Interior designers deal with form and function, space and aesthetics that coordinate with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. In addition to performing all the services of a decorator, they are professionally trained to create pleasing environments through interior space manipulation and planning.
Designs must therefore adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability. It is their responsibility to apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive and beneficial to the occupants’ quality of life and culture.
An interior designer should have the following expertise:
- Allocate, organize, and arrange a given space to suit its function
- Identify, research, and creatively resolve design issues
- Design and specify the type of lighting (such as cove lighting, down lights, etc.) and/or the design of light fixtures
- Monitor and manage construction and installation of the design
- Select and specify plumbing fixtures, furnishings, products, materials, hardware, and colours
- Design and supervise fabrication of custom furnishings
- Develop documents and specifications relative to interior spaces (manuals and schedules delineating the plumbing, finish, hardware, paint, lighting schedules)
- Help establish project goals and objectives
Like the interior designer, architects mold and manipulate space to create aesthetically pleasing and well functioning
homes or offices for the client.
Architects are knowledgeable about the mechanics of finishes and materials; “structures,” or the how and why things work the way they do; and the surrounding environment’s relationship to their creation. The major differences between an interior designer and an architect are the architect’s education, training, and experience and their ability to create new structures from the ground up. They are typically not trained in, and customarily not interested in, the finishing of a space, that is, its decoration.
I say typically because until the latter part of the 20th century, most architects focused on buildings and houses. More recently, however, they have extended their domain to include interior renovations.
The residential architect can be masterful in creating a satisfactory built environment, inside and out. But this is more the domain of the “design architect,” one whose interests veer towards combining great design with great structure. They are interested in the implementation of a master plan and the outfitting of its interiors.
The best projects combine the skills and abilities of the architect, the interior designer, and the decorator. It is rare, however, to find a firm or individual who can successfully bring all three skill sets into play. It’s always to the clients advantage when these design professionals team up, creating comprehensive design networks to better serve the end product and their clients.
Contractors implement the design drawings, taking direction from the aesthetic directives of the decorator, designer, or architect. Contractors do not design; there expertise is in building. A well versed contractor will be an expert in the implementation of a design, not in its creation.
The homeowner that chooses a contractor in place of an interior designer or architect cuts out the most vital step of the design process: the vision, the creation, the style, the good taste.
In addition, when a contractor performs an architect’s job, he removes checks and balances that are vital to the consumer. There is no one to oversee the contractor’s precision or attention to detail. A good contractor is vital to the success of the project, but he is there as the facilitator of the design, not as the creator of it.
Interior designers work in a wide range of environments, including restaurants, hotels, stores, offices, airports, hospitals and homes. Surveys indicate that a majority of interior designers practice in several areas, although they tend to favor one or two. Many interior designers work primarily as residential designers.
Interior designers also work as sales and marketing professionals in related industries. For example, an interior designer might be the sales and marketing representative for a major carpet manufacturer, providing product information to interior designers and architects. Listed below are some of the disciplines.
Residential Interior Designer
Are also called “Home Interior Designer” as they design various rooms inside and around peoples’ homes. Designers of this type enjoy the ability to liberate their imagination as their clients grant them the freedom to do so.
A commercial designer uses the technological skills to design the interior of banks, hospitals, restaurants,
offices, hotels, shopping malls, exhibitions, window displays etc. They choose the aspects of design related to space usage, style and aesthetics. There is a great amount of room allowed for creativity but this career is very technology based. Commercial designers can work for companies, work under contract or do freelance designing.
Functions and advantages
Every cent in a building project is precious, hence as a client you want to make sure you get the most value for your money. And so you start to ask yourself the big question, is my money best spent hiring a designer to do the work for me, or should I save that money as I have a pretty good idea of what I want? An interior designer is your guide through the many opportunities available to you in the worlds of furniture, appliances, fabrics, wall coverings, kitchens and baths, lighting, flooring…the list goes on and on. It is a maze of manufacturers, artists, craftspeople, retailers, and many others who, when creatively brought together, can make the world of difference in what your home can turn out to be.
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