Just like you would need an architect to design the exterior beauty and style of a building, an interior designer is a worthy professional and cost to cosy up the internal living spaces of your house.
“An interior designer assists in availing user experience of a space through giving advice, providing solutions and inspiration regarding occupying or living in a space,” explains artist and interior designer Sheila Nakitende.
Anel Joubert, is handling Kigambira Lodge in Lake Mburo National Park. She says the importance of an interior designer on such projects is to allow a professional with the ability to take multiple ideas of a client and combine them into one solid base.
Philip Luwemba shares from experience that clients often seek his services but more specifically the component of painting as opposed to an overall interior designer.
What do they do?
An interior designer does more than choose fabrics, furniture and colour although they may play a large role in interior design. There are many other tasks that are required of interior designers.
They need to be educated in the history of design, the structural integrity of buildings, building codes, ergonomics, spatial concepts, ethics, psychology, computer-aided drawing (CAD) and much more.
This broad range of skills is required because designers work with not only homeowners, but also builders, architects, government agencies and business owners. To become a successful interior designer, one needs to be educated and well-rounded.
“Simply put, an interior designer ensures that interiors are aesthetically pleasing, highly functional and also healthy for the user. Most buildings are designed without the occupant in mind,” he explains.
To further qualify his point, Luwemba argues that a shop unit can be a bank, a saloon, a store, a school, a consultancy firm or even a government office but such walls can be purposed and thus each requires a different orientation of space, choice of furniture, partitioning, environmental graphics and general finishing to bring out its purpose in a beautifully meaningful way.
Choosing the right designer
Selecting the right interior designer is a decision as personal and consequential as choosing your builder and architect. It is therefore advisable to look for someone with whom you have ability to work well together, so you must be both comfortable and compatible with each other’s personality and communication style.
Remember to ask to review a portfolio of work because understanding the designer’s access to a wide range of resources is critical to managing time and budget.
Set mutual expectations from the start by using contracts to outline clear expectations, especially terms of responsibilities, communication, deliverables, budget and compensation.
Why you need beautiful spaces
According to Ronald Batte, engineers in Uganda never really consider important aspects of interior design, adding that all they care about is the building integrity and safety.
Luwemba attests to this. “We worked on many residential projects and commercial projects. Our services focused and still focus on the building facade and space usability. The aspects beauty in terms of interior moods, colours, feels and textures were ignored yet needed to create beautiful spaces,” he explains.
Nakitende advances the idea of harmoniously living with nature, explaining that the way we live influences our well-being and our day today activities so a little effort in sprucing up our interiors is worth the investment.
“From experience people invest a lot in their physical and mental well-being, for example, their living spaces. Guidance is necessary to achieve order, harmony and peaceful energy flow in a home all the way to the work spaces.”
She adds that homes, as individual and family sanctuaries and spaces of expression, require services of a professional interior designer to be part of the conceptual level in helping you achieve the required goals of specifically bringing creativity in organising your space into a habitable and usable place.
Batte adds that an interior designer will help you get the best ceiling designs for your space as well as planning for lighting and ambiance, colour coordination, choosing wall paint colour, matching your window dressing (curtains), choice of the right tiles and the right fabrics for your furniture.
The cost is not straightforward. Interior designers have a variety of fee and payment structures, so you can work out what you are most comfortable with for your project. Even if your budget is tight, you can still obtain a few hours of consultation or assistance sourcing materials or accents for a reasonable price.
Make sure that as clients, you have read the terms and conditions and if you are the designer ; make your terms and conditions are clear from the outset.
And as Joubert adds, you can also put heads together to implement the style that you want, be it modern, contemporary, traditional, or cultural living style.
When it comes to professional fees, Nakitende says charges range from Shs500, 000 to Shs3m depending on the work involved on a project. As a conservationist, she happily and comfortably works with what’s available, thus artistically upscale and recycle.