Real Living (Philippines) - - Editor's Note -

Right af­ter “How can I join your Makeover?” this is the Real Liv­ing reader’s sec­ond-most-asked ques­tion. “Why are de­sign­ers’ fees so ex­pen­sive?” clogs up my of­fice in­box, Face­book mes­sen­ger, Viber, What­sApp, and var­i­ous apps so fre­quently, I have cre­ated a spe­cial folder for it (filed be­fore the “How much are de­sign fees?” and “Where can I get an af­ford­able chevron-pat­terned rug?” fold­ers, of course).

I have to say that this is the type of ques­tion wherein the an­swer is al­ways rel­a­tive—it could de­pend on how sea­soned or “fa­mous” the in­te­rior de­signer is. So many other fac­tors should be con­sid­ered: the scope of work, the amount of dec­o­rat­ing in­volved, the fur­ni­ture pieces used, the lo­ca­tion, and yes, even the time of year. De­cem­ber and the pre­ced­ing “ber” months are no­to­ri­ous for mul­ti­ple home turnovers, and over­priced hol­i­day goods can raise the quo­ta­tions a lit­tle bit.

But be­fore you throw in the dec­o­rat­ing towel, there are other op­tions. You can DIY it, or get some in­spi­ra­tion (there is this month’s Value-for-Money shop­ping spe­cial and our web­site­al­liv­ing. and your friendly neigh­bor­hood

manong car­pen­ter to help you out. But for se­ri­ous ren­o­va­tions—not to men­tion those that re­quire a build­ing per­mit—hir­ing a pro­fes­sional is the only way to go.

And here’s my hon­est an­swer: com­pared with se­ri­ous con­struc­tion and dec­o­rat­ing mis­takes, de­sign­ers are not ex­pen­sive, not at all.

The RL girls at Crate & Bar­rel’s Spring/Sum­mer launch. (L-R): Tala Sing­son, as­so­ciate style editor; Kamila Gar­cia, editorial as­sis­tant; Dagny Madamba, deputy as­so­ciate editor; Sun­shine Funa, man­ag­ing ed­i­tor­print; Rachelle Medina; Cielo Calzado, man­ag­ing editor-web; and Gab Bu­ganan, fea­tures editor-web.

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