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Ready for a Home and Steam Shower Remodel? Hire A Professional Designer!

This article is the third in a three-part series detailing the full home and steam shower remodel that MrSteam Vice President of Marketing Martha Orellana became immersed in when she began a steam room design project for her guest bathroom. In this article, you'll learn why you need to hire a professional designer.

>> For Part I, see From Steam Room Design To Full Home Remodel

>> For Part II, see Dealing With The Unexpected In A Full Home And Steam Shower Remodel

How to ensure success for your home and steam shower remodel?

A mere three months after Martha Orellana decided to remodel every room in her Los Angeles condo, she was back home, loving absolutely everything about the way her space looks, functions and fits her lifestyle.

From her fully decked-out steam shower in the master bath to the electric towel warmers in the guest bath to the expertly-designed marble floors in between — it’s a home renovation worthy of a magazine cover.

But how did she know everything would come out exactly as she wanted, and in many ways would even exceed her expectations? What’s the secret to remodeling bliss? Two words… Professional Designer.

Before going any further, we know what you’re thinking: “I can’t afford that.” Or, “That’s overkill for my little project.”

You can afford it. And it’s vital for success.

Call a professional designer for your home remodel project

According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the services of a certified professional designer amount to only about 4% of a total remodeling project budget. Four percent. If only your yearly Starbucks budget were that small! What’s more, according to a survey by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), nine of 10 consumers were highly satisfied with the experience of working with a designer, and almost all said they’d do it again.

“Interior designers are educated on unique materials, products and finishes that are new or cutting edge. Sharing those resources with clients sets their projects apart from the rest,” says Lori Gilder, of Lori Gilder Interior Makeovers Inc. based in Beverly Hills, CA, the designer Orellana chose for her project.

From Orellana’s perspective, one of the greatest benefits of using a designer were felt in the smallest aspects of the project — tiny details that added up to big differences. For the countertops, “Lori went to the fabricator with an actual template of our layout,” says Orellana. “She laid it out on the slab of marble we chose and said, ‘No, no – move it this way or that way, so we get more of the veins that we want in the stone.’”

A small adjustment? Maybe, but adjustments like this are the difference between a look that’s run-of-the-mill and one that’s spectacular.

This attention to detail continued throughout the project. “For the kitchen door handles, I was really struggling with what I wanted,” continues Orellana. “I wanted them to disappear on the cabinets, which are black. I kept looking at brushed chrome and other finishes until Lori said, ‘Why don’t we just do the handles in black?’ As soon as she said it, I thought – of course!”

These “facepalm” moments are an indication that you’ve chosen a designer who understands your needs and wants.

“Designers come talk to you and they say, ‘OK, I get you,’” says Orellana. “I never fully realized the significant value they bring until now. You can spend all this money, but if you don’t get the small touches right — and the big ones too — you’re just spending money and not getting what you want.”

POWDER_ROOM_DETAILA contractor’s perspective: you need a designer

Nathan York, the general contractor on Orellana’s project, shares his own candid perspective on the benefits of working with a designer: “I would actually prefer to work with an interior designer. I can tell within the first meeting if a client is going to need one. I get a lot of people who don’t know exactly what they’re looking for. They’ll ask me, ‘What do you think?’ I’ll answer, ‘I think you need a designer!’”

As for the experience of working with Gilder? “She understands the way construction works, and that makes her very easy to work with from a contractor’s point of view,” says York.

And that’s just what a good interior designer is there for, as Gilder explains: “I am my client’s advocate and a conduit between the general contractor and the sub-trades, verifying that all design details are executed exactly as the drawings specify and the client envisions.”

A designer’s advocacy and partnership with the contractor ensures that you’re getting the most out of every remodeling dollar by avoiding costly do-overs.

The moral of this home remodel story: hire a professional designer

Even though Orellana was sold on the idea of working with a designer right from the start, she was still wary of the outcome. “I was told that, by the end of this process, I’d hate my designer. But I don’t,” says Orellana. “You just have to pick a consummate professional.”

How do you find that consummate professional? In Orellana’s case, as an industry professional herself, she knew Gilder from her work on previous projects. For the uninitiated in the world of interior designers, the following links to accredited professional organizations will help you find a qualified designer to make your own dreams a reality 

Planning your own bathroom or steam shower remodel? Visit the Virtual Spa to learn just how easy - and surprisingly affordable -  it can be to incorporate steam into your plans.

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Topics: Benefits of Steam, Bathroom Remodel