FAQ's OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS
1. What is the difference between a Decorator and an Interior Designer?
An Interior Designer holds a professional degree from an accredited institution, and according to industry regulations, he or she cannot include the CID (Certified Interior Designer) designation after their name unless they pass two comprehensive exams. Interior Designers must show they have an understanding of the state’s requirements for residential and commercial building codes, the safety regulations on fabrics and other materials, and design standards for the elderly and other special needs groups. They must demonstrate their ability to produce technical drawings such as lighting/electrical and mechanical plans and prepare space plans as well as other skills.
Both Decorators and Interior Designers deal in all of the aesthetic aspects of design; however, Decorators deal only with appearance. Interior Designers are trained in all aspects of their client’s health, safety and welfare when it comes to a design project.
2. What are the advantages of hiring an Interior Designer?
Interior Designers are trained to think of the big picture when it comes to your project. Whether you are only interested in a single piece of furniture or desire an entire new room scheme, Interior Designers are trained to think in terms of how the design for that space will connect to the rest of the home. Questions a Designer will consider include: How will the space be used? What is your preferred style and color scheme? Will pets/kids/elderly persons be using the space? What fabrics and materials are most appropriate for the space? How will the pieces wear?
An accredited Interior Designer saves their clients time, energy and money. He or she will know how to do the project correctly the first time, where the best resources are, and who the best people are to make/install/deliver items for your project. In short, a good Interior Designer makes your money go as far as possible as expeditiously as possible!
3. We are thinking of updating our home. When should we call a Designer?
Call as soon as you decide to begin a project! Don't wait for a contractor to begin knocking down the walls or hiring a painter. A remodel in particular proceeds well when there is a collaborative team effort on the part of a contractor/architect, Designer and Client. Designers can help steer Clients to choices that will help them avoid unnecessary expenses by making sure all needs are addressed at the proper time. The sooner you hire an Interior Designer, the sooner the crucial decisions can be made. And the happier you will be with the final results!
4. What is the process for having a project professionally designed?
Visit our detailed page on How We Design!
5. What will an Interior Designer expect of me?
We encourage our Clients to be as involved in the project as they want to be. We will ask our Clients to show us any magazine photos, Houzz photos, a Pinterest board, favorite furniture pieces, color swatches, or even a favorite piece of clothing that will help to show what makes them happy. Some of our Clients work full-time in demanding jobs that give them little time for the shopping and research phases of a design project. This is where a Designer can save Clients' time, energy and dollars by honing in on exactly what their Clients' need and want. A presentation of all requested items can be done at Clients' convenience.
6. What is your fee?
Depending on the project, we charge by the hour, by the consultation, or by the project. We consider the size of the project, duration and complexity in determining the number of hours involved to complete the design. A project fee is tailored specifically to the project.
7. Do you charge for the first meeting?
The first meeting is free of charge and lasts from 30 to 45 minutes. We meet with you to see the spaces to be designed, and to discuss the parameters of the project, how we would be charging for our services, and other items that will determine our compatibility with you, our prospective clients. Design is a very personal endeavor and since we will be working closely together we want to be certain that it will be the best arrangement for all involved.
8. Do you have other professionals whom you will bring on board to complete our project? Do you have your own contractor?
Over years of experience in Interior Design, we have assembled a roster of highly-skilled professionals and artisans capable of executing professional designs. We recommend these people to you as appropriate, along with contractors who are a good match for the project. You, as the Client, will hire these contractors, but we will be on hand to meet with them and discuss the project with them in detail.
9. Will you be working with us through project completion?
As your Designer and at your request, we will be available throughout your project for meetings, consultations, trouble-shooting, installations and the final walk-through.
10. Do you work with one particular style or color scheme, or can you design in any style?
Designers are trained to work in all styles, and I have experience in designing projects of every style. However, my job is to assist you, as my Client, to develop your own signature style that expresses who you are and how you want to live in your home.
11. Do you work with any size budget? Can I hire you for just a small project or a consultation only?
Yes, Designers are trained to work at every price point. Whether it is a consultationn to help you get started on your project, an hourly arrangement or a project fee, I take my responsibility very seriously when it comes to Clients' budgets.
13. What does "To The Trade" mean?
This is a term that refers to sellers who sell their merchandise only at wholesale to qualified individuals in the Design trade. Professional Interior Designers hold a special resale license that allows them to purchase items at less-than retail. However, we are required to re-sell any merchandise purchased at wholesale and to charge applicable sales tax.
14. We already have a contractor/architect and project drawings. Do we still need a Designer?
Architects are focused on structural aspects of the design and the exterior aesthetics. Designers are concerned with all elements attached to the walls, floors, ceilings and windows. Most architects do not prefer to detail the interiors, such as cabinetry, furnishings, color schemes, wall and window treatments, and the like. Designers can create a complete design plan for the home that includes all these elements. Such plans can be implemented in stages as the budget allows. Designers and architects work well together to implement all aspects of the building and its interiors.
15. How far will you travel?
We have furnished homes in the California desert, our local mountains, and in Florida and Minnesota. Basically, we travel to wherever our clients need us!
Have additional questions? Feel free to send us a message through the Contact page or an e-mail to: