By: Lindsay Ferro and Yvonne Rush It’s nothing new for Interior Designers to state their profession and be told from someone that we have a “fun” career, or that they love HGTV, or that they need to re-do their kitchen. (In fact, I think we’ve said this in one of our blogs before…) Yes, ID is probably a more fun career than some; yes HGTV is my guilty pleasure; and yes, I’d love to help you re-do your kitchen. But does the general public understand the value of hiring an Interior Designer? Before we go further, if you aren’t sure what the difference is between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator, here’s a great article that gives a typical job description of each. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s discuss the value of Interior Design… Although Interior Designers don’t plan major structural design too often (we are more than happy to let the architects and engineers handle that!), the choices that we make affect how the end users live, work, and play in an environment. Interior layouts, products, and materials have an impact on people’s wellness, productivity, health, education, estate value, etc. Many people don’t realize how much research is part of the everyday life for an interior designer. Our research provides a client with the best possible solution for their needs and wants. New products and materials are coming on the market every day, and it’s up to us to decipher through and decide which ones are best for the application, maintenance program, cost, and health and safety of the end users. (Thank goodness for all the fantastic reps we have!) We must also research the life cycle benefits and disadvantages of a particular product or solution. We ask questions such as, will this space plan allow for easy reconfiguration to meet customer needs in the future? How long will this floor be able to hold up with the amount of people walking on it every day? Does the space plan meet all code and ergonomic requirements? What colors improve productivity in the work environment? etc. etc. Statistically, a well-designed space has been known to increase people’s overall wellness and happiness which results in so many overall benefits to the client. A final product is much more valuable when the full design process is followed, and it’s our responsibility to make sure that isn’t lost. One of the biggest challenges designers face today is forgetting their own value. At times, we end up focusing on efficiency rather than the art of design. However, rushed solutions can end up resulting in design mistakes and costing the client more in the long run. It doesn’t help that reality TV shows and home/DIY shows have given the impression that interior design can be done by anyone, with a small budget, and in a quick amount of time. They don’t show you the years of education and experience, the background crews, the pre-planning and research, the extensive number of hours put into a design, and most importantly they don’t show you if the space is still usable and effective long after the cameras are gone. Stanley Abercrombie, a known writer & editor for Interior Design magazine has many great articles relating to the value of Interior Design. He has defined Interior Design as not only an art and a business, but a craft. He says, “The art of interior design is worth paying for, because a heightened quality of life is worth paying for.” We couldn’t agree more. Let us know your opinion and how you would define the value of Interior Design!