Though many confuse the two, an interior designer is not simply a ‘decorator’, even though decoration is a part of what an interior designer does. Decoration is a craft, whilst interior design is also a science.
What is an interior designer?
Interior designers do just what they say on the tin – they design interior spaces. They start with an existing space (a home, a flat, a single room or a huge hotel), and try to make that space better for the people who will use it. ‘Better’ in this context might mean more aesthetically pleasing, more productive, or any other set of goals the space’s owner might set for them.
What services do interior designers usually provide?
A typical interior designer can do everything from developing a concept for a space to researching, planning out, co-ordinating and actually managing the work to be done. The actual services offered by individual designers vary widely, though. One might focus on computer-based design previews whilst another might specialise in contracting and project management.
It is important to discuss the scope and scale of your project with a designer very early in the process, to ensure that they have all the skills they will need for it.
What should I look for when choosing an interior designer?
You will be working very closely with this person, perhaps for a long period of time. You need to think about your own needs, and find a designer whose capabilities fit those needs well.
For example, do you want to be involved in the creative design, or leave that to the designer entirely? Do you need a real project manager, or just some aesthetic and design advice? Do you want to see mock-ups or models before the work begins?
Discuss all these questions with any designer you are considering working with, and make sure your methods are entirely compatible.
So, now you know a little bit about what interior designers do and some of the ways they work. This isn’t everything you will need to know by a long shot, but most designers have experience getting to know new clients, and they should be able to help you understand them and their work perfectly – ideally before they start work!