Understanding which Professional Designer you need.
At times I find it difficult to convey to clients the value of using a designer if they have never experience working with one before. When a potential client is searching for a designer they generally find one mainly through referrals from friends, relatives or neighbours. This is not a bad thing but it should NOT be the only Factor. Do your homework.
Do they have the experience?
What about their credentials?
Would they be creative enough to deliver what I’m looking for?
Can they interpret my wants & needs?
Look at their portfolio (you may not find exactly you are looking for but you will get a feel for their design ability) ask how they arrived at that design.
You should also be asking:
How is our chemistry?
Are they listening & understanding?
What is their design process?
And anything else you find important to know for yourself.
Understanding the basics of what each professional does
Residential Architects: have a formal educational degree & must intern before final professional designation is granted. They basically have knowledge of how a structure gets assembled, materials used & deliver plans & specifications according to the zoning & building codes & can guide you through the governmental processes. Service also include preparation of tendering documents; project management & or supervision.
Engineers: have formal educational degree. There are many types of specific engineering categories such structural as the main one used in residential. They are professionally responsible for & guarantee the structure being sound & stable.
Residential Interior Designers: have a formal educational degree and generally are not required to have to intern. Most US States and some Canadian provinces require a Designation of NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) before being allowed to be called, “Interior Designer.” As a qualified Interior Designer they are trained in the health, safety and welfare of their clients. They are knowledgeable about & qualified, to select & design everything that is attached to the inside of a structure. For Example: Space planning, function, flooring, walls, lighting, millwork, electrical, plumbing, etc. This is set up as the backdrop or the “Bones”of the room.
Qualifications also include the function & aesthetics of decoration.
Residential Interior Decorators: generally do not have formal education or training. This category deals with the aesthetics only i.e. the colours, furnishings & accessories.
Stagers: assemble rented furnishings from various sources & are generally used in Real Estate to enhance the spaces being sold. In the majority are not formally trained.