WHY TO HIRE A DESIGN PROFESSIONAL
So, with so much information out there and readily available, why would you ever need to use an actual, live, in-person real design professional? Why can’t you just simply watch the design shows and go to one of these shops and get their ‘free’ designer service and VIOLA – your space is designed? Isn’t this the modern way to design your perfect space?
Well, like most things in life, it is not as simple as it is “seen on TV.”
There can be a few different reasons for both methods of approaching of your design project. You have a choice: either being a total DIY (Do-It-Yourself) or opt to use a Design Professional. Both methods have their own merits. I feel both ought to be considered before you embark on your own design project, no matter how large or small.
DIY is one way where you will attempt to do everything yourself. This can be required due to financial constraints or a desire to actually be creative, or some combination of both. The alternative, getting a designer involved in some sort of way, can be done in a variety of ways as well. Traditionally it used to be only one way: when you hired a design professional, it was for a full-service package where the designer did everything for you.
You have a CHOICE: DIY or DIWY™
Today, as a result of our modern world and the changing needs of my clients, I have created and offer a new method of working with my clients, which is a combination of the DIY and traditional design approach. Design-It-With-You™ or DIWY™ is a new service offering I launched this year to provide my clients with a new way of working together on their design projects. It is more of a kit of parts, working only on the areas you need help with and letting you manage the other parts yourself that you want to or need to.
No matter which method you decide on, you need to first determine why and when you would ever need to use a design professional and or if you want to do everything on your own. I always say the most successful things in life are when you approach them with your eyes wide open going in.
The first and most essential reason you would need to use a design professional is when your project scope of work requires it. Architects are the easiest and most recognizable reasons why you need to use a professional. If the law requires you to use a professional for certificates of occupancy, to file with the DOB (Department of Buildings), or to get Working Permits and ensure your project is meeting all building laws, codes so it will ultimately be a safe place for you and your family and/ or employees to live/work in. This, of course, is when your project scope includes something major that changes the structure of your space such as moving a wall, adding or removing structural elements, making adjustments to the electrical or to the plumbing, or making other large design changes in your space.
The reason you are required by law to have a licensed and certified professional to help when your project is of this level of construction is to maintain your own health and safety. Using a professional will ensure your house or office will not fall down – literally! It also makes sure that dangerous things in your spaces that can cause fires or floods will be avoided or at least your risk is minimized.
Depending on the scope of what you need to do, sometimes it is simply required by law to use the design professionals – be it an architect or engineers or others to complete the work.
Now let’s look at the interior portion of your project. This is a rarely a matter of life and death. However, according to the NCIDQ (National Certification for Interior Design Qualifications), the following is the definition for Interior Design:
Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants, and are aesthetically attractive. Designs are created in response to and coordinated with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability. The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.
Interior design includes a scope of services performed by a professional design practitioner, qualified by means of education, experience and examination, to protect and enhance the health, life safety and welfare of the public. These services may include any or all of the following tasks: research, space plans, colors, millwork, furniture and material specifications, construction documentation, project coordination and project management.
As you can see, this definition which is highlighting the interior designers is rather lengthy and a wee bit boring; but in essence it too indicates a strong focus on the health, safety and welfare for our clients. SO though it may not be life and death as it is with the architects and engineers, it is a matter we take very seriously. The interiors of your spaces can enhance or detract greatly from your overall quality of life.
But in reality, you do not need to hire a professional to help you with the color of your space.
Or do you?
Stay tuned into next week for the Part 3, the final chapter of this article about Using Design Professionals: Why and When to discover the truth behind the real reasons why to use a design pro.