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What is an interior designer?

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The Professional Interior Designer is qualified by education, experience, and examination to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces; for the purpose of improving the quality of life, increasing productivity, and protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public.  

Why hire an interior designer?

You have spent hours collecting pages from magazines, visiting friends newly renovated homes, surfing the web for ideas, and doing your homework.  You are now ready to dive into your design project.  But do you hire an interior designer?  Can you afford one?  Can you afford not to have one?

An interior designer will save you money.  Their knowledge, expertise, and guidance can help prevent costly mistakes.  They will save you time.  An interior designers’ ability to pinpoint your needs and provide access to the best sources is invaluable.  An interior designer can also simplify your project.  They make the most of what you have and do the research to find what you need.   They can assist you with making informed selections from a variety of product resources.  Lastly, an interior designer will help you define and enhance your own style.  They can create a home that reflects your personal taste and meets your changing needs.

What is the difference between an interior designer and a decorator?

There is a difference? ABSOLUTELY.  Many are unsure and the terms are often interchanged.  An interior designer is qualified through professional education, mandatory documented experience post education, and are required to write a regulated exam after 7 years experience.   Interior designers are trained in producing working drawings for construction, and their designs are those of a more permanent nature, therefore requiring training in applying the Ontario Building Code to their designs by law. 

A decorator, in contrast, does not require any formal education.  There are programs available, but are not required.   Anyone who has not completed education or written the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualifications) exam, is not eligible by law, to call themselves an “interior designer”.  This is enforced through the Titles Act for interior designers to protect the public in Canada and the US.  Always ask someone for their credentials before you hire them as many claiming this title are not rightful and are unaware of the legal consequences.  
 An interior designer and decorator do have similarities, as they both can achieve aesthetically beautiful spaces.  But a decorator will work mainly with interior finishes such as furniture, drapery and accessories.  An interior designer can go beyond just the décor to provide clients with a wider range of services and professional knowledge to complete the project down to the last detail.  

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