Interior Design and Renovation
An interior designer is responsible for ensuring the functionality, efficiency and safety of a space within the home or other building, while being involved in decoration tasks. An Interior designer requires a good understanding of construction, lighting, colour and furniture. Interior designers are qualified to make structural changes to your home, and are able to do the interior decorating of the home to better suit the needs of the client. Interior designers will ensure that the new interior will match the architecture of the home and that the inside and the outside of the building work together. This may include relocating a kitchen or a bathroom for better access and functionality.
What does a designer do?
- They liaise with clients and architects to find out what the client needs are and ensure that all safety requirements are met.
- Drawing up designs for the client that are functional, look good and suit the their needs.
- Finalising to scale working drawings for the main construction.
- Selecting the materials, finishes, lighting, furnishings and other equipment.
- Drawing up a cost quotation for materials and labour, gaining final approval from the client.
- Organising and supervising contractors such as painters, electricians, plumbers and carpenters
- Carrying out site and job quality inspections
- Ensuring that all permits/codes such as fire, building, engineering and other safety requirements are met
Types of Interior Design
Interior design is usually broken down into two main categories, residential and commercial. Within these general areas there are additional specialties such as, kitchen designers and bathroom designers.
- Residential Designers: Residential interior designers work with private homeowners, primarily designing rooms for new or existing homes. Some even prefer working with a specific room such as the kitchen or bathroom, or planning and creating closet spaces.
- Commercial Designers: Commercial interior designers plan public spaces, government buildings, private businesses, or other corporate entities. Offices are a common focus of these professionals, but they may also work with schools, banks, retail establishments, and other public spaces. Some interior designs work only within the F&B industry, while others design areas in hospitals and other healthcare facilities; each field often requires specific knowledge about how the space can be used effectively by both customers/clients and employees.
What's in a Complete Design Service?
A complete design service is when an interior designer does all the aspects of a renovation. This is the design, planning, and project management of a new building, renovation or refurbishment.
The services included are:
- The design: from the initial ideas right through to drawing up the plans and specifications
- Selecting the products: choosing all of the fittings, fixtures, and materials that will be used for the renovation
- Colour: Deciding what colours will be used in the project
- Planning the space: determining how the space will best be used to meet the clients needs
- Lighting: choosing the light fittings and planning the best lighting for the project
- Supplying the materials: this is flooring, furnishings, soft furnishings, paint, tiles, and so forth
- Project management: Coordination of all the contractors that are needed to complete the building or renovation project
How to hire an Interior Designer
When you think about hiring an interior designer for the first time, two concerns may come to mind:
"It's too expensive and a designer will try to impose a style that doesn't reflect my personal taste."
Both these concerns are myths. A designer can save you time and money in the long run by managing your budget and hiring contractors that they trust and know. With a wide range of resources at their disposal, interior designers can frequently obtain products at a discount.
Although many designers enjoy tackling a project with creative carte blanche, most want the homeowner to contribute ideas. So first you need to understand that for all the expertise and creative ideas that an experienced interior designer can offer, there are two questions you need to answer. What do you want, and how much do you want to spend? Once you've figured those things out, you'll be ready to begin the process of hiring an interior designer.
Here are 5 tips to help you hire the right Interior designer:
1. Ask family and friends, even co-workers, for recommendations. Check online for reviews for specific designers.
2. Schedule meetings to review their portfolios and talk about your expectations and budget.
3. Check all their credentials and references.
4. Get clarity on exactly how they charge for services. Some designers will work for a flat fee; others charge by an hourly rate plus a commission; and some will only work on commission
5. Look for an interior designer who is willing and able to work on your terms.