The changing role of the interior designer

December 22, 2016 / Isla MacFarlane
The changing role of the interior designer

According to industry commentators, one of the leading trends in 2017 will be the emergence of interior design agencies in unexpected places.

While hotels and new home developers have long employed the unique talents of those with the vision to transform their properties’ interiors, 2017 will be the year that interior design goes mainstream.

“Interior design used to be the preserve of the largest of companies,” said Robert Walker, Managing Director of Alexander James Interior Design Now. “There’s a growing trend for smaller developers to use interior design to boost the value of their property.”

Developers of private rented sector (PRS) housing and high end purpose built student accommodation (PBSA) will be particularly drawn to the use of interior designers in 2017, according to the team at Alexander James.

The growth of the PRS and the booming PBSA sectors in the UK represent a plethora of new opportunities for developers, but also increased competition. Alexander James claims that an apartment can increase in value be a whopping 65% after being professionally dressed by a specialist interior designer.

As well as the obvious monetary benefits, a growing appreciation of the value of interior design is another factor behind the trend. According to the American Society of Interior Designers, “Effective interior design makes workers more efficient, helps students learn, and helps everyone get and stay healthy; it helps us have fun, age gracefully, and connect with family. Design is at the crux of how we live, work, and play.”

Marketing expert Brandon Gaille believes that specialised interior design businesses will grow by around 20% over the coming decade, compared with a 13% increase in interior design jobs. This is reflective of the spreading interest that smaller developers, builders and private individuals have in using interior design services to create more saleable homes.

“There’s a real push from those with properties in the sub-£2 million price bracket to use interior designers at the moment and this trend looks set to grow in 2017,” said Alexander James’ Robert. “Whether it’s city apartments for sale or rent, or luxury student digs that need to beat the competition, interior designers have never been more sought after. 2017 is the year to think ironically ‘outside the box’ when it comes to interiors!”

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