Most homeowners and contractors use the terms “interior designer” and “decorator” synonymously, not realizing there is a difference. It is generally thought that after you build, you call a decorator to help you with the prettying stages like painting, furniture and window treatments. This is true. The work of a professional interior designer, however, starts during the planning stage, prior to construction.
An interior designer knows building structures, will draft your working drawings, space plans, and lighting and electrical layouts. They will write specifications, design architectural features and prepare your interior finish schedules. The design concept in your home will flow through the design details: the openings between rooms, trim details, style of doors, hardware and stair components,
and the character of lighting and plumbing fixtures. Once the designer has completed the drawings and specifications, a contractor can quote on your project. Contractors also use designers to work with clients to prepare needed drawings so they can offer a quote, get a building permit and build the project.
One of the most important stages is the design of your kitchen and built-in cabinetry. The kitchen that was sketched on your house plan is probably not the kitchen you want. An interior designer will prepare detailed drawings of your dream kitchen, incorporating appliance and storage needs. Then you can take these drawings to retailers to request quotes, allowing you to compare quotes based on the same drawing.
An interior designer will guide you through design and decorating confusion to a solution that feels right for you. They can also help you save time and money, avoid costly mistakes, reduce frustration by prioritizing and coordinating your ideas, and introduce you to exciting, current design concepts and color.