer Design, we have formulated a successful approach to interior design projects, moving from concept to completion in stages, that takes the pressure off our clients and reaps the best results. When planned correctly, together with your builder, architect and interior designer you can prevent the feeling of overwhelm and enjoy watching your new home appear seamlessly.

Architect or interior designer

The first thing to consider when deciding at what point you should hire an interior designer, is the scale of the project you are undertaking. The level of construction required to complete a project can vary, from completely new buildings to renovations on existing homes or smaller decorative updates, and everything in between. When we first take a look at our clients’ projects, we have to analyse exactly what our clients need, taking the scale of the assignment into consideration. Deciding when you should hire an interior designer might actually start with thinking about the following question…

Do I need an architect

Does your design project begin with a new build or renovation? Knocking out a living room wall or two? Hiring an architect is appropriate when building from the ground up as well as making any major structural changes to your home. Architects can mark up drawings to map out your dream space, help you to hire the right builder for the job, and oversee the building construction to ensure everything runs smoothly. In these cases, we look to appoint an architect at the beginning of your project, as mistakes in any structural changes could result in a very costly construction. Best to skip any architectural mishaps and get it right the first time!

Hiring an interior designer

Interior designers are often misrepresented outside their field. There is so much more to an interior designer than simply making a room look aesthetically pleasing. At Pfeiffer Design, formulating ideas and conjuring up clever solutions is our forte, and our designers are specifically trained in ensuring that the project is curated to be functional, as well as designed stylishly, to create a home that gets the most out of the available space.

Whilst an architect is necessary for large scale home renovations and perhaps less so for smaller design tweaks, there is still a benefit to having a professional on hand to monitor any changes to the space. Whilst an architect is necessary for large scale home renovations and new builds there is still a major benefit to having an interior professional on hand to design the internal spaces in detail.

On one of our many new build projects, for example, our interior design team worked on this Surrey Hills Family Home. We were involved with the architects from the start to finish including both interior architecture service as well as interior design. This way our lead designer was able to give our clients the peace of mind that the construction was being considered in line with the end result of the finished furnished rooms.


If your property is also a new build home or requires a lot of renovation you may find that you need a team of interior designers, builders and architects to collaborate together. If this is the case, getting an interior designer involved sooner rather than later is hugely beneficial, as we can hire the architect or builders on your behalf.

This residential family home in Eastbourne is a project that we worked on with our preferred contractors, with whom we have a longstanding working relationship.

What are the benefits of hiring an interior designer early on in a project?

Bringing on an interior designer right at the beginning has many benefits. We see an interior design project as a collaboration between the designer and their clients. The level at which you would like to collaborate depends very much on how much you would like to be involved. Bringing one of our designers in from the start as part of the team allows you to build a relationship with your designer. It also helps us both to share a singular vision for the property, whether you’re updating a period property in Hampstead, adding flair to a modern townhouse in Chelsea or adding character to a new build in Sussex

Understanding the plan

Working with architects to understand the initial reasons behind the planning of a renovation will help a designer to really focus on what is important in each room of the house. Homeowners plan renovations or decor updates for many different reasons, here are just a few we’ve come across:

Creating more space:

Over time, a property can get more and more cluttered, especially when family moves in or out. By drawing up a detailed floor plan, and with carefully arranged furniture, an interior designer can use their spatial knowledge to scope out the best way to free up spaces in the house.

Creating rooms for specific purposes:

An interior designer can help to create rooms with specific needs and services, such this stunning Home Cinema Room we designed for one of our clients.

As our client for this project already had a standard sitting room, this cinema space was designed to function solely as a traditional movie theatre. Some rooms with a fairly rigid purpose are difficult to create, but a designer will know how to work the space accordingly, and design rooms with a specific value and role within the home. If a job requires the homeowner to work from home, for example, a designer can also rework the available space to incorporate a home office.

Creating rooms for specific people:

Our clients enjoy making their homes more personal as well as more functional, by appointing a room to each individual who lives there (if we can). A room for a teenager does not have the same need for certain services as a room for a newborn. We have found that our clients also often own the same home for many years and so the rooms in their homes change value over time, as the people living in the home grow up or move in. Family rooms, nurseries, teenagers, rooms for older relatives to come and visit: an interior designer can make the room work for each new arrival.

Creating a custom interior design

Hiring an experienced designer from Pfeiffer Design can elevate your interior project to new levels by bringing in a whole range of services you may not have even considered. From bespoke joinery to custom lighting plans, as well as furniture and wallpaper you won’t see in your high street stores and showrooms. Hiring a professional opens the doors to a new level of inspiring home living. However, the key to having anything run smoothly in life is that there is first and foremost a plan in place. Additionally that everyone who is involved in reaching this shared goal – in this case your beautiful new home – completely understands the plan…

A good interior designer plans ahead!

Let’s take, for example, lighting design. Will you have wall lights or table lamps beside your bed? How many pendants will you have over your kitchen island? What is the lighting plan for your custom cabinetry? Whilst you will make these decisions alongside your interior designer it is much easier if your architect and electricians are aware of these plans for your interior layout. Having the whole team aware of the grand plan makes it easier and sometimes more affordable to achieve a certain look or design feature if it is planned in from the ground up. Even a simple living room lamp needs a plug, but where does it need to be? Answering questions like this makes you realise that a considered interior starts from long before the building finishes.

Pfeiffer Design’s team of professional interior designers keep the bigger picture in mind and are able to plan ahead throughout the project, whilst simultaneously taking care of the smaller details. Having one of our designers on hand from the start is the best way to ensure you’re on track to the end goal you saw in your visualisations. Keeping you ahead of the game throughout the crucial stages of your project.

Interior designers think ahead and save time

When you appoint a designer early in your project you’ll save time too. As well as providing the creative vision for your space we, the interior designers, are also great co-ordinators for your projects. Making choices early means that long lead times can be overcome, as products will already be on order during the building phase. This is useful when shipping in furniture or accessories which aren’t available in the UK for example.

With an early design plan in place it is considerably easier to co-ordinate timings and deliveries closer to the finish line. Consider as an example that your kitchen cabinetry can get a head start in the workshop ready to be installed as soon as your home is ready for it. This sort of strategic timing and planning is what we as interior designers are prepped for. Projects will hugely benefit from having the designer’s input right at the beginning of the process.

Keeping budgets under control

Whilst it might seem counterintuitive, hiring an interior designer early on can actually help you to ensure you stay within your budget and keep the cost low for specific items. An interior designer will be able to guide you on where to save money on less important items, and where to splurge on more timeless, luxurious pieces. Over the years we’ve built up a knowledge bank of affordable high quality as well as a little black book of more exclusive items that will make your home truly one of a kind.

We’re here to help

If you’re planning a renovation or house build – contact us. Our team of experienced designers will be ready to talk through with you how we’re able to help homeowners create the individual home they love. We pride ourselves on providing practical advice, from the initial vision through to innovative concepts and attention to detail to ensure a smooth installation of design project. Head over to the Our Work section of our website to view our portfolio or contact us to talk through your renovation plans.

Looking for interior inspiration?
Explore our recent work or contact us for a design consultation



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