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An Interior Designer's Expertise Might Encompass More Than You Would Expect

If you thought that interior design was about picking colours and fabrics, you may be surprised to learn that these finishing touches represent only a small fraction of a professional interior designer's services and expertise. While each project is different and the scope of services to be provided varies, an interior designer manages the interior design process including strategic planning, project planning, budgeting and schedules until completion of the project - ultimately, working with a professional interior designer will help save you time, money and frustration.

Interior design is a step-by-step process which usually begins with getting to know the client and their individual needs and goals. Drawing on extensive training and knowledge of design principles, they are skilled at integrating findings from these initial "discovery" interviews into preliminary design concepts that are functional, budget driven and aesthetically attractive. Upon approval, initial concepts will then be developed into a final design recommendation.

Working drawings and specifications for interior construction, space planning, materials, finishes, furnishings, fixtures and equipment are then drawn up by the interior designer, based on the final design concept.

In addition to laying out the design plan, a professional interior designer will often prepare contract documents and administer bids as the client's agent while collaborating with other practitioners who offer professional services in the technical areas of mechanical, electrical and structural design. They will ensure their design complies with government registration requirements under provincial building codes. Finally, the interior designer will review and construction during implementation and coordinate the completion of the project.

In addition to these standard services, on some projects an interior designer may:

• Act as Project Manager on behalf of the client to manage the project teams through all phases of the project.
• Develop and implement a branding and communications strategy in relation to the project.
• Undertake feasibility studies on potential facilities and coordinate with real estate professionals.

Most importantly, registered interior designers are required to meet the highest standards of qualification. Requirements include the completion of a recognized university or college-level interior design program, years of supervised work experience, NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) certification as well as participation in regular continuing education programs. IDC ensures that all members are highly trained through this rigorous process and equipped to help their clients realize design goals.

To find a registered interior designer in your area, start with designFIND.

Published on June 13, 2011

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