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Reasons you shouldn’t hire an Interior Architect

5 minute read

“Do I need R2A?…”

A few months ago, we were asked this question by a client* standing on site, Pinterest boards in hand, with their smiling, overly sincere builder. So why would you want to employ us? We cost you money, for god’s sake. You want to spend money on exciting stuff, you’ve dreamt of opening a bar or restaurant for years, you know what you’re doing. Maybe you’re right. Here are some reasons not to work with us.

You Have the Design In Your Head, and You’ll Work it Out With The Builder.

Then there is no need to spend money on a designer you can save money for nice things. The builder arrives and starts asking questions, and builds something. You don’t like it; they have to move it. That’s four contractors, four days conservatively on £150 per day without materials. You’re already £2,400 down and almost a week lost, but hey, you’re having fun with the builder, and the tiles you like are on eight-week delivery, and you want to open in four weeks.

Or the Builder Can Work it Out For You.

Ah, the builder whom you know can use Pinterest and get you all the subcontractors you need. Happy days. No need to waste all that time at the start of designing and pricing. You can get going. Who are all these contacts the builder has bought to the site? How does the builder make money? Well hate to be cynical, but 10% of the price the tiler is charging you is going back to the main contractor. Also, that tiler has a free run at the job, so you don’t know whether you are getting value for money.

You Don’t Want Anything Original.

With the approach above, you will only get something that has been built before. Nothing new and exciting that importantly has a narrative. Brands need to connect with their customers by telling their ‘unique story.’ You need to get this message across with clarity. A cut-and-paste job from other schemes won’t do this.

You’ve Dreamt of This All Your Life. You Know What You Want

What exactly can R2A do on this job? It’s all my design; I know what I want. Sometimes our job is about editing. Sometimes it can be less about designing ‘more’ things and putting in more and more elements. Yes, you may have dreamt about this all your life but throwing every idea you have ever had at a scheme will dilute your message.

You Don’t Care How Much Your Project Costs

We are pretty traditional. We like to design schemes, draw them up, do the schedules for elements like lights, decorations, tables, and chairs and get them priced up by three contractors. Running a job this way is a boring old-school way of doing things. It takes time, so you might not get on-site for a while, and your six months rent-free is running. But when you do eventually start on-site, you will have met three contractors, so you know your job has been market-tested, and the price covers what it should cover. If the price comes back too high, we will have time to change the specifications and get the whole scheme to match your budget. The most anxious clients we have seen are those that kick off a job with no costings. They start handing over their money with no idea when the job will stop—no end in sight.

* The client returned to us six weeks later after spending £10k and work not moving forward at all.

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