Difference between an interior designer and a renovation specialist

The participation of the homeowner is key to successful renovation as it takes a lot of energy and effort from design and material selection to the communication with the contractor. Not only can interior designers create designs which fit the client’s needs with their aesthetic sense and professional spatial planning skills, but can also help you manage most work in project progress and supervision, leaving you time for things which really matter.

Find your interior designer

How to find a suitable interior designer

Let us know about your ideas and design preferences
You will be given reference of the designer’s profile and portfolio
After the visit, the designer will provide an overall planning, design reference and quotation
The client will sign the contract (previously reviewed by Codeco) directly with the design company
The designer will determine the design plan and provide 3D renderings, mood boards and construction drawings, etc.
The design company will be responsible for the project and its management Codeco provides project and material support

Learn more about interior design

The service of an interior designer comprises the following:
  1. 1. Understanding the client’s needs
  2. 2. Making floor plans, providing reference images and quotation
  3. 3. Signing contract and confirming measurements
  4. 4. Conceptual design
  5. 5. Detailed design
  6. 6. Project commencement and follow-up

Once the client selects their preferred designer via Codeco, both parties will meet for the first time. During the appointment, the designer gathers the client’s requirements, preferred style and budget for the project.


What’s more, interior designers have to understand the daily habits of the client, their household size and age to think of a design plan which meets the client’s needs. For instance, a household which doesn’t cook may not need a big kitchen space, whereas a welcoming homeowner may look into greater flexibility in the living room setting.


Once the client’s requirements are clarified, the designer will make a quotation based on the floor plan of the flat and provide design cases and reference images according to the client’s preference, offering a basic concept of how the design works.


Some designers will provide mood boards as requested before the contract is signed, but most designers will not provide a design rendering before the contract is signed.

Most design works start after the contract is signed, which will be followed by two major stages “conceptual design” and “detailed design”.


The purpose of the conceptual design is to determine the overall design expectation, and the designer will offer two to three design options for the client to choose from, each generally includes the layout, mood board and 3D renderings. Conceptual design generally takes around three to four weeks.


On top of the design opted by the client, the designer will spend another three to four weeks detailing the design. At this stage, the client will receive the physical mood board, furniture drawings and elevation to understand the actual texture, dimensions and structure of the material.

Layout/Floor plan

The floor plan shows the layout of the whole flat from a bird’s eye view, helping the client understand space planning, furniture arrangement and space flow.


Rendering/3D drawing

The rendering presents the actual visual effects after the renovation, allowing the client to experience the design style, tone and space flow.


Mood board

The mood board pieces together all design elements of the flat on a board to check if the different colours and textures would go well with one another. In addition to the visualised mood board, the physical mood board will also be available in the latter stage of the project for the client to feel the textures in person.


Furniture drawings

Furniture design is part of the detailed design which displays the furniture exterior, dimensions, components, cabinet doors and fronts.


Apart from the design plan commonly known by clients, other drawings involved in the construction phase includes the elevation, water diagram, electricity drawing, ceiling diagram and the detailed layout/construction drawings.

To hire an interior designer for renovation work, you’ll need to start searching two months before the expected commencement date to allow the designer enough time to brainstorm on your project.

The range of costs of engaging a professional designer can vary greatly and are highly dependent on factors such as the designer’s qualifications, saleable area of the flat, materials used, complexity in design and time allowed.


Generally speaking for renovation works of similar-sized flats, the costs of engaging an interior designer will be at least 20 to 30% higher than directly engaging a renovation specialist. Veteran or renowned designers may even charge much higher rates.


Some renovation styles will also cost more. The contemporary style will involve costly materials such as a stone wall and high cabinets, which will in turn cost more than the Nordic style principally built in wood. Besides, bespoke furniture is likely to cost considerably more than ready-made furniture.

Benefits of engaging a designer

  • Professional aesthetic touch
  • Better spatial planning skills
  • Capability for project supervision, merchandising and follow-up to save you time
  • Ability to procure unique materials
  • Professional advice on ready-made furniture and home decoration

Benefits of engaging a renovation specialist

  • Lower costs
  • Shorter time needed to engage one; you can comfortably allow two weeks for the search
  • As long as the design isn’t too complicated, the same quality renovation can be achieved with reference to applicable pictures

Renovation style test

In fact, it’s common to add elements from other styles to the home decoration, enhancing the sensation.
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