As the owner of an Interior Design company, we get calls from prospect clients telling us they tried to use "Free" Design Services from one of the high end furniture stores in our area. They go on to say "the designer wouldn't come to my house" or "they wouldn't help me with my fireplace renovation", etc. etc.
Furniture stores are setup to “sell” furniture. Interior design (other than furniture or the décor items they SELL on the showroom floor) are completely secondary to their main focus. Which is to sell you furnishings. They aren't really concerned if the sofa you chose completely clashes with your wood floor.
When using an interior design company or firm, the initial focus will be on the architecture of the space and interior building materials & products. The Interior Designer will review the “bones”of the space. Is all working well with your lifestyle? Does it function well for you? Do you have enough storage? How are the flooring, ceiling, walls - do they work together well? Our goal is to achieve a balance in the space....... style, interior finishes and products. We just aren't focused on selling you a sofa - we want to create "a design" that reflects your lifestyle and personality.
We have subcontractors, tradespeople and craftsmen we work with on a daily basis to build and renovate spaces. We think about all things……lumen levels and kelvin temperature of our lighting (in chandeliers, wall sconces and architectural recessed lighting). We think about color and finish but also durability and maintenance for all of the items and products we specify, recommend and procure.
After the actual space itself is designed with detailing and finishes then we move into the “furniture and furnishings phase”. We then build upon the initial design concept and add furniture, window treatments, lighting, décor, etc. that reinforce the design and provide a consistency and cohesiveness that flows throughout the entire home, restaurant, club room or whatever we are designing.
When you walk into a furniture store and expect a salesperson or designer there to design your entire space, you will be receiving services mainly focused on selling the furniture lines their store carries. The architecture and building elements of your home will be secondary. And it is not their business to hire tradespeople to modify or renovate your home.
So if you truly want design that is "cohesive" it is best to hire an company that performs full service design which means it encompasses all facets of the design of your home or building (not with a main focus on selling furniture items).