Is It Really Worth Hiring an Interior Designer?

by Allison Fenn, ASID



Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Allison Fenn and I am the new designer at SandStar Interiors and Remodeling. I hail from Lancaster, PA, and spent a lot of my time growing up at the Jersey Shore and sailing on the Chesapeake Bay. My educational background includes a B.A. in art as well as an A.A.S in interior design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. I have spent the last thirty years in the interior design world of Southwest Florida.  (Eight of those years were with an Arthur Rutenberg Design Center.) Having worked at several different design firms has helped me to broaden my abilities and learn new skills. I passed the NCIDQ exam and have been licensed by the state of Florida to practice interior iesign since 1996.

OK! Enough about me and on to the topic of this newsletter: Is it really worth hiring an interior designer?

Well, I may be slightly impartial, but the answer is yes! Let’s dig a little deeper and I’ll explain the benefits of hiring an interior designer as well as how the process works.


Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels


The number one reason to hire a designer is you are going to save MONEY!  It’s hard to imagine, I know, but it’s true. Have you ever chosen the wrong paint color? Or purchased a piece of furniture that was the wrong scale for your home? Hiring a designer can help you avoid costly mistakes and help you achieve the look you want.

Our design process starts with a free consultation. This is a “getting to know each other” session where I will ask a lot of questions about your likes, wants, needs and lifestyle, all to help determine the scope of work. I’ll also ask if you have a budget in mind or I can help you figure one out. My goal is to help you create a space that is both attractive and functional for your needs as well as affordable for you. I take into consideration elements like color, texture and form as well as spatial relationships to ensure that your design has a cohesive quality to create the perfect space.



The next best reason to hire a designer is to save you TIME. As a trained interior designer, I will start with space planning and a furniture layout. Putting ideas to paper first helps to avoid more mistakes down the road. Also, many of our clients at SandStar Interiors live in another state and only come to Florida during the winter. During your building or remodeling process, having your designer available to help manage your project ensures that your goals are being met, even if you can’t be there.

More time and money! Who doesn’t want that? Should I go on?

Hiring a designer will open up a whole new set of RESOURCES and CONTACTS. At SandStar Interiors and Remodeling, we have already gone through the painstaking process of selecting the best subcontractors and employees. We only use licensed subcontractors and our employees have gone through a detailed background check. We purchase our furniture, art and accessories direct from the manufacturer, and pass the savings on to you.  That way you can avoid the furniture store middle-man and almost always get better quality items for less MONEY. Oh, there is that word again!


AR Homes Model – Modena 1398


Finally, when hiring an interior designer, you are going to get that WOW factor! After determining the scope and budget for your project, we request that you sign a Design Agreement and a small design fee is collected to cover administrative costs. We will work closely together to put your plan into action. I will prepare a PowerPoint presentation, a pin board with actual fabric and finish samples as well as a detailed proposal listing all the prices for the items to be purchased. Once you approve, orders will be placed, tracked, received and delivered by SandStar Interiors, saving you from all the headaches of project management. When “delivery day” arrives, I will be there placing every piece of furniture, artwork and accessory. You’ll be able to just walk in and say WOW!

Save TIME and MONEY, have access to the best CONTACTS and RESOURCES and get WOW! You can’t afford NOT to hire and interior designer!  Please call me to schedule an appointment at 941-205-2597 or  feel free to stop by our Design Center located at 1203 W. Marion Ave., Punta Gorda, FL 33950.



Allison Fenn, ASID

Interior Designer

SandStar Interiors / AR Homes by Arthur Rutenberg