Interior Decoration And How To Become A Successful Designer

An interior decorator is a person whose task is to put into shape the loveliest place in your life – your house. The responsibility of these people is to design not only the most beautiful homes and apartments but also offices, cultural establishments (museums, theatres, cinemas), educational institutions (kindergartens, schools, colleges, institutes, universities), sports establishments (stadiums, sports palaces), nutritional establishments (canteens, cafes, restaurants), medical establishments (hospitals, health centres, preventoriums, polyclinics), public offices etc. Interior decorators make our surroundings look as beautiful as possible. At first they understand what you would like to have, then they imagine it, and only after that they create it.

The profession of an interior designer is not easy as it needs not only a creative hand and wonderful imagination, but also some education in this sphere. The matter is that the profession of a designer unites several separate professions – the profession of an artist, and that of a maker-up, a psychologist, and a manager, and even an expert in marketing. Depending on a stage of work it carries out functions of various professions.

A person willing to become a professional designer should pursue a diploma or cover a degree course in interior decoration. What is the most important in this kind of educations is that it gives correct orientations in imagination and plays an important role in developing person’s creative skills. The profession of an interior designer is mostly associated with females as it requires sensitive perception. Still nowadays, a lot of men are interested in it as well.

It should be mentioned that an interior decorator can have rather high wages. But one also needs to be a real professional in this sphere. If a person wants to become a successful Interior Decorator the following several tips will be of great help.

There are various ways to become a successful. Following are some of the useful steps that need to be followed to become one:

The first step is eye training:

Only a person with a good eye for design can become a nice designer. In other words, once a designer sees an object of his or her future creation, he or she should be able to instantly define what is made right, what’s wrong and what should be improved about the interior of that room. It’s a good advice that an interior decorator should train his eye constantly. But the question is how can he do it? First of all one should listen to other people’s opinions about what they like and what they don’t. Next, one should review famous magazines demonstrating the most popular design tendencies of contemporary life, regularly visit the most beautifully decorated rooms. Besides, one can get more experience in the field while attending art galleries, furniture showrooms, historic objects and houses lovely designed for sale.

The second step is self-education:

No doubt, a good Interior Decorator should have excellent knowledge involving house decorating like styles of decoration, wall coverings, kinds of floorings, window treatment, space planning, usage of colors, light, furniture, accessories etc. One can learn the basics of design via the Internet educating with the help of special websites. Today a lot of books in interior design are published. Besides, speaking to more experienced decorators will be also of great help.

The third step is more practice:

It is correctly said that in any field practice makes a man much more experienced and this statement concerns also interior decoration. One should never stop practicing because the wonderful work done in the past is able to give a lot of visibility and knowledge. Just like any other activity, the activity of an interior decorator requires constant learning and practicing. It will help to develop one’s talent and skills.

The fourth step is volunteering:

While a person is not a successful interior designer one should be encouraged to serve other people with one’s knowledge of the field. Although it won’t bring one much money or even no money at all, one should be sure that he gets something much more important – experience. Volunteering to work for others will help a person to become an excellent designer in future. Besides, one will have clients who already trust him or her and can advise that designer to other people.

The fifth step is to have a portfolio:

It is very important for any interior designer to have a portfolio. A portfolio is an example of a decorator’s work used to display artwork, using photographs etc. A nicely made portfolio will be your guarantee to conquer your client’s attention, so make sure that your portfolio is really great!

The sixth step is getting a job or business:

Job: In order to become a super interior decorator, it is actually very important to take up a job. Experience and practice in this sphere play a great role in the future activity of any interior designer. So, after one has completed the interior decoration course it would be wonderful to receive a job of an Interior Decorator as soon as possible.

Business: Many people work better independently. That’s why it will be better to start an own business for them. It will give an opportunity to expose one’s works independently, thus, all the credit will be directly received.

The seventh step is observing:

To become a really sensitive designer one should observe nature because it’s the nature that is the best example of a wonderful design. Trips to the mountains or to the forest will be of great help. Interweaving of branches, slopes of mountain cliffs and beautiful linings of caves can display an original example of a designer’s new project which can be made a reality later. One should be very attentive as even in the most plain place one can find a creative solution of design. A true designer should not be afraid of experiments and to use new material in his work never used before (wood, stones). It is very important to travel to the countries which are founders of arts, to pay attention to different kinds of cultures – the cultures of China, India, Egypt, Old Rome and to use these achievements in work.

Interior Design Vs Interior Decorating Vs Home Staging Vs Interior Redesign – What’s the Difference?

The other day a real estate agent whose listings I stage for sale introduced me to someone as a “designer”. I didn’t want to take the time to correct him, but I thought to myself, “This isn’t the first time I’ve heard people use ‘designer’ erroneously. It’s often used to label someone who’s an interior decorator. So, why does everyone lump us all in one category, when we all clearly do something different?”

To put the differences succinctly:

  • Interior Design involves, among many other things, the preparation of documents often by a licensed professional for the construction of an interior space such as plans and elevations, and details and specifications, including lighting, power and communication locations, materials and finishes, and furniture layouts.
  • Interior Decorating involves the adornment of surfaces in the interior space, such as fabrics, wall coverings, furniture, decorative accessories, flooring, light fixtures etc., and takes into account the lifestyle, taste, needs and preferences of the user of the space. While interior designers may decorate, interior decorators don’t design.
  • Home Staging is preparing the home for sale through updates and “decorating” so that it appeals to the broadest range of buyers for the market that the home is in.
  • Interior Redesign is often done by home stagers for homeowners not currently selling because it employs many of the same principles that home stagers use, such as primarily using what furniture and decorative accessories the homeowner already has, with an eye towards the future sale of the home.

Now, let’s explore each one more in-depth.

Interior Design

According to the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ):

  • Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment.
  • These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive.
  • Designs are created in response to and coordinated with thebuilding shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project.
  • Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability.
  • The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the leading organization for interior design professionals. Certain levels of its members must meet certain education, work experience and examination requirements administered by the NCIDQ. Further, some states have licensing requirements for interior designers which include the passage of this exam. ASID also has continuing education requirements for its members.

Interior Decorating

No wonder people often confuse Interior Decorating with Interior Design. Even I had trouble finding a definition for Interior Decorating. Often it said “see interior design”.

Perhaps its best to understand interior decorating as it exists in contrast to interior design:

  • An interior decorator would select floor coverings based upon the tastes and lifestyle of the client, whereas the interior designer would take it a step further and look at usage, sound transference, flammability, etc.
  • An interior decorator would select lighting fixtures, whereas the interior designer would plan for the location of lighting and ensure that it is in compliance with building and safety codes.
  • An interior decorator does not need to have any formal education and/or work experience, testing or licensing, whereas an interior designer does.

Home Staging

Home staging is the art and science of preparing a home for sale so that it appeals to the broadest range of buyers in order to sell quickly and for top dollar. The objective is to make the potential buyer fall in love with the home, envision themselves living there and aspire to the lifestyle the home portrays.

According to the Real Estate Staging Association’s Consumer’s Guide to Home Staging, it is a “systematic and coordinated methodology in which knowledge of real estate, home renovations and creative design principles are applied to attract a buyer.”

Home staging involves any or all of the following:

  • Evaluating what furniture and decorative accessories (throw pillows, artwork, decorative objects, lamps, knickknacks, etc.) the owner has, and:

– eliminating some of the furniture and/or decorative accessories, otherwise known as decluttering as well as depersonalizing (removal of family photos, trophies, collections etc. so the buyer can envision living there)

– arranging the furniture and accessories for optimal placement to enhance flow (the ability to walk freely through the room), focal point enhancement (e.g., emphasizing a fireplace or a beautiful view), balance (are there too many or too large pieces in the bookcase or on only one side of the room?) and the positive aspects of the home while downplaying the negatives

  • Carefully selecting for purchase or rent, if necessary, the appropriate furniture and accessories for the style of the home and it’s market.
  • Recommending, implementing and/or arranging for enhancements, updates and repairs such as painting, flooring, sink fixtures, lighting fixtures, window treatments, landscaping, etc.

Interior Redesign

As stated above, interior redesign is like home staging, however it enhances the home for the homeowners rather than for potential buyers. And it does so with an eye towards its future sale. It is like home staging in that it primarily uses the client’s existing furniture and decorative accessories to transform the space, and may also involve the purchase of additional furniture and accessories as well as updates to the wall colors, window treatments, lighting fixtures etc.

Summary

To summarize the differences:

  • Interior Design involves the planning of all aspects of interior space often by a licensed professional.
  • Interior Decorating involves the adornment of surfaces in the interior space. Interior designers may decorate, but interior decorators don’t design.
  • Home Staging is preparing the home for sale through updates and showcasing so that it appeals to the broadest range of buyers for the market that the home is in.
  • Interior Redesign employs many of the same principles that home stagers use, such as primarily using what furniture and decorative accessories the homeowner already has, with an eye towards the future sale of the home.

Choosing An Interior Decorator

Some people feel intimidated at the thought of hiring an interior decorator. It used to be only the wealthy employed decorators. With more and more people spending time at home after a long day of work, they want their house to be a haven to come home to. Unfortunately, lengthy commutes and long work hours make it virtually impossible for homeowners, even if they are handy, to start and complete a job within a reasonable amount of time. Maybe you’re just not sure how to pull it all together.

That’s when you want to consider the services of an interior decorator. An interior decorator will do the research and legwork for you. You do have to do a little homework, though. Before hiring an interior decorator, decide what you’re expecting from the decorator regarding your project and what do you want the decorator to do for you.

HOMEOWNER HOMEWORK

Keep in mind the following for when you meet with a decorator for your consultation:

1. Your budget. This is very important because it will dictate what resources are available to the decorator to meet your budget requirements. Resources are adjusted; the interior decorator’s fee is not.

2. Your style. If you don’t know your style, use decorating books, magazines and home catalogs that give an indication of the things you like. It may be candlesticks from one picture, a rug from another picture, the clock in another, and so on. This will give the decorator a visual of what you are looking for in your project.

3. Color. When you hire an interior decorator you know that you will be getting color. The question becomes, what color. Be prepared to know what colors you like and dislike; this goes for the other members of your family.

4. Know what pieces and accessories you are keeping, and which you are ready to part with. If you have an heirloom of Aunt Martha’s that must work with the decor, you should let the interior decorator know that.

5. The Room. Be prepared to let the decorator know what the project room is going to be used for, in the event it is not apparently obvious, like a kitchen. Who will be using this room? What will be the function of the room?

6. Pets. If you have pets and they are not in evidence at the time of your consultation, let the decorator know that you have pets. This will help in determining the type of fabrics used, especially if your pets normally have free range of your home.

7. Pictures. As previously stated, pictures are always good to have on hand to reflect a style you like, or general furniture, fabric or color preferences.

8. DIY. If you want to try and cut down on the expense of some of the decorating, you can indicate to the interior decorator this preference. For example, if you like to paint, and do it well, there should be no reason you can’t paint a project room yourself. You’ll also save yourself several hundred dollars.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR INTERIOR DECORATOR

The interior decorator will bring to your project:

1. The ability to listen. When the decorator comes to your home for the consultation, they should listen attentively and do a walk through of the project room.

2. The ability to make the right product selections for your project.

3. Creative ideas and solutions for your project.

4. Helping to create your color and design scheme by showing you fabric and paint samples, and suggesting surface solutions such as flooring.

5. The attitude that this is your home and should reflect the style and personalities of the family living there, not the decorator’s.

6. A willingness to come out to your home to meet with you.

7. Suggestions as to how to improve a home’s function by applying design principles of color, texture, balance, etc.

HIRING THE INTERIOR DECORATOR

If after your consultation with an interior decorator, you feel you have made a connection with this person, and trust them enough to make the right choices, you will enter into a contract signed by both you and the decorator. This not only protects both the homeowner and the decorator, but should set forth the project details.

FEES

Fees vary depending on the interior decorator; whether it’s a large or small firm; and whether it’s a residential or high-end residential decorator.

Some of the basics are:

* Hourly – this can vary from $35.00 to $250.00 per hour. Sometimes interior decorators will provide a free one-hour consultation, but after the first hour charges apply. That is why it is important for you to do your homework. Use your time with the decorator wisely.

* Fixed – also known as Flat Fee, and may include a cap on the hours that are included within that fee.

* Percentage – also referred to as Cost Plus. This is calculated between 15-30% above cost, and does not include delivery or sales tax.

* Retail – is exactly what it says. It is the same retail price you would pay, as some stores do not discount to the trade.

* A Combination of any of the above.

Working with an interior decorator can be a pleasant, rewarding and satisfying experience. If you do your homework beforehand, and use the consultation time wisely, this could be a headache free experience. You may enjoy it so much that who knows, maybe you will do something with that guest room before your mother comes to visit.