DIY or Professional Interior Design: Which Should You Use?

Americans spent over $375 million on home improvement projects in 2021! Designing cozy, functional spaces and homes is clearly a priority for most people.

But when it comes to the process, should you hire a professional designer or do it yourself? Both options have benefits and drawbacks. Your choice will also depend on the scale of the project and your budget.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of professional interior design and do it yourself design to help you make an informed decision!

Pros: Professional Interior Design

There are roughly 87,000 interior designers creating gorgeous spaces across the nation. And hiring one of these professional designers can have a lot of benefits!

Save Time

Renovating a home, or even a tiny apartment, can take an agonizingly long time. Between your job, family, and social events, you may find that there’s no time to renovate.

When you work with an interior design company, you don’t have to worry about time. Their entire job is to renovate your space, so the process is usually faster. If you don’t want to drag your renovation out for months, a professional designer is the way to go!

Flawless Execution

If you’ve ever tried to paint a wall or build IKEA furniture, you know what a struggle it can be. But professional designers work with teams of other experts who make the process easy!

The painters make sure there’s not a drip or streak in sight. Furniture assemblers ensure that your dining room table doesn’t wobble. You get the picture. Working with experts means flawless, professional results.

Sophisticated Design

Interior design isn’t general knowledge. Sure, the average person may know to avoid clashing colors and tacky accessories. But a professional designer knows how to elevate the layout to make it sophisticated.

Professional designers are also clued in to the biggest home design trends. They can help you create a modern, hip space that feels and looks current. And if you don’t care about trends, designers will tailor your renovation to your personality and needs.

Knowledge and Experience

While you may struggle to decide between eggshell white and creme white paint for your kitchen, a designer won’t. They often have years of experience, and that knowledge makes for easier decision-making.

A professional designer can also suggest ideas that you’ve never even imagined! They know exactly how to make a small room feel bigger or how to add function to a tiny bathroom. Their knowledge base can transform your needs into amazing results!

Cons: Professional Interior Design

Hiring a professional interior designer sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, not so fast. There are some drawbacks to using professional help in your renovation process.

Higher Costs

Unlike your own free labor, designers need to get paid, of course! The cost of hiring a professional ranges quite a bit depending on the scope of work. But you can expect to pay $50 to $200 per hour in general.

That’s not including the furniture and other miscellaneous purchases you’ll need to make. You’ll also have to pay any other experts involved, such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians. Most homeowners spend, on average, between $2,000 and $12,000 on their renovations.

Impersonal Design

Sometimes designers have a vision that they must execute! Of course, a good professional designer won’t come into your home and do whatever they want. But not every designer is a good designer!

To avoid an expensive, impersonal design that you don’t connect with, you need to choose the right professional. The best thing to do is scour their reviews, ask to see samples of their work, and ask them these questions! Take your time choosing a designer who shares your vision and allows creative input, if that’s what you want!

Pros: DIY Interior Design

Do it yourself design can be a fun, budget-friendly option for those who want to make smaller changes! Only 37% of homeowners choose the DIY route, tending to stick to easier projects. But if you’ve got a fantastic vision and a little know-how, DIY design shouldn’t be overlooked.

Save Money

You can save quite a bit of money by doing (almost) everything yourself! You should still hire professionals for things like electricity and plumbing. But the cost difference can be astonishing!

For example, the average professional kitchen remodel will cost about $25,000! But a DIY version can come out to approximately $16,000. Going the DIY route might be your best option for a complete makeover if you’re on a strict budget.

Personalized Design

The beauty of doing everything yourself means your home will be completely personalized. Without professional touches, it can feel homier and give it a more lived-in feeling. If you’re looking for a magazine cover home, DIY is your best choice.

You can also ensure that every idea comes out as you’ve envisioned it. It may feel impossible to explain the intricate backsplash tiling you dream about to another person. But once you get the materials and tools, you can create precisely what you imagine!

Creative Outlet

This is a little bonus benefit of DIY renovations! If you’re a highly creative person, a home renovation can be a creative outlet for you. Not only will the process be enjoyable, but you can also take pride in creating something you dreamed up!

Cons: DIY Interior Design

With the good comes the bad. Do-it-yourself interior design can be cost-effective and produce unique results. But that doesn’t guarantee there won’t be a few hiccups along the way.

Lack of Knowledge and Experience

If you’re not a professional designer, your skills are likely very basic. You may need to spend a lot of time learning to do a simple thing like trimming your ceilings. You might also have to re-do parts of the process that didn’t exactly work out.

Mistakes Cost Money

Maybe you painted your walls the wrong color before realizing it, or you’ve made a hole where you shouldn’t have. These tiny mistakes can add up, raising your budget in the process. Without professional help, a DIY renovation can turn into a costly nightmare!

Professional vs. DIY Interior Design: Making the Decision

Deciding between professional interior design and DIY design can be complicated. It’s best to consider the size of the project, your budget, and how confident you feel doing it yourself.

Some things, like kitchen renovations, are not meant for skimping! Technical work that involves electricity, plumbing, and layout design is best left up to the professionals. But if you want to paint a few walls or change some furniture, try DIY interior design!

For more home design content and renovation ideas, check out our Home Repair section!