By Natalie Lehman, 03/20/2020
When decorating your home, interior designers can be enormously helpful … in nearly every aspect!
We are experts in space-planning. Many of us are trained to use the same computer programs as architects, and during renovation projects, we reconfigure floor plans with the help of licensed engineers and architects who know how to spot load-bearing walls. Before purchasing furniture for your living room, bedroom, or dining room, and interior designer will measure the space and determine what the scale of your pieces should be to avoid an overly-crowded (or sparse) appearance. Interior designers know the best distance between sofas and coffee tables, how much walking space there should be around the dining table, and how the proper placement of appliances in a kitchen will make life easier. Not only do we make bookshelves look amazing, but we also expertly organize all the closets and pantry shelves. Lots of us have experience in barrier-free design. This concept is greatly important in allowing as many individuals as possible to access and use spaces comfortably.
FURNITURE & FIXTURES
When it comes to choosing furniture, light fixtures, and plumbing fixtures like tubs/faucets, interior designers are familiar with many brands and options that come with them. Due to this, we can listen to your needs (with budget and room size in mind), and help you create a shopping list. Once the list is ready, your interior designer is connected to a variety of vendors and fabricators who are experts in their respective niches. Most of us have developed relationships with vendors who constantly educate us about new products, new technology, and what brands offer the most “bang for your buck.”
FABRICS, PAINT COLORS, WALLPAPER
Interior designers understand the properties of various fabrics allowing us to recommend certain types for window treatments, upholstery, or bedding. We know which fabrics require a knit backing if used in upholstery, which are easiest to clean, and how to blend even bold colors and patterns without things getting too busy. During consultations, designers are often asked to help choose color schemes. Color choice can affect mood, increase occupant energy, or encourage relaxation. It can even help those with low vision navigate a space when highly contrasting hues are used to signal approaching walls, etc.
LIGHTING & TEXTURES
If you are one of those people who love to decorate in light neutrals or monochrome schemes, various textures will be your best friends. How does one highlight all these interesting, eye-catching surfaces? Lighting. Different types of surfaces reflect light in their own unique way. Smooth surfaces appear bright and shiny while fuzzy surfaces appear soft and wood pieces glow. In the absence of bright color, these textures provide plenty of visual interest and can be very calming. Interior designers know there are several things to consider when planning for adequate lighting. You need adequate ambient light for way-finding and you need adequate task lighting for reading. Decorative lighting is another category, but these pieces may not provide enough ambient or task lighting for your purposes.
As you can see, interior designers do quite a bit! Your space should function well according to your individual needs, but that doesn’t mean the space has to bore you. Simply put, your home can be practical AND pretty. Interior designers are the experts in making this happen!