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Using a designer like Sarah Mitchenall is not just for the elite

Using a designer – not just for the elite

I was having a cup of tea with my lovely kitchen floor fitter and, as so often happens when people find out what I do, talk turned to some work he is doing on his house. It got me thinking about the value of using a designer. There’s a misconception that hiring someone like me is in the expensive luxury category, only for the wealthy elite. But you don’t have to spend ridiculous amounts of money or take out a second mortgage.

It’s the designer’s job to understand the process, the shortcuts, the pain-free routes. I bring masses of vision, not to mention a bulging address books of suppliers, ultimately providing a wonderful experience and a beautiful space that you will love. That’s pretty good value.

It’s about taking your ideas to another level. For example, I had a client asking for help with the colour in her living room, as she felt that would resolve all her interior design problems. Well of course I’m always happy to pore over colour charts. But I explained that if she didn’t think about the room as a whole scheme then it really would just end up as the same place in a different colour.

There’s a misconception that hiring someone like me is in the expensive luxury category, but you don’t have to spend ridiculous amounts of money or take out a second mortgage.

Lots of people can find, say, the perfect table and chairs for a dining room, but a designer can create a whole scheme so that the table and chairs and everything else all work together.

With landscape design, it’s easier to see the value of having someone who can ensure you don’t make costly mistakes. My fees are nothing compared to the cost of making wrong decisions. Do it right, do it once – and do it beautifully.

When designing a garden I’m thinking of how it will be now, in two years, in five years, and on into the future. It’s not a static thing. A well-designed garden will look even more beautiful in 10 years. That’s the goal. It’s an investment for many years to come.

What works best is the indoor-outdoor approach, working on the garden and the interior together to create a beautiful living environment. Too often they are treated separately because they require different skills, but that often means the two areas don’t work well together. I’m a real champion of designing these spaces in harmony. That’s what I can bring to a project, and I believe in it passionately.