What do interior designers do?
Generally speaking, interior designers will work with you design your interior space(s) to suit your taste, budget and brief. This will usually be produced in the form of layout plans, details and specifications. These can be passed on to a contractor to first price and then execute the work. Sometimes your interior designer will also purchase and install furniture for you and/or manage the physical work, if this is agreed at the start of the job. If you’re planning on using an interior designer for your home renovation project, it’s important to understand exactly what they will produce, what their role will be, and how it fits in with the other parties that might be involved in your project, e.g. architects, builders, decorators etc.
Below are some examples of typical interior design projects taken on by the interior designers on Design for Me. All the designers on Design for Me are independent and will provide a quote for interior design services that suit you personally, depending on your specific budget and needs. It’s free to post your project to our site and see who’s interested and get quotes!
Click the images below to see the designers’ full profiles…
What do interior decorators do?
One of the first things to understand is the difference between an interior designer and interior decorator.
In some countries such the US, the terms ‘interior designer’ and ‘interior decorator’ can be more interchangeable; the main difference is that the designer has more formal training than an interior decorator. However, in the UK ‘interior designer’ generally refers to the person responsible for space planning and design decisions (irrespective of formal qualifications), and ‘interior decorator’ being the person responsible for delivering the physical work.
Do I need an architect or interior designer?
The services offered by architects and interior designers, especially for home projects, can often be very similar – including space planning and specification of fittings and finishes. Here’s a detailed look at the difference between architects and interior designers that will help you select the right professional for your project: Do I need an architect or interior designer?
What services do interior designers provide?
This completely depends on your particular job, budget and requirements. Through Design for Me, you can find an interior designer in your area who can tailor a package of services to suit you. This can make using an interior designer much more affordable, and even a small amount of input – e.g. a concept design – can really help drive your project in the right direction.
Interior design services can be broken down into the following areas, which we have as options when choosing your interior designer through the Design for Me platform:
- Design only – this can vary from a simple concept design to a detailed tender/construction package. A more detailed design package can be used to get accurate quotes and show your builders/decorators exactly what needs to be done. With a design only option your interior designer would usually only be involved before the work starts on site.
- Design, supply and install – this will usually involve your interior designer being present throughout the duration of your project, from the initial design and planning phase, right through to the end of the construction and installation phase. This may involve them being your project manager, where they organise the different trades people to do the work, payments, purchase and delivery arrangements of furniture and other items on your behalf.
What output can I expect from my interior designer?
The two options above can be broken down further once you and your interior designer meet to discuss the requirements of your project. Here’s a comprehensive menu of options that you can choose from, depending on your requirements and budget.
- Survey plans – your interior designer can measure up your room(s) and draw it up as a plan and elevations as required to produce an existing layout.
- Proposed plans – space planning, e.g. internal alterations of room layouts, fixtures and furniture layouts.
- Proposed elevations and detail drawings – showing additional details to information provided in the plans.
- Schedules and specifications – written documents (often with images) giving detailed information about products and processes involved in achieving the end result. It’s typical for itemised costs to be included on these documents – provided by the interior designer and eventually the contractor.
- 3D renders or drawings – these can be very useful to show you exactly how your new space will look. However, these can be very time-consuming for your designer to produce so may be an extra expense that you decide is unnecessary.
- Mood board(s) – these can be physical or online using Pinterest for example.
What qualifications do you need to become an interior designer?
The title ‘Interior Designer’ is not protected by a regulatory body (like the title ‘Architect’ is, for example). Theoretically, anyone can call themselves an interior designer so it’s always important that you check up on their previous work and experience, alongside formal qualifications. There is an optional body that interior designers can join called the British Institute of Interior Design, where a minimum criteria for qualifications and experience is mandatory. However, many talented and qualified interior designers choose not to become members, so you may not want to rule out designers on this basis alone.
What do interior designers charge?
We have written two detailed articles on this subject, with the second one explaining how to go about finding a designer for a fee that is affordable for you and suitable for your project:
What should I look for in an interior designer?
When choosing a design professional many people believe that location is the most important consideration. However, you may well be closing the door to designers who may be better suited to your job. In this article we look at how important location is and how far you should cast your net in search of the best person for your project
Finally, we have put together the ultimate guide to choosing the right designer for your project:
Here at Design for Me we can match you with the best interior designers for your project and arrange initial consultations for free. Use the form below to get started and we’ll be happy to help!
Emily Design for Me