I’ve decided to write this series because I have received countless emails, phone calls and in person conversations about this topic. The person talking to me is interested in becoming an interior designer, or decorator…but they aren’t sure what the requirements are and which one they want to be!
Last time I told you all about the differences between an interior designer vs an interior decorator. I wanted to explain the difference because I find many people don’t understand which one they need to help them with their design project! And to help those who are considering becoming an interior designer or decorator.
So if you want to hire a designer / decorator or want to become a designer / decorator! (or if you’re just curious!) This series is definitely for you!
At the end of my last post, I may have left a few of you wondering if I am an interior designer or a decorator! In summary, it was a trick question; I am actually both an interior designer and an interior decorator!
I have fulfilled all the requirements to be a Certified Interior Designer in most states and I am also a decorator. It’s a really fun job actually, to be able to do both!
This installment of Life as an Interior Designer will look a little more closely at what an interior designer actually does!
So what is an interior designer, and what do they do?
Well, it depends a little, but the basics are the same. There are commercial interior designers and residential interior designers. Simply put, some of us prefer working on commercial buildings and others prefer working on the homes of their clients.
The extent of projects that we can do varies by state and local laws as well as personal preference and experience. But, in a nutshell, we can do everything an architect can do except specify load baring walls (ie the walls that hold a building up.) Yup, Interior Designers rock like that!
We have more classes, instruction and training in space planning and ergonomics then architects and less classes in math and structural weight baring loads etc. So we exit school better equipped to space plan a space that is usable, function-able and pleasant to be in! (But don’t ask us how to hold the building up because that is not our area of expertise!)
Both architects and interior designers are required to know state and local building codes, laws and basic building standards and materials.
Interior designers can specify exterior design as well as interior design. We can also choose finishes, fixtures and equipment. And yes, we can even “fluff pillows” if we want to. However, we also need to know that stairs have specific height and width requirements they need to meet and how many exists you need to have in a particular type of room / building and which way the doors are required to open depending on the space.
There are a lot of building codes, spacial standards and building materials we know. But that is actually what first drew me to becoming an interior designer!
Yup, you read that right. Building codes and standards, specifically the fact that stairs are required to be certain heights and widths, drew me into the world of design! (I sound super nerdy huh!?) But it’s the truth!
However, there was one HUGE problem in my way!!