Monday, May 10, 2010

Setting the Record Straight

    One of my biggest pet peeves of having a degree in Interior Design is that most people do not know what an Interior Designer really is and what we do.  Somehow people think that Interior Designers (IDs) only pick out paint colors and flooring and that is true but it's not all we do! We don't just know how to decorate, or how to pick out paint colors, flooring and fabric.  We don't just put a piece of furniture in a specific spot because it physically fits there.  Recently IIDA (International Interior Design Association) took to the streets to interview people to get their perception of what they think of when they hear Interior Design.  Almost every single person that was interviewed described the role of a decorator! So I'm going to set the record straight!
   An Interior Designer is any person who has gone to school for a degree in Architecture or Interior Design and has taken the liscensing exam.  For an Architect once they take the liscensing exam, they are automatically considered an Interior Designer as well.  For an Interior Designer they have to take the NCIDQ exam to really be considered an Interior Designer.  Just like a nurse isn't a nurse until he or she has taken the liscensing exam.  But what does that really mean and what does an Interior Designer really do?  This means that an Interior Designer can design a space from the placement of interior walls all the way down to picking out paint colors.  We do all the the technical work of floor plans and checking specifications, making sure spaces are ADA compliant, determining how much gypsum board (sorry- dry wall) you need for a room.  Basically we do it all and yes we pick out paint colors, buts its so much more than saying "thats a pretty color," it is sometimes a matter of knowing a gloss vs. matte, low VOC vs. High, Flammable vs Non-flammable.
   Many people often have horror stories of ordering cabinets and designing it themselves and end up with cabinets that can't be opened or they don't calculate the correct amount of flooring needed for the space.  While designers are human and make mistakes it typically only happens once! Just remember we have gone to school for this, we've taken classes on Building Codes, the History of Architecture, Manual Drafting, Construction, Business Practices, Colors, Housing, etc.  We've done case studies, learned about Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, we've studied Renaissance Architecture vs Gothic Architecture, etc.


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