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An interior designer is a specialist in improving and making the most of available interior space and adding to its aesthetic appeal in accordance with the aims and style of the residents or occupants. These are the artistic specialists who have an eye for detail which bring together the furnishings, lighting, colour and textures into a uniform space which is immediately appealing and functional. Interior designers work in the private, corporate, hospitality, health and commercial sectors of industry.
An interior designer is often called in when brand new homes are being furnished from scratch or the interior is being renovated and the homeowner has no idea where to start the process. Many people are at a total loss as to how to combine colours and textures, which style of furniture to choose and how to arrange the furniture to allow for best flow of movement in their living space. An interior designer will assess the area, discuss the needs and colours which appeal to the client as well as the intended use of the space, and then take over the responsibilities of turning the room into an area which not only works, but provides the visual appeal that the client is looking for. A professional interior designer will produce drawings or 3D computer visuals of the proposed design, together with samples of the soft furnishings to be used in the design. Many interior designers use a “mood board” which incorporates all the different aspects of the design, including drawings and pictures of proposed furnishings, and various colour options and combinations. The interior designer will source the materials and furniture to be used in the design, with the approval of the client. In order to meet specific requirements and to make best use of awkward spaces, the interior designer may commission other specialists such as carpenters and electricians to produce unique pieces of furniture and light fittings according to their specifications. For more radical updates, the designer may choose to change the size, type and position of windows and doors to accommodate the overall design, but this is not always the case as they may be able to work with the existing features in the new design.
An interior designer works across all industries, specializing in both private office and reception areas as well as public areas.
They often work with architects in new developments, assisting in selecting the colours and textures to be used in the interior areas, and incorporating unique features into the interior structural design. They are directly responsible for the furnishings in the development’s show home, aimed at converting the viewing public into buyers by providing a brilliant, streamlined vision of the finished space rather than just blank, empty rooms which do nothing to inspire potential buyers. The work of interior designers may be seen in hotels, conference centres, hospitals and mediclinics, restaurants, business offices and retail centres. They are the specialists responsible for carrying the uniformity of a franchise brand across different geographical areas and structural layouts whilst still preserving each unit’s individuality. Interior designers may commission other skilled specialists such as carpenters, electricians, cabinet makers, glaziers, tiling experts or upholsterers to produce bespoke furniture or fittings in accordance with their design.
Interior designers are not always that easy to find, unfortunately. They may be found by searching in home improvement catalogues and magazines, at home expos, through architect firms (for industry interior designers) and via the Yellow Pages. More and more frequently, they are making their presence known through the internet by advertising online or hosting their own web pages. Sites such as Uptasker are brilliant at finding these somewhat elusive specialists, supplying contact details and links to their websites, as well as providing their online ratings and customer reviews. Interior designers can be found through word of mouth referrals, but this is not always possible, unless you work in an industry which makes use of their services on a regular basis. For the private homeowner, finding the right interior designer who can perfectly interpret your vision may take some time, but it will be well worth the search when the final design is unveiled.
Look at their portfolios to see if their design style agrees with your own ideas, and at the same time check their versatility and range of clients. Professional and well experienced interior designers will have catalogues from other service industries which they work with regularly, and will be able to give you a wide choice of design options and soft furnishings, even if you choose to leave the final decision in their very capable hands.
Interior designers are visual artists who turn ideas into beautiful and functional spaces. They take the worry off their client’s shoulders by acting as project managers during the implementation of the agreed design. They control the agreed budget and ensure that time constraints are adhered to, as well as dealing directly with any other specialists working on the project and overseeing the quality of all work done and materials supplied. If, for any reason, you cannot tackle interior design on your own, call an interior designer to help and bring your room to life. For more tips, see our interior designer articles.