lundi 25 novembre 2013

How to Find the Right Designer for Your Interior Design and Decorating Projects

Looking for an interior designer or interior decorator can be overwhelming if you are not sure which designer you need for the scope or your project. Are you building, renovating or moving and need professional advice? Are you planning to sell your property and not sure how to get ready for the first inspection?

This document gives you answers to frequently asked questions in regards to interior design, interior decorating, colour consulting and property styling.

It will help you finding the right designer for your interior design and decorating projects and eventually create your individual style in your home.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?

You may have asked yourself this question already when facing a building or renovation project. Do I need an interior designer, an interior decorator, a colour consultant or an interior stylist?

The answer is that it depends on the scope of the project.

An interior designer is a skilled professional who is designing interior environments according to your briefing. The interior designer either modifies what already exists (renovation) or provides an entirely new design for a space (new build). In this case the interior designer works closely with the architect and comes in at an early stage of the project. Interior designers work either along a team in design firm or on their own.

What is the job of an interior stylist? An interior stylist is a designer or consultant in a field subject to changes in style, especially fashion or interior decoration. An interior stylist cultivates or maintains any particular style and in most cases stylist are finders, keepers and collectors of beautiful objects.

The interior stylist can help you finding your own style, creating beautiful interiors that are unique and meaningful. This can be achieved with the simplest things and does not have to be expensive. The only thing you need to do is keep your eyes open to beautiful things in nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel. There is only one rule: Only collect or buy things that mean something to you!

How does a colour consultation work?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

Prior to designing a colour scheme for you the colour consultant should always talk to you about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve in your space. He will explain to you the differences between the paint companies and their products and choose the right product for your needs. After designing the colour scheme you will receive a written recommendation including a specification sheet and brushouts ready for your painter to start.

Why is it important to seek advice from a designer when choosing colours?

Colour is the most powerful tool when it comes to non-verbal communication and the design element that makes a space come alive. Colour brings individuality in a space and it is one of the most useful tools to master when finding your own style.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, says in her book Pantone Guide to Communicating with Color: "Among other uses, color stimulates and works synergistically with all of the senses, symbolizes abstract concepts and thoughts, expresses fantasy or wish fulfillment, recalls another time or place and produces an aesthetic or emotional response."

When choosing a colour for a room or house it is important to think about the mood and atmosphere you would like to achieve. Is it a dark room or flooded with natural light? In which direction is the room facing? How are the proportions? Do you live in a small apartment or a contemporary newly built house with open plan living areas? All this needs to be considered when choosing colours for a space.

If you are overwhelmed by the choice of colours available - yes, there are thousands on the market - how can you start finding your personal colour scheme?

For some people it is a longer journey, for others it comes more naturally. The most important thing is to take some time, open your eyes, walk around your home and absorb the colour combinations you see. Then start gathering all the pieces you love. This can be anything from old porcelain, travel souvenirs, photographs, artwork, clothes, tear sheets from magazines, fabric swatches, stationary, a collection of stones, feathers or glass objects.

And don't forget nature as inspiration for a colour scheme (interior or exterior). If you live near the ocean, shades of blues and greens can be used to link your interior with its surroundings. Flowers, butterflies, stones, shells, driftwood are fantastic inspirations for colour schemes.

Once you have gathered all your beloved treasures in one spot, play around with the pieces, group them by colours and you will see a colour palette emerge. This "moodboard" is a great starting point for your interior designer, interior stylist or colour consultant to help you creating an individual and personal space, a home that reflects who you are and a place that you love coming home to.

Stylist's tip: Before you start painting always buy a test pot and paint a large sheet of paper or cardboard (one square metre) with your colour. Tape it to the walls in your room and study it for a couple of days. Look at it in daylight and artificial light. This is very important as colours change depending on the light, the orientation of the room, other colours in the room and spatial elements like furniture and artwork for example.

What is the difference between a colour and a styling consultation?

The colour consultation focuses on creating a colour scheme for a specific room or space or the whole house according to your briefing. A qualified colour consultant can help you with interior and exterior colour schemes.

The styling consultation focuses on creating a certain (Your) style in your home or simply on answering all your questions about colours, style, furniture sourcing and placement, art sourcing and placement, displays of your collections, accessories, proportions in a space, lighting etc.

Again it is vital that the designer listens to what you would like to achieve (briefing) and makes sure that he understood what you want (debriefing). Don't let the interior designer or interior stylist talk you into something you don't like!

How do I maximise the output of my styling consultation?

Are you planning to colour, redecorate or renovate, but don't know where to start? Do you have lots of questions about colour schemes, furniture placement, how to display your collections, books or other beloved things? Are you not sure whether to redecorate with your old furniture and accessories or to renovate and create a new look? Do you need inspirations where to source furniture and accessories, second hand pieces or antiques?

If you prepare your first consultation with your stylist properly, you will get answers to all the questions you have. Here are my tips how to maximise the output from your styling or colour consultation:

• Be clear what you would like the outcome of the consultation to be.

• Decide which room or space you would like to focus on. Is it only one room or the whole house?

• Prepare yourself with tear sheets from interior design magazines like Real Living, Inside Out, Belle or Vogue Living. There are plenty on the market so choose the one that speaks to you most and start collecting pages of everything you like: colour schemes, furniture, accessories, room layouts, rugs, flooring, wallpaper, decorative items and everything that speaks to you. If you do this for a couple of weeks you will clearly see what you like and find your own personal style.

• Keep your eyes open to the beautiful things around you: nature, architecture, design, museums, art, exhibitions, books, textiles and travel.

• Make sure that your stylist is listening and explain what you want to achieve with your styling project, what you would like a room to do for you and what mood you would like to create in your space.

And finally one of the most important things: Don't let the stylist talk you into something you don't like! You have to live in the space and you need to feel comfortable and at home! It is all about creating your home with your personal touch.

How do I find my own style?

The answer is as simple as this: explore the world around you and appreciate the beauty that lies within everything you discover!

Keep your eyes open and your mind excited! Discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you every day! Find inspiration in nature, buildings, shops, exhibitions, museums, art, events, markets, magazines and of course books.

One of my favourite books I spotted in a museum shop is called: How to be an explorer of the world by Keri Smith. On the back it says: "At any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting."

A stylist's tip: always carry a little notebook and a pen with you in order to be able to sketch, doodle and write down what you discover.

Keep all your findings, notes and pictures in a folder or box and keep searching for at least four to eight weeks. Then start to group things by colour or theme and you will discover what your style is. And there are no rules. It is all about finding what you like!

Books for your inspiration

This is a list of books that I personally own and love! They are all a fantastic source of inspiration and creative ideas for your home.

Sibella Court: Bowerbird

Shannon Fricke: Sense of Style

Megan Morton: Home Love

Holly Becker: Decorate

Susanna Salk: Be Your Own Decorator

Geraldine James: Creative Walls

Hans Blomquist: The Natural Home

Is it necessary to seek advice from a stylist when I want to sell my property?

If you plan to sell your house it is worth investing in a styling consultation. A professional property stylist can help you to achieve maximum impact when presenting your home to potential buyers. A property stylist will help you to get ready for the first inspection by giving you advice on how to style your house with what you have. He will help you with colour schemes that attract potential buyers. He will also advice if you need rental furniture to style each room according to its function and help potential buyers to envisage themselves in the space. Property styling is all about creating a wow factor in key areas of your home and help the buyers to envisage themselves in your space. Once the styling is done don't forget to book your stylist for the real estate photography shoot to make sure everything looks perfect on this day!

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How To Choose An Interior Designer Or Redecorator

What types of professional interior designers are available?

Have you heard of Interior redecorators? These professional interior decorators transform your home using things you have accumulated over the years. The end result is a balanced, harmonious space that reflects the personality of the people who use it. Many interior designers have added this service to their repertoire. Alternate terms for professional interior designers specializing in interior redecorating are interior redesigners, interior arrangers, interior stylists, one day decorators, visual coordinators or interior refiners.

What is a Certified Interior Designer? (from B&P Code Section 5800,5538)

A Certified interior designer is a competent design professional who is qualified to design, prepare, and submit any type of nonstructural, non-seismic interior construction plans and specifications to local building departments. Certified interior designers have demonstrated through education, experience, and examination their knowledge of the Uniform Building Code as it relates to space planning, life safety, flammability, and disabled access code issues. Most interior designers have a minimum four-year education. Many have Master of Interior Design degrees or other additional education in architecture or interior design. Interior designers who have many years experience may not have a Bachelors in Interior Design, but usually are well educated and have many years of qualified experience. All qualified interior designers will indicate that they have passed the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Certification) examination and/or are registered/ certified/ licensed in their state.

How do Interior Decorators charge for their services?

Flat Design Fee: The client pays a flat fee for the professional interior designer's services based on the design plan, time required, and scope of services.

Hourly Rate: The interior decorator bills a negotiated rate per hour.

Cost Plus Method: Professional interior designers charge a set percentage on all merchandise purchased and tradesmen's services rendered.

Mixed Method: The client pays both a set percentage on purchases and a base design fee for hourly rate.

Per square foot: This method is used especially in new construction.

What to ask at the first meeting:

o Ask to see the interior designer's portfolio, but remember that the designs reflect other people's tastes,¬ not necessarily the interior decorator's, and possibly not your own.

o Ask what size projects the interior designer has worked on, where, and what was the budget range.

o Ask how the established budget will be handled, and the kind of payment schedules the interior decorator requires.

o Ask about the types of services the designer can provide.

o Ask for a list of references.

What you may be asked at the first meeting:

It is a good idea to prepare for your first meeting with a professional interior designer by creating your own folder of clippings from magazines, catalogs, and books of design ideas that appeal to you.

You may also be asked some or all of the following questions:

o For whom is the space being designed?

o What activities will take place in the space?

o How long do you plan to occupy the space?

o What is your time frame for completing the project?

o What is your budget?

o Are you relocating or remodeling?

o What image do you want to project?

o What colors, style, and effects do you like?

o What are your objective and lifestyle needs?

o What is the approximate square footage to be designed?

If a professional interior designer, or anyone, for that matter, tells you the process is easy, stress-free, and will be complete in two weeks, they're either lying or stupid. Don't hire that person.

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Why You Should Be An Interior Designer

The world has been through 50-years of DIY culture, with the majority of people re-modelling, upgrading, and decorating their own homes in their spare time. However, that cycle is ending for a number of key reasons and this demise has given birth to some amazing and exciting opportunities for those people interested in Interior Design.

In the DIY period, people were happy to spend their spare time on home-improvements and they enjoyed showing off their efforts to all their visitors. Today, there are too many distractions and alternatives that have much more appeal to the modern generation of homeowners--who are happier spending their time in more entertaining activities with their friends.

Furthermore, in most families, adults are bringing home larger disposable incomes than ever before and today they prefer to employ an Interior Designer, rather than spend hours in trying to do it alone. The plethora of glossy magazines that are now available each month have thousands of pages with colourful photographs of beautiful homes, all with rooms designed by an expert in Interior Design. These magazines create the desire in people to have such a room in their own home.

That burgeoning desire for a beautiful home can only be fulfilled by an Interior Designer.

For years, tradesmen like painters, decorators, and carpenters would have nothing to do with people who worked in the Interior Design industry, and with a sneer, they would tell their customers not to waste their money on them. Today, it is a completely different story, because the tradesman now accepts that a home designed by an Interior Designer is far superior to anything they can provide. Furthermore, the tradesman often earns a far bigger profit when completing work for an Interior Designer compared to when they work directly for the customer.

This is because the Interior Designer will quote for the complete job: from basic design to provision of all the materials and completing the actual conversion. It can even include the supply of carpets, curtains, rugs, furniture, pictures, and ornaments. The fee for the decorator who does the painting and papering is perhaps only a small part of the overall price, and will often include a 15% to 20% profit margin to the Interior Designer.

Tradesmen in the home-improvement industry now spend considerable time and effort in developing a good relationship with Interior Designers, because today they can provide an increasing part of their annual income. This is a two-way connection, because the Interior Designer often receives valuable enquiries for design work from their pool of tradesmen. In addition, when the tradesman completes their work to a high standard, the Interior Designer is likely to benefit in the future from referrals and additional work from their clients.

However, working on designs for homes is only touching the surface of the income stream of a good Interior Designer. There is a vast and highly profitable design market in the retail, commercial, and industrial sectors where directors and managers are not slow in spending huge amounts of money in improving their environment. It is always easier to spend 'other people's money' and the wise Interior Designer will make sure they enjoy a large slice of this business income stream. It is far larger and much more lucrative than the domestic sector where people are spending their own money.

The retail industry is always looking for ways to attract customers, and the Interior Design of their store is becoming a vital factor in establishing their brand. Commercial offices need to have ambient Interior Design if they are to attract and keep the best people as employees, and they are willing to spend vast amounts of money to achieve that objective.

There is also a certain amount of fame and publicity awarded the successful Interior Designer.

The avaricious glossy magazine market is continually on the lookout for interesting stories to photograph and publish. The clever Interior Designer will nurture relationships with editors and journalists and feed them stories of work they have done that may be of interest to magazine readers. This not only includes the obvious VIP sector where most important people in business, politics, religion, sport, and entertainment are only too pleased to have their home featured in a magazine, but there are other sectors that must not be ignored.

You may be designing a new home for a lottery winner, an invalid or an accident victim, or a person with an unusual hobby or occupation that requires a specific feature of interest. The building may be a converted 15th Century barn, a spacious farmhouse, a prison, or even a railway station. A large number of your contracts will have the potential for becoming a glossy magazine feature article, and this can provide you with the PR, publicity, and promotion that can boost your income tenfold!

There are opportunities for Interior Design everywhere you look.

People worldwide spend more than 90% of their life indoors and they need the right high quality environment, which is created by an Interior Design professional. As an Interior Designer, you can contribute to the health, safety, and welfare of people living in homes as well as those working in offices, hotels, restaurants, schools, stores, and other business places. You can be self-employed, you can work for an Interior Design company, or architectural offices, retail groups, or other commercial establishments can employ you.

Some newspapers and magazines are willing to pay an Interior Designer a handsome fee for a complete redesign of a home, which they then offer as a prize in a competition that will increase their readership. You can contact the promotions & marketing section of the media and suggest this idea to them, arrange a meeting to discuss the project, and negotiate a suitable fee. This will be much easier if some of your work has been photographed and published previously, and your name is becoming known.

The show-homes on display at new housing developments require excellent Interior Design in order to encourage visitors to become purchasers. Shopping malls and department stores can provide space for you to display photographs of your work, distribute colour brochures and flyers, and collect names of prospective clients for your Interior Design services.

You can learn all the secrets of Interior Design by taking a Course.

This is a profession that is open to almost everybody with a keen interest in design, and there are no restrictions on age, sex, race, or creed--if you really want to be an Interior Designer, a Course will show you exactly how!

You can complete a course from the comfort of your own home by distance learning, which means you can live in anywhere with Internet access and download the modules onto your computer.

Finally, as an Interior Designer in the 21st Century, you are not limited to simply advising and selecting furniture and accessories. You will create attractive and functional surroundings with the right ambience for either productive work or relaxation. You interact with many different people, enjoy a profitable and creative career, and best of all you can set your own schedule.

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Interior Design For The Home

Any home can be pleasing with the proper application of basic interior design methods. Some people study interior design to be very good at it but there are people who are gifted with an eye for beauty and for interior designing.

A person who is creative can do some interior designing on his own even without formal training. Those who have an eye for what is aesthetic can just as easily decorate and design his own house depending on his tastes. Of course, it helps to read books and articles about designing to be updated on the basic and latest design methods.

Any interior designer can create a specific atmosphere just by putting together several pieces and unifying them in a single theme. There are interior designers who have a bias for certain motifs like eclectic, modern or even country style. Some go for simple designs without the clutter.

Interior design is not only aesthetic but also functional depending on the requirements of the client. An interior designer can make a small room spacious and an otherwise cluttered room into an orderly one. Interior design is used just about anywhere from homes, offices to commercial buildings.

The interiors of a room should always match the personality of the person who will occupy that room. This is the reason why designers always work closely with their clients so they can make sure that they get a feel of what their clients want in terms of design style.

People have this notion that interior design is expensive. However, designers are not only creative people but they are also very good in budgeting. Most designers will work on a design that will match or fit the budget of their clients. A person can allot a minimal amount for the interior design of his home or office and still come up with an aesthetic and functional room.

Professional interior designers who are formally trained usually have basic knowledge on architecture, engineering and even accounting. They need these courses to make their design aesthetic, structurally correct and cost effective.

The terms Interior design and interior decorating have often been used interchangeably. However, the two terms actually deal with different phases of making a room or a space aesthetic. Interior design is basically the process of studying the personality of the occupant of the room being designed in order to maximize and tailor-made the room's design for that person's behavior and personality.

Interior decorating on the other hand is the process of actually mixing and matching the different design techniques like window treatments, the right wallpaper, wall finish and even the furnishing of a room.

There are a lot of opportunities for those in the interior design and decorating industry. An interior designer can go into designing household, corporate or commercial establishments. Others specialize in the design of health facilities or even tourism establishments.

The latest trend now for those in the interior design industry is to be able to incorporate the right engineering and aesthetic design with sustainable development. Even designers are now more conscious about the state of the environment so they tend to use environmentally friendly materials for their designs.

There are designers who specialize and use Feng Shui in their designs. This requires further study because Feng Shui deals with the Chinese's ancient methods of designing a space to make the design work for the owner's health, business and other life factors.

The Chinese believes that a structure should be properly designed so as to allow positive energy to enter the structure. When the structure has already been built without the aid of a Feng Shui expert, the mistakes can be corrected through proper interior design using the Feng Shui methods.

By incorporating Feng Shui in interior design, it is believed that a person can bring out all the positive energies in a room to make him rich, happy and healthy. An interior design using Feng Shui can also get rid of bad spirits that bring in negative atmosphere in an abode.

Getting the services of an interior designer can make a room both aesthetic and functional. Any person who wants to make his home livable and functional should try getting the services of an interior designer to maximize his space.

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