Everyone is on a budget these days so we have to think of ways to make our home remodeling and decorating projects come to life. Consider hiring a student who is studying architecture, interior design, landscape design or majoring in art.
These students can often help:
1) Draw sketches,
2) Create a interior floor plan,
3) Create a landscape design,
4) Choose plants and furniture, and
5) Help you to select and coordinate your color plan.
Their expertise could prove invaluable and you'll make fewer mistakes then if you do it alone.
Some of the most creative and affordable people who can help you with your home remodeling and decorating projects are under the age of 21.
We found this out years ago when we need a landscape plan for our first home. We could not afford a landscape architect so a friend suggested that we call some local universities in the Washington DC area. We did just that and were referred to Cynthia who was working on a degree in landscape architecture and design. I can't remember if she was from the landscape architecture programs at the George Washington University or the University of Maryland.
Cynthia visited and surveyed our property, spent an hour talking with us and prepared a detailed landscape design. We remember paying several hundred dollars and were very pleased. The plan included both hardscape features and garden plants that would go well with the climate in the Washington DC area.
On another occasion, I also asked a friend Ashley, who was studying interior design at Marymount University in Arlington VA to help with choosing paint colors for our master bathroom. After providing her samples of the tile, bordura and listella, she was able to provide three paint colors that could meet our needs. Of course she mentioned that the color theme of the master bathroom should be coordinated with the colors of the bed linens.
We actually chose a color that was very close to what she recommended. Had we not had Ashley's advice, we never would have considered such a strong color as shown in the photo. But ultimately. that's exactly what the space needed.
Benefits for Students and You
We all benefited from our interaction with the students. Cynthia earned some cash, but more important she got to work on a real job and gained experience working with real clients. No college course can teach a student that. She also was able to include our job on here resume and as part of here portfolio. The latter would help her to better compete in the job market with other landscape architects. We also told Cynthia that she could use us as a reference.
For a nominal cost, we had a plan drawn to scale and it included 3D renderings so we could visualize how the landscaped area and house would look. We also had a list of plants which included their common and scientific names along with required number and spacing. We could have asked Cynthia to also assist us with the actual selection of the plants at a local nursery, but chose not to.
As show above, the knowledge that Ashley provided made us aware that we had to consider the master bedroom linen color when selecting a color for the bathroom wall. This helped us chose the best color for the master bath and that coordinated well with the master bedroom.
While students or apprentices have good expertise, we're not suggesting that they are always appropriate. However, when you need help in selecting colors and things that require a sense of style that can't be taught, we think it's worth seeing what students can provide you.
No student or apprentice is a substitute for hiring a licensed Architect, Realtor, or for that matter a licensed and insured Electrician, Plumber, or HVAC specialist. Licensing and certification by the States ensures that you are protected so don't skimp when it comes to these folks when the work is extensive and complex.