Picture a showroom full of gleaming, let’s say, flooring samples. You walk past the rows of laminate, wood, bamboo, cork, ceramic, and carpet, touching one here and there, reading specifications, making note of what might work for your space. At home (or maybe between emails at work) you research the latest trends and innovations, learn what durability ratings mean, get a feel for pricing. You go back for samples of a few favorites, dodging the floor salesperson’s advances as she tells you what’s on sale and why you need to buy today. Back home, you squint at the wall where you’ve painted a few swatches of potential colors and try to imagine the sample of knotty-pine-look laminate covering the entire floor. You’re relatively sure they’ll look good together.

You hire a contractor to do the install based on a friend’s recommendation. And as you stand in the half-finished dining room with a bill already twice the estimated cost because your sub-floor had to (unexpectedly) be replaced, you decide it looks ok but not just right.

In any remodel or construction there are countless considerations for each and every piece of the project. A good interior designer makes what is often an unending series of headaches into a smooth, and enjoyable, process.

Interior design is about more than choosing what looks great. It’s about understanding space and working with the limitations of architecture. It’s also about understanding available options and being able to explain price and function differences to guide clients toward educated choices. While some clients want to learn the ins-and-outs of flooring, paint, fabric, and finish options, and some others are constrained by budget to do the legwork themselves, the expertise of an experienced interior designer can save you considerable time and hassle.

Now picture yourself sitting down with a designer from the Lori Wiles design team to work on that dining room we imagined. She learns your preferences, your budget, examines the space. You show her what you’ve been looking at. She lets you know what floor might work best for that space based on how you’ll use it and what you love–not just like. She suggests materials that could work with the existing sub-floor and contractors she knows who will install with no surprises. Based on the preferences you shared, she brings suggestions for paint colors you wouldn’t have picked out but seem perfect. She gives you options for furniture that align with your tastes for line and form and fabric that you can’t wait to have in your home. When you’ve made your choices, she tells you where to buy and when to order. When the elements come together and work is done, your space is balanced, functional, and feels great.

Lori and her team recently returned from a Chicago trade show where she learned what processes are used to plate faucets and why more expensive handles with metal internal mechanisms cost more and last longer. While some might love to spend a weekend this way, not all of us have the time or interest. Lori’s love for the minutiae of design and knowledge in general directly benefits her clients; she can quickly choose from available options that fit client needs. An investment in the interior design process is well worth the expert advice you receive.