Interior design is a profession that is often misunderstood. I get asked all the time what I do and if I would like to help choose paint colors. Although, I could and enjoy helping people do just that, I want to clear the air a little bit because I think it is important for people to know how we can help with your next project!
According to Bing interior design is “the art or process of designing the interior decoration of a room or building.” So… I’m basically writing this for Bing as well because that definition is borderline offensive (ha).
According to the National Council for Interior Design Qualification interior design is as follows:
“Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive. Designs are created in response to and coordinated with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability. The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.”
So what do I do?
I plan. People see a house being built or a renovation happening but sometimes don’t realize how much planning went into the project – sometimes months and months of planning were involved. When I am working on a renovation, I meet with my client and we discuss his/her goals. I often measure the entire space so I can figure out how we could re-work the floor plan in order for a space to function better. Interior designers actually care about function long before they ever start thinking about the aesthetics of their projects. Because the “pretty” is all that people see in the end, this is often misunderstood. Being a problem solver, space planning is what lead me to become a designer. Some renovations include an addition. If so, I sketch up how the addition will tie in with the existing roof line so the buyer can have a visual. I work closely with the contractor to ensure that everything flows smoothly.
I assist. I am the client’s advocate in the project’s duration. This means I am often times the liaison between my client and the contractor, I make sure certain things are ordered and prepared for so the project is not held up, and I stop by the site seeing that everything is going up as was planned. Having an interior designer involved in your project helps to reduce the headache involved with home renovations.
I research. The client tells me what is wanted and needed. I have to come up with a solution. I read articles, I look at photos, I make phone calls, etc. until I find what I am looking for. Research never ends because every project comes with something new!
I have a buyer currently who wants her entire main living area vaulted. It is my job to know that with her 3 little boys, this space could get super loud. She also wants a wood look ceiling. What is the best solution? Sounds odd, but our solution is acoustical ceiling tile. Armstrong (https://www.armstrongceilings.com/) makes seamless ceiling tiles that look like wood, ship lap, wainscoting, etc. for residential and commercial applications. I remember their representative visiting us in design school and started digging to see if they had something we could use. It also helps with insulation which is another thing to consider with a vaulted ceiling. I am not going to get into all of the electrical I’ve been researching for this house. Working with a designer helps you avoid being unhappy with your final result.
I specify. Interior designers help their clients choose the best finishes and fixtures for their projects. Here is where the part you actually see comes into play, but it is always more than just a look for us. It is about what is going to last, what product suits this client best, how will what they need also satisfy what they want? This is another fun part for me because at the end of the day, I do also love aesthetics. I want to help you choose a beautiful countertop, but I also want to help you decide whether you would be better off with granite or quartz. I want to help you learn about new finishes that may work better for you than what you are used to while also giving you a space that you can be proud to show off. I want to help you achieve a Houzz worthy kitchen.
I feel as though I am learning every day because this truly is an ever- changing world, but I love it! I truly enjoy helping people achieve creating their dream spaces. I also think it is pretty cool that all of the planning pays off when you finally get to see everything come together. It is okay for people to only see the final result. I just hope that more people can catch on to what designers can do so I can continue to do what I love.
I am working on 3 great projects right now outside of my interior design job at Pratt Homebuilders. I am beyond excited to share some of these with everyone who follows my blog so stay tuned and thank you so much for reading!!