There is a falsehood (or should I say many falsehoods) among the general population as to what an interior designer actually does....Read on to discover some typical falsehoods that I want to debunk.
Some think interior design is all about playing with fabrics and furnishings, making everything pretty and perfect. And some think that design is only what they see on popular television shows and is unattainable for themselves. Sadly, television only shows a small part of the profession; there are many other responsibilities that happen behind the scenes, so I am going to attempt to raise the curtains (perhaps floral or damask curtains?) and show you the many facets of what interior designers do and the common misconceptions that I encounter.
Interior designers do the same thing as architects
A very common mistake is to think that interior designers and architects do the same job. The reality is that these professions can involve many different things which are more often than not, very far apart. Generally speaking, interior design has more to do with the art of the building, while architecture is more concerned with the science behind it. Architects design the space itself and interior designers select finishes and help with all other aspects including colour selection, furnishing and decor. On larger projects, an interior designer can be the architects best friend! The two can work well side by side to achieve fabulous outcomes!
Interior Design is all about Decor
Interior design involves much more than just a good knowledge of décor. The practice of interior design requires designers to consider pretty much everything to do with the building of a space that will affect human habitation, including materials, finishes, electrical requirements, plumbing, lighting, ventilation, ergonomics, and intelligent use of space. Interior designers with considerable experience and qualifications will usually be present at, and have an important say during all stages of the construction process, from the initial plans right through to the finishing touches.
Hiring an Interior Designer is very costly.
Depending on the scale of the project, the budget and the time frame you have in mind for finishing it, the price of hiring a professional interior designer can vary dramatically. In most cases, interior designers charge very reasonable fees and the value you get for your money will be worth paying for. If you’re not sure how much your interior design project would cost, you can simply enquire and decide if you are ready to pay for it.
Most people are surprised and often the designer will actually save the client money by avoiding costly mistakes or by advising their client 'money well spent' and 'not value for money' ideas for the project.The designers experience is what the client is capitalising on.
Interior designers only work with very expensive materials.
As every other professional, interior designers can work with both expensive and cheap materials and products. More importantly, they will work within the limits of the budget and requirements you give them as their client. You have to remember that the price of materials is not always crucial to getting the end result you desire. If you’re working with an experienced interior designer, they should be able to recommend you the best quality products at the most reasonable price there is. Again this ability is the result of the designers vast experience.
You don't need to have an education to become an interior designer
There are many people out there that claim that they are interior designers, without having any formal education. Unqualified designers or 'decorators' (as they are often referred to) typically have a short lived career due to a limited scope of projects that they are equipped to work on. However, if they brand themselves as 'stylists' - this can open up many other opportunities. Interior design is a very challenging and exciting profession that includes a variety of tasks and requires a great deal of skills and knowledge not to mention business management which is another story altogether!
The only way you can ensure that you have all the skills you need when you are a professional interior designer, even at an intern level, will be to obtain a formal qualification from a recognised organisation. A career in interior design can be difficult to get started and an accredited course in the subject will give you a head start by providing you the knowledge, skills, and qualifications you need to succeed. It is undoubtedly a competitive field and not for the faint hearted.
Interior Designers make all the decisions for you.
Don’t expect that all decisions on an interior design project would be made by the designer you have hired. He or she will have a lot of recommendations on the way ideas can be implemented, but the final decisions will lie with you. Designers are there to offer options and ideas. A good designer will work closely with you and adhere to your own tastes and preferences to get the best result for your space.