About the Interior Designer


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What’s the difference between an interior designer and decorator? When do I need an interior designer? How to find and hire an interior designer? What are their fees and what am I paying for? How to work with and get the most of your interior designer? These are some of the questions that Dalia Sadany answers in this article about the interior designer. The article, the second of a two part series about the interior designer, includes tips and illustrative diagrams

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About the Interior Designer

  1. 1. 36 DALIA SPEAKS JANUARY 2012 37 Picture credit John Morad & Ahmed Mleeg In the previous issue I started discussing the dazzling world of the Interior Designer, as you have seen it is a rich topic , I have partially covered it and will continue it in this article .So let’s recap what was formerly mentioned . complement each other to end up in a lucid truth. Interior designers are professionals The definition of interior design was collage.” I also explained the categorizing of in the art of creating the look that you are clarified as “The protocol that looks after the types of Interior Designers whether by seeking, via combining several factors. This designing all of the interiors of any given sectors, styles, spaces or elements. vibe specially, comes to some clients who space “.Also the fact that interior design is have some knowledge of the procedures, not exclusively implemented on residential I highlighted as well the reasons for hiring but look at it in this light; do you feel projects, as a matter of fact all types of an Interior designer such as the fact that uncomfortable describing your vision to building benefit extensively from the home owners have intense life schedules a painting contractor? You most likely do significant touch of interior design, whether that would not commonly stretch to not, so why should you feel that way about in beautifying the space, enhancing withstand such a rigorous job. As well a professional that combines paint ,wall affecting mode, increasing market value, as the privileges of accessing materials, coverings with fabrics and furniture with raising productivity and upturning profit. styles and trends database that only a lighting and all other vital factors to create professional could. Another advantage the unique vision that you have for the I elaborated on the definition of the for hiring a pro is mediating her/him as an inside of your home? Again I would refer to Interior designer, “She/he the professional acting liaison between designated needed my motto “Hire Pro to do pro jobs “ concerned with the look and design of the technical engineers. interiors of spaces. Their goal is to make a What is the difference between THE INTERIOR space visually appealing while reflecting the Sometimes the decision to invest in hiring space owner’s preferences and functional a professional to interior design a project Interior Designer and Decorator? needs”. In this context interior designers could seem as an extra, unneeded, lavish There is a big difference between an interior are mainly concerned with how to make expense, since some people have the designer and an interior decorator. Legally, DESIGNER II several factors work coherently together impression that interior designers are only in some countries abroad it is illegal to call such as colors, lighting, materials, textures, relevant to those who are wealthy and yourself an interior designer if you are not " furnishings and that all these aspects pretentious; however, this is far from the certified. Interior decorators are concerned with and change the aesthetics of a space. They mainly work with surface decorations( known as surface design) as they can Dalia Sadany Ask Magazines change the walls, floors and add decorative elements to the room, but they can’t do is alter or change the structure. design consultant, Chief Designer He or she will most likely be involved in a & Founder of Dezines Architecture more temporary type of interior design that is only seen for a few days and possibly then & Interiors, Managing Director photographed for marketing and publicity purposes. A common misconception here & Partner of Divine Contracting in Egypt us that Interior Designers only work with furniture, fabrics and accessories (i.e. as well as the creator of the new the soft interior) that would be the job of a decorator. In fact it is the interior designer’s furniture brand GUSH is dwelling job to help you with all aspects related to selecting the hard and soft interior, select " into the world of Architecture, sub-contractors, prepare sets of drawings and eventually supervise implementation of Interior Design and Contracting. the work. In a nutshell an interior designer can do interior decorating job, but a interior decorator can’t do an interior design job. ASK JANUARY 2012
  2. 2. 38 DALIA SPEAKS JANUARY 2012 39 What is the difference between Interior Designer and Architect? Traditionally the architect use to interior design their project, for example the master architect 8. Collaborate with other practitioners Frank Lloyd Wright , exerted equal effort and who offer professional services in the creativity into the interiors as in the exteriors, technical areas of mechanical, electrical he generated a building that is captivating and Heating/air-conditioning engineers, and mesmerizing both to look it and inhabit. But the tremendous development in interiors and if a project requires structural work, in modern times demanded a new set of skills the designer works with civil engineer for and paved the way to the creation of interior that part of the project. design as an area of study and a discipline in its 9. Prepare contract documents and own right. Interior designers have a wide range administer bids as the clients agent, after of technical and analytical skills spanning 3. He would then take inventory of old easier corrections than sketches made by cooperating with the client in choosing various disciplines. furniture and other items that the client hand. Upon completing the design plan, the appropriate needed contractors to would reuse if any, to incorporate them in the designer will present it to the client execute the required jobs. While it’s the architect’s job to imagine the the design, so they would blend-in with and make revisions based on the clients 10. Finally, the designer develops a timeline larger structure, it’s the interior designer’s job the new design and its elements. input. for the project, coordinates contractor to imagine the way the interior of that structure 4. At this stage, the designer needs to 6. When the design concept is finalized, and work schedules. The designer oversees determine whether building permits are approved by the client, the designer will the installation of the design elements will interact with the people inside it. This means required for work involved. begin preparing working drawings and as well as, reviewing and evaluating everything from the placement of lighting fixtures to the style of handle that opens the 5. After collecting this data and integrating specifications for interior construction, construction during implementation door. It is these elements that we interact with findings with knowledge of interior design, space planning, materials, finishes, and coordinate completion of project every day, making them at least as important as economic trends, legal and regulatory furnishings, fixtures and furnishings with consultant team. Basically, act as the structure itself. requirements, the designer formulates required, such as furniture, lighting, Project Manager on behalf of the client preliminary design conceptual plan that flooring, wall covering, and artwork. to manage the project teams through all Most of the good interior designers here is functional, fiscally appropriate, and 7. Depending on the complexity of the phases of the project. in Egypt are architects with professional aesthetically pleasing and estimates costs. project, the designer also might submit P.S. The key word to each step is experience in interior design while some like Today, designs often are created with drawings for approval by a permits highlighted in bold. myself, have also studied interior design, as a the use of computer-aided design (CAD) committee to ensure that the design Below is a diagram to clarify the design distinctive broad field by itself . software, which provides more detail and meets building codes. process in its order of execution. What are the types of services Interior Designers provide? Beside is a diagram listing the various services an Interior Designer can provide, I have chosen to divide them into three categories, the technical services, The hard interior services which is the scope of work that requires contracting, and the soft interior services is the department of installation. What will the Interior designer do? Interior design services may vary with each project, so whatever space they are working on, almost all designers follow the same process: 1. The first step, known as programming, is to determine and analyze the clients needs, preferences and wishes. The designer usually meets face-to-face with the client to find out how the space will be used and to get an idea of the clients preferences and budget. 2. She/he will also visit the space to be designed in order identify positive attributes of the space and potential problems. ASK JANUARY 2012
  3. 3. 40 DALIA SPEAKS JANUARY 2012 41 6. Discuss fees, payment methods and Before You Begin: You will save a lot of time Sticking to Your Budget: Make sure your A- Fixed fees are usually based on an anticipated construction cost and and frustration if you know what you hope interior designer understands your budget a projects allocated construction cost duration. to accomplish. Try to come up with an idea restrictions. Dont be shy about voicing your and can range between 10 to 15 % of 7. Ask for references from past clients. Find of the size of the project. Do you want to limit or overestimate what you can spend. the construction cost depending on the out how past clients feel about their new knock down a wall or simply rearrange some A good interior designer will give you a size and complexity of the project. The home. furniture? What colors do you like and what project budget and series of timeframes for portfolio of the designer, whether he / 8. Visit at least one project by your colors do you want to avoid? How would the project and will always be up front and she is a reputable, well known designer or prospective designer. Ask the owners you describe your style? What activities will clear with our clients on how much they will a relatively young aspiring is also a vital about any problems that may have been take place in the space? It is okay if you dont be billed and what services they will receive factor in the evaluation of the fees. encountered during the design and know the answers to these questions. Your in return. He / she should excel at coming construction of the project. interior designer will be able to give you some up with creative solutions that allow you to B-As for the fixed rate per visit, this is usually 9. Interview prospective designers at their guidance. However, the more you know now, maximize your budget while still achieving calculated as in the range of 1 to 2% per offices, if possible. the easier it will be for your designer to create a space that meets your needs. visit of his fixed fees for the design phase. 10. Plan to spend at least one hour on your perfect space. Its also a good idea to your first meeting with a prospective accumulate photos of rooms, furniture, and HOW TO PAY AN INTERIOR Tips; architect. accessories you like. Dont worry if you like DESIGNER? 1- Make sure you question about the many different styles. Your interior designer Abroad there are several methods to designer’s fees when you meet him /her HOW TO CHOOSE AN INTERIOR After you have prepared your short list of HOW TO WORK WITH AN will help you figure out what will ultimately possible designers, you need to follow these calculate the fees of an interior designer DESIGNER? procedures. INTERIOR DESIGNER? work in your room. , as a fixed fee, hourly fee, percentage 2- Make sure all means of payments Part of your costs for your project will be 1. Call prospective designers. Find out Youve decided to work with an interior fee, cost plus, retail charge and by square are clarified in your contract with the the design fees and naturally you would whether they would be interested in your designer. This is an exciting time as you During the Project: Once your project is meter. While in Egypt it is usually split designer whether the installments are be worried about the designer you end up project. prepare to create the space of your dreams. underway, make communication a priority. into two components by phase; preparing date of work delivery or phase related. working with. That actually is a key point 2. Meet with several prospects. However, you probably have a lot of Listen with an open mind to your interior the project design documents during the to consider, the "working relationship" you 3. Confirm that the designer you are questions, including "How will I get the look designers ideas. At the same time, express design phase and site inspections during 3- Question your designer about any extra develop with your designer not only for meeting is the person who will actually I want?" and "Am I going to get my moneys your true feelings about your desires. Dont the construction phase. fees for any alterations you request due design purposes, but also because he or work on your project. worth?" This month, Im going to give you be afraid to speak up about your likes and to your change of mind in any aspect. she will be your representative throughout 4. Question his or hers’ design philosophy. some pointers on how to get the most from dislikes. After all, you will be the one who The fee structures are typically based on the project. 5. Ask how long the project will take. a relationship with an interior designer. lives with the final outcome. 4- As for inevitable alterations during a percentage of construction value, a visit rate or a fixed lump sum fee. Combinations the execution phase due to mistakes in You will be working with them for a good of these structures are also common. design or lack of necessary data in his deal of time so having rapport and good Generally, designers use a fixed fee for The drawings that are not a contractor’s fault communication is a vital key point. first component ;the phase of the work that in construction and were not obvious they have the most control over, such as the to the contractor to question before Talking to your architect enables you to preparation of design, and use a fixed rate the start of work are all alterations free verbalize your needs and desires for your per visit for the second component which of charge. project. It helps him/her understand where is the phases that are less predictable, like you are coming from and to respond site supervision. Generally the designer or 5- In case you want a preliminary appropriately. Your home is a very personal their representative makes one visit per presentation from your short listed and private part of your life, bringing in a week unless there is a problem and their designer before deciding to sign up with professional to become part of this process presence is requested on site. . him, there is a retainer to be paid at first requires a relationship built on trust. as fees for the work he/she will perform Remember that when you work with the To give you an approximate margin for on this presentation that if you decide right designer, its a home you are designing calculating The Interior Designer’s fees, on signing up with will be inclusive in and not just a house here is a simple rule; his fees. Therefore its advisable to make a short list of And now as we have clarified all need Interior designer via the following channels; to know information about the Interior Designers, who are they, what do they do, 1. Ask friends, neighbors, and co-workers how to choose them, deal with them and about their architects. pay them ,in the next issue we will extend 2. Also check with contractors you might our protocol on how to build your own know about the best designers they have project by highlighting the new worldwide worked with to find the who designed spread method of design and build versus projects similar to the one you plan. old traditional method, in order to turn your 3. Check out online directories, for the dream project whatever it is residential or websites of Interior designers. commercial into a reality. 4. Check out specialized magazines for You can reach me at my email information’s about interior design. askdalia@ask.com 5. Check out a literature as in a portfolio that describes the firms qualifications and experience. ASK JANUARY 2012