#9 Do You Really Need A Designer?
When some people think about re-doing their interior, its often about colors, fabrics, window, wall + floor coverings. It might also include reupholstery on chairs or a new sofa. So who do you turn to avoid a costly mistake with one choice of color or wrong fabric selection? Its easy. Retail furnishing showrooms, specialty decorating shops and even those in the window fashion or flooring business can be one place to start. These types of businesses will often have design-oriented sales staff or interior decorators that can coordinate selections.
But what if there is more involved beyond furniture, fabrics or finishes? Perhaps its a remodeling project that involves the exact location of the building’s mechanical components to ensure adequate electrical lighting next to that new sofa. Maybe there is a desire to create a “spa” type shower, one that incorporates a steam unit, full height glass doors, ventilation, a heated, slip resistant floor and a curbless entry for a barrier-free environment. When planning a suite of professional offices, design considerations might include employee productivity, energy conservation, adherence to local building codes for egress and of course, the bottom line. Then the services and skills sets of an interior designer may be required.
Interior designers are those who by their experience, education and examination are qualified to understand and develop solutions that not only encompass a building’s structure, mechanical components and how such elements influence its intended use but then extend to the “decor” of the space. In certain states such as Florida, New Jersey and Alabama, their boards of professions view interior design as profession affecting the health, safety and welfare of the public and therefore regulate by licensing those individuals who meet state-mandated standards…. standards which are similar in nature to other professions like architecture and home construction are governed.
Interior designers develop solutions in terms of relationships when designing a project. In other words, how the building structure may affect interior accessibility. It might be the specification of appropriate non-toxic materials for the interior finishes in the event the owner or end-user has respiratory or other related health issues. And those relationships not only extend to the spatial use of the environment but also to lighting + electrical, heating, ventilation + air conditioning.
When it comes time to turn to the decor and aesthetics of an interior, designers will use their skills in the selection of colors, fabrics, and furnishings but also look at the built environment in its three dimensions to ensure the scale of furnishings, fixtures and equipment are appropriate to the architecture.
The choice of interior decorator or interior designer should be easy based on the criteria of the project but as important to the project success, find someone who will take the time to fully understand the job objectives, has the skills ( and license ) to develop great solutions and implement a comprehensive plan that will provide the best return on your investment of time and money. Their skills will be time and money well spent to get the most out of the work.
Michael is an award winning interior designer based in Palm Desert, CA. He is a Professional Member of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the ASID College of Fellows.
As a Certified Aging In Place Specialist, he creates smart looking spaces that are safe and secure and create homes for a lifetime.
And with thirty plus years in the profession, he has honed his humor, elevated his passion for design and sharpened his wit to not take anything too seriously except his design work.