MeFi, please help me make a good decision of money versus sanity/time regarding hiring an interior decorator / designer.
We're doing a cross-country move right now. I'm also trying to work on my dissertation (which I have, with permission, put on the shelf for the entire month of November.) I took the month of December off from work to oversee this move as well as work on my diss. I start work 1st week of January and would love to have the house stuff finished. (I know that I can write in the evenings/weekend, but I don't want to spend my evenings/weekends tromping around Ikea or Home Depot with a 2-year-old.) (FWIW, my diss doesn't HAVE to be done by any job or university standards, this is self- and advisor-imposed.)
I can pay an interior designer / decorator ~$1300 (based on their proposals, not my budget) to do a lot of the new house things which I am not good at nor do I enjoy doing, and most importantly, don't really have the time to do (pick out blinds and hang them, find carpet and someone to carpet the stairs, hang shelves, do spaceplanning.) I've discussed this with a few and gotten proposals from a few, but most of them are not as understanding about toddler needs as I'd like (I have a bunch more to interview though! One does just "interior refining" and is ~$400. With that I could hire a handyman to do the installs, I think.)
(FWIW, this is what I've asked the designer to do:
- Arrange existing furniture (and possibly add some pieces - specifically master bedroom furniture and office furniture.)
- Add touches like art and rugs (but affordable ones) in consultation with us, as well as blinds and carpeting the stairs.
What do we need in terms of space: Master bedroom, toddler bedroom, office, living room, playroom with a small dining area.)
A tiny part of me thinks - damnit, I CAN do this stuff. If I give myself M-F 8-5 for the entire month of December, I can really get this done. And for free! (Well, except for the purchasing of things.) I know that it won't look as nice or as well put together, but it wouldn't cost us anything. The price would be that I would, without a doubt, get no writing done and would thus spend all weekends for the next 3 months locked in a Starbucks (rather than enjoying a new city with my family.)
A few factors:
- Money is tight right now because of move, but won't be tight in a few months.
- This is a rental that we intend to stay in for at least 2 years.
- We have a 2-year-old who will be starting a new daycare.
- We have pets that don't deal well with change.
- This is a brand-new-to-us city, and although we can figure out where things are with GPS, we don't really know where things are.
- Waiting to get the house set up over a period of time REALLY doesn't work for us. In all previous moves, we have fallen into the "let's make the 2nd bedroom the place where all of our boxes live while we unpack" thing and then they never get unpacked. I don't want to do this again.
- I am a serious bargain shopper, which I am trying to put aside in order to get through this move. (We'll need to buy some sheets right away, normally I'd read reviews, get coupons, shop online, etc. I am not going to do that this time.)
- In case you care or have ideas, here's a link to our what we need
doc, the floorplan
(although it changed) to the new house, the not-to-scale floorplan
that I did, and the floorplan/spaceplan
of our existing house, photos
of the space.
- Any DC interior designer recommendations?
- Is it worth the time to work on my diss and the ~$1300 to pay someone else to do this for me?
- What about the whole "interior refining" deal - does that work?
- Have you been pleased with hiring people to do this for you in the past?