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Ever wonder what the benefits of hiring interior designer professionals are? Hiring an interior designer benefits you if you are looking for a better functioning home, project management and a way to save yourself time and money. They aren't just for the wealthy either. People from all walks of life can benefit from the advantages an interior designer has to offer - without breaking the bank. Get the facts by reading some FAQ on the process.

Why hire a designer?

Interior Designers have completed extensive training for their degrees which emphasize the elements and principles of design. Taking into account these things that most people don’t think about – color, shape, texture, light, space, form, unity, and movement is what sets the look of a professionally designed space from the rest . Problem solving skills, project management and strategy are strengths designers have that streamline any home project. Their expertise will save you time and money. Most of all, it will prevent costly mistakes.

What is the difference between a designer and a decorator?

"Interior design is the art and science of understanding people's behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design." -National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) website
A good analogy would be to compare an auto mechanic and an auto paint specialist. While both professions have to do with cars, take much skill and practice that is where the similarities stop. Mechanics study everything about a car, inside and out. They are usually licensed, have to take some type of formal schooling or certification program, insured and have continuing education to stay up to date with their field. They study how to identify different issues, and how to fix them as well. While someone who focuses on how to paint the car is specializes only in that sector of the field. They may be insured, have years of experience and really know their field inside and out. They may have a specialized certification under their belt and may know more specialized information about faux paint finishes than a mechanic. Though the titles are used interchangeably, the role of a designer and a decorator are very different.

Job Function:
Designers dive deep into the needs of their clients so they can create a space that functions well rather than make it just look pretty. They also are trained to make make structural changes. They work with furniture, accessories and many other things decorators work with. Main focus: function AND aesthetics.
Decorators focus on the aesthetics of environments, and are not formally trained to make structural changes. Though interior designers They may have more in-depth knowledge about faux painting and window blinds than interior designers. Main focus: aesthetics.

Designer's Education:The main difference is education and affiliations. Minimum four year degree which can be either a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree (usually a design school with a curriculum based in fine arts and design) or a Bachelor of Science (public university, a curriculum usually based more on liberal arts and design). Both can be accredited by CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation). CIDA evaluates and certifies Interior Design programs throughout the country and holds them to a high, professional standard. Many belong to associations like ASID (American of interior Designers or IIDA (International Interior Design Association). They are accepted based on their accredited design education. There are different tiers of ASID, with the most common being "Allied ASID". The highest tier of Interior Designers are certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), and have he appellation of "ASID" after their name. This is a multi-step exam encompassing the different facets of the field including design principles, technical knowledge and building codes. Membersof both ASID and IIDA are required to maintain continuing education requirements and a strict code of conduct. Want to know more about ASID?

Decorator's Education:Up to a two year degree with a curriculum focusing on the principles of color, fabrics, and furniture. CID, Certified Interior Decorators is a professional association dedicated to interior decorators adhering to a standard of professionalism and continuous training. You do not need a degree to be an interior decorator. Much like a CIDA accredited college program, CID requires decorator educational courses to adhere to a strict standard of excellence for decorating.
All of that sounds great, but isn’t hiring an interior designer expensive?

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not as expensive as you may think to hire an interior designer. In fact, it’s more expensive NOT to hire one, especially if you are working on a large project. Take into account all of the time and effort it takes to travel around town, compare prices, measure furniture, choose coordinating colors, select tile, choose countertops, lighting…the list goes on. Having a professional coordinating all of those elements will prevent costly mistakes that are often made during home projects.