There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to the term “Interior Design/er”. I want to dedicate this blog to explaining what services Interior Designers can offer to their clients and when it is appropriate to hire an Interior Designer vs. an Interior Decorator.
Interior Designers are trained to design safe, functional and aesthetically pleasing solutions to interior spaces. They are able to see a design through the initial floor plan right through to the decorative accents. Designers not only design spaces, they analyze your requirements, budget and schedule. They can conceptualize the design and manage the implementation of the entire project. Interior Designers also ensure that the space complies with all relevant regulations and codes such as Ontario Building Codes and Fire Codes. This is especially important with commercial design as occupancy, egress and accessibility play a major role in the layout of the space.
Often designers will work hand in hand with Engineers to renovate an existing building or with Engineers and Architects to complete a new build.
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Interior Decorators focus on selection of colour, finishes/materials and furnishings. They can also help with furniture layouts and space plans. Decorators are able to come into a room and make it look great by helping the client decide on style, colour scheme, furniture and accessories.
Decorators are typically used in residential settings and are great at updating spaces.
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I usually explain to potential clients that Designers can do the same for you as an architect within the existing exterior walls of the building. If your project requires moving walls, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, windows and doors, an Interior Designer is the right choice for you. If you are doing an addition onto an existing building or a new building from the ground up, you will likely need to hire an architect. If you are looking to improve layout and update your style and décor either a designer or a decorator would be a good choice.
Interior Designers are here to protect the client and ensure that the renovation runs smoothly and the results are not only what they expected but exceeded! We can also educate our clients on how the design can function better by choosing the right layouts, finishes and furniture for the space.
Clients should also know that anyone can afford to hire a designer. Hiring an Interior Designer will save you time and money! We can help in choosing appropriate economical finishes. We have tricks that can make any space look great on any budget. A huge expense to any renovation is permits and construction drawings. Designers can do these drawings usually at a lower cost than WE an architect.
So, whether you are planning on completely renovating your home, or just updating your décor, an Interior Designer is the right choice for you. I hope that helps to clear things up a bit!