We receive a lot of what I think of as ‘foundational’ questions about our work—what we do and who we do it for, as well as the costs and process. Because of that, we’ve put together our ‘What to Expect Series’ to hopefully answer some of those very common questions. And help you better understand what working with the Bella Vie team will be like. The first in the series is ‘What to Expect from an Interior Designer’.

What to Expect from an Interior Designer

We’ve had many clients and potential clients reach out to us with a simple question – ‘What should I expect when working with an interior designer?’

If you think an interior designer is someone who swoops in to advise on the best placement of your lounge or the kinds of cushions to buy, you’re not alone. Many people think that this is pretty much all we do. And while we do give that kind of advice when needed, the main role of an interior designer is to design (or redesign) your home’s interior schemes from the flooring to the cornices, and everything in between.

What does that mean? Let’s get into it!

Design Concepts


In most cases, our clients come to us with a set of architectural plans for renovating their home or building a new home. These plans will have a focus on the exterior—the structure and the aesthetics will all be in place, as well as the interior walls.

As an interior designer, we give you the most benefit by coming in at this stage. We can work with the plans in place to ensure that we optimise interior layout. We ensure that the flow is not only beautiful but functional as well, considering ergonomics and your unique needs and lifestyle. On top of that, we build in that special something that makes the home feel truly and completely yours, taking it from ordinary to extraordinary.

Having an interior designer on board ensures that the architect’s intent with the external elements flow through to the interior, and suit your lifestyle.

Space Planning

Red Hill Stairs

An offshoot of designing, an interior designer is also heavily focused on space planning. In this case, our role is to fulfill the full potential of your home and how you live in it.

Often when a home is built, ‘typical’ elements are used. That might be standard-sized wardrobes, for example. Or window placement in the centre of the rooms’ walls. It isn’t typically an architect’s job to think about your furniture, your art or your wardrobe needs. Because of that, you could be left with elements in your home that just don’t work well. And these little daily frustrations are things you just don’t need and can be avoided with the help of an interior designer.

Interior designers focus on flow and ergonomics, of course. But this includes considering what you have and how you want to live in your home. Perhaps you have a special piece of furniture inherited from a family member and lovingly restored. Perhaps you have a child that is sport-obsessed and needs a wardrobe that can house school uniforms AND the equipment for five different sporting activities. Or perhaps you just love art, and you need your wall space configured to allow in light and air but maximise your ability to showcase your collection. These are things that an interior designer takes into account when designing your internal spaces.

Custom Joinery


One of the things that our clients love about working with us is our ability to design and implement custom joinery. Custom joinery is one of the most underused elements in our homes today. But it’s an incredible (and beautiful) way to add to the useable living space of your home and create bespoke storage and display solutions (such as a cupboard that morphs into a desk).

We work with master joiners to design kitchens, bathrooms, wardrobes, shelving and built-in storage and display solutions. Our craftsmen can create pieces that suit your existing furniture and match the detailing and finishes in your home to ensure you have a seamless look. When you use master joiners, you know you’re investing in high-quality, Australian-made products. And supporting the local economy, and preserving these crafts for future generations feels great.

Industry Collaboration

One of the things that surprise most people when they begin working with an interior designer is just how closely we work with other industry experts. This includes builders, architects, carpenters , developers and more.

It helps to understand about the educational focus that interior designers undertake today. In fact, the name of the degree has changed and is now called ‘Bachelor of Design (Interior Architecture)’. And when a student takes on this degree they aren’t learning about throw pillows and lamp shades. Instead, the study focuses on the design process, theory and technology, including 2D and 3D digital drafting.

When you work with an interior designer you are getting the benefit of someone that is deeply involved in the design and building industry. We can talk the talk and interpret when needed. We can help you understand the next steps in the process. And we can advise you on elements you might never have considered. (As they say, ‘You don’t know what you don’t know.) The end result is a collaboration that leaves you with the best results for your home.

(Read more about this collaboration on our blog, Do I Need an Interior Designer When I Have a Builder?)

Everything Else!

home-interior-design-ideas-ashley-rd HERO

Of course, when it comes to what to expect from an interior designer we also do the things you might traditionally expect. We specify, source and supply fixtures and finishes, including floors, walls, tiles, taps and lighting. We help you choose furniture where needed as well as your fabrics, soft furnishings and window treatments. And we help schedule and organise those deliveries so you don’t have to.

As with the bigger space and design elements, having early input from an interior designer on these parts of your home helps create a cohesive and seamless feel from the outset. And working with us just makes the process easier, less stressful and less exhausting for you as the home owner.


Resources to Help You Get Started:

We’d love to work with you and your builder to create a beautiful home. Get in touch with our team at Bella Vie Interiors.

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