Anyone who is attempting to renovate or decorate a home and is finding the task a bit overwhelming should consider seeking help from a professional interior designer or decorator.
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Many people use these terms interchangeably but they are in actuality quite different. Interior decorators are unaccredited and can be anyone from a consultant who works out of a store. They simply have a flair for color, design and helps out friends, family with their decorating needs.
Registered interior designers, on the other hand, are professionals who have studied design and graduated from an accredited program. They worked in the field for at least three years, are registered with a provincial, state, or national design association.
A designer is someone you might want to hire if a large overhaul of the space is needed. Designers have experience with building construction, space planning, and dealing with the trade. They can help design a space from the renovation planning stages through to the end of the project. However, if you’re looking for help with decorating ideas such as colors, fabrics, and furniture arranging, hiring an interior decorator might be the way to go.
After buying the home, have a look at interior design and home décor magazines and look for appealing styles. Become familiar with the popular designers whose styles you like. Even if you can’t hire those particular designers you can inquire about others whose styles are similar.
Once you have an idea of what you want, ask family, friends, and co-workers for recommendations. If this doesn’t lead anywhere ask for advice from people who work in home décor and furniture stores. Since interior designers often frequent these stores there’s a good chance that the staff will be able to offer some names. Once you’ve got a few leads you can check to see if they have an online portfolio.
Another way to find an interior designer is to visit some industry websites such as the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) or the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Each one has links to local designers by province or state.
Fee structures vary quite a bit within the design community. Some designers charge a flat rate and some charge by the hour. There are also some designers who receive discounts at furniture stores and will pass the savings on to clients, while others work this into their fee (charging less). Be sure to ask potential candidates the details of their fee structure so you know exactly what you’ll be charged.
In order to get the look you want it’s important to be able to communicate your vision to the designer or decorator. Remember, a designer is hired to make your vision a reality, not to take over the project. But they can’t accomplish that unless you’re clear about what you want and open to their suggestions and expertise. Collect pictures from magazines, take photos in stores of pieces you like, and have an idea about how the room(s) will be used. Then the designer can piece together your wants and needs and come up with ideas and plans. Remember, designing a room or home is a collaborative project between client and designer and each party needs to respect the other.
Hiring an interior decorator or designer is a great idea if you need a little help bringing your vision to life, or if you just want someone else to deal with all of the little headaches. Designers and decorators will take care of all the hard work and daily nuisances while you sit back and watch your dream home become a reality.