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Thursday, November 4, 2010
Designer, Decorator, Draftsperson...what should I choose?
The construction industry is filled with terms, codes and restrictions that can be incredibly confusing to the average homeowner. If you are considering tackling a renovation or a new building project it’s important to hire someone that can help you through the process. But how do you know who to call when the titles of the professionals that you are trying to hire are just as confusing as the codes that you are hoping they can unravel? In an effort to help you hire the correct individual for the job, below are the titles of some of the professionals that you may be looking to seek advice from and a brief description of what they can help you do. Please note that in BC there are no regulations as to designation, therefore anyone, trained or untrained, can call themselves a designer or decorator. If it is important to you, ensure that you ask for credentials.
Interior Decorator – Generally focused more on the fit and finish of room, an interior decorator is able to choose the colours and finishes that will pull a room together. Selections made by an interior decorator can include wallpaper, paint, window coverings, furnishings and accessories. An interior decorator does not necessarily have any post-secondary training although there are a number of certificate programs available in the industry.
Interior Designer – The interior designers’ realm is integrated with the architecture of the room and building. In addition to providing the same colour and finish selection services as is listed above, an interior designer will also be involved in cabinet making, room layout, traffic patterns, space restrictions, window placement, flooring selections, plumbing selections, and lighting selections. Interior Designers are trained professionals that have attended a post-secondary institution for three or four years and have received either a diploma or degree in interior design. The professional interior designer is qualified to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces.
Kitchen Designer – Designing a kitchen or bath to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing takes highly specialized skills and knowledge. A kitchen/bath designer is skilled at assessing a client’s individual wants and needs and creating designs that meet and exceed those requirements. The kitchen/bath designer is specifically trained to review work/prep stations, storage needs, space limitations, and aesthetics. A professional kitchen/bath designer remains current on local building codes as well as new products and equipment on the market.
Architect – Involved in the planning, design and oversight of a building’s construction, an architect thoroughly understands local building and operational codes under which their design must conform. Architects understand the various methods available to the builder for building the client's structure and are responsible for ensuring that the client’s cost and time budgets are met. Architects must frequently make building design and planning decisions that affect the safety and well being of the general public.
Draftsperson – Responsible for the preparation of accurate and detailed construction drawings, a draftsperson will work closely with an architect and interior designer. Although most drafters now use computer-aided drafting (CAD) systems, they still have all of the knowledge of traditional draftspersons and are sometimes hired to design the initial space layout.
Nadine Andrews D.I.D.
Commercial and Residential Interior Design