Qualities of a Professional Interior Designer


Education, Experience, Examination:

Clients want to entrust their design needs into the hands of a professional interior designer who is capable of addressing the challenges involved. Amateurs, folks who consider design a hobby, or “those with a flair” may be well suited to simpler decorating tasks. However, nothing can replace specific interior design education, years of broad- spectrum experience and passage of the national interior design examination (NCIDQ) to ensure that a client is in capable hands. The powerful combination of education, experience, and examination affords interior design clients the best possible outcomes. A professional interior designer sees the solution in his/her mind, can communicate that vision effectively, and see to it that all interior selections complement that vision. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase, “How/why did you think of that?”

Design & Style:

Early in their lives, most professional interior designers display unusual interest in color, texture, light, simple structures, and repeatedly arranging and rearranging items. These natural tendencies, coupled with formal interior design education, express themselves in the constant quest to create. In the 3rd grade, I vividly recall the SRA (Science Research Associates) reading cards. I wasn’t as concerned with reading the books as much as I was intrigued with the color of those cards. At a young age (and to this day) I loved organizing clothes in closets and drawers by the slightest gradation of color. Constant furniture rearrangements were the norm. At 12 years of age, I challenged the decision of our family’s decorator who selected a white shag upholstered sofa for a family of five small and very active children! In time, an interior designer prefers some styles to others, but a professional interior designer has the ability to put aside personal preferences in deference to the client’s desires and needs.

Design Principles:

Professional interior designers incorporate design principles purposefully. Symmetry, asymmetry, rhythm, proportion, scale, repetition, positive and negative space, spatial relations, balance, color, gradation, focal point, and transition are just a few design basics. There must be some innate ability to recognize these design principles, but they are perfected when learned in a educational setting. Formal interior education engrains these principles into the student’s minds, which is beneficial for every project in a designer’s career. Design principles became second nature and form the foundation for creative solutions to interior design challenges.

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