What does a Designer do? What is the difference between a Building Designer, an Interior Designer, and a Stylist, or a Decorator, or a Colour Consultant? Which one offers the professional help you should seek for your particular need? Every home is as unique as the family that lives in it and the right choice of professional is necessary to ensure you get the job done to your satisfaction. Of course each one should have studied a specific part of the interior design process, or accrued substantial work experience, resulting in different levels of expertise and specialisation. So, let's try to clear up the confusion that surrounds these fields and help you find the right person for your job.
The COLOUR CONSULTANT has a specialised knowledge of colour's function and is the best person to help those searching for which particular colour or colour-combinations are the best for particular needs, for public buildings for example or unique psychological/medical needs. These professionals are able to create cohesive colour schemes for your home, and have a strong understanding of how to cleverly use colour to make spaces feel larger or smaller, brighter or more cosy, as well as directing the choice of interior furnishings and accessories to bring a cohesive look to your home
Whilst the STYLIST main skill is to place items in a way which creates an inspiring look, like for photo shoots for example, they should also have a thorough knowledge of retailers for furniture, art and décor items, often specialising in exclusive, unique and quirky items. This is the professional that will help you achieve 'the look', perfect for photo-shoots or the creation of celebratory event.
The INTERIOR DECORATOR is the right person to help you furnish your home and find the perfect furniture, rugs, curtains and lighting etc. to ensure you achieve the look you're after. With a great knowledge of wallpapers, fabrics, art and interiors' styles, these are the professionals that know the best furniture stores, and you will love going shopping with. They might not have the necessary knowledge to direct the removal of walls, to design your kitchen and select the right fittings for your bathroom, or the type of flooring most appropriate for specific needs, but should be able to direct you to a colleague who can deal with that side of things, while they get your sofas recovered or create that colour scheme that works from one room to the next in your home.
The BUILDING DESIGNER is the person you would work with for structural modifications to your property, or even before the building of your property has started, and will demand to gain a deeper knowledge than just what can be seen with the naked eye, like plumbing, electrical and supporting walls, before suggesting or approving any changes. These professionals do understand which wall is safe to demolish, and depending on their knowledge of product and experience, may also be able to dealing with cabinetry layout and choice of finishes.
Similarly, the INTERIORS' DESIGNER has the ability to understand building practices and requirements, and can suggest floor-plan and building modifications as well as aesthetically satisfying options. This person also has a vast knowledge of product finishes, like flooring, timbers, laminates and tap-wares for example, and can truly bring out the best of your property through function, performance and looks. This is the person needed to help you renovate or build a home making it practical, durable and beautiful whilst adding real-estate value to it. How?
As you can imagine the amount of finishes on the market is immense and to pinpoint which product is best for your project requires vast and continuously updated knowledge. Indeed, quality builders will offer you the support of a qualified Interior Designer who will take you through the meticulous journey of choosing finishes that that are integral part of your property, and can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to its value. They also have studied Colour, and will often be able to deal with styling, providing you with a consistent flow from finishes selection to the final completed room.
Whichever professional you will choose to engage with will require the payment of a fee, and that's where some people think to save money. However, the support of the right professional will actually help save you money in the end by leading your choices to the most practical, durable and where possible, economical products and solutions. If you read my blog regularly, you would have learned by now that I tailor every job to the client's needs, taste and budget. Any industry professional should be able to direct you towards a finished product you can afford, that is property appropriate and one which you'll be happy with.
So, enquire with family and friends and let them refer you to someone they had a great experience with. There are many valid reasons why the help of a professional is an investment that not only will offer the result best suited to your needs and taste, but will most likely help you cleverly direct your budget and ultimately save you money.
James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design. His knowledge and experience in adding value to homes, through clever design & styling, is now published for all to learn and benefit from: Interior Design For Profit is now available online.