What Does An Interior Designer Do?

Here’s a question I get asked all the time: “What does an interior designer do?” 

It usually happens after mentioning that I’ve been brainstorming a blueprint edit or celebrating that a client ordered her new furniture and wanted to show the choices to me. People seem to have one general image of an interior designer in their mind, and my tasks mentioned doesn’t generally fit the image they’ve conjured up. 

I’m convinced that when people imagine me at work, they see me flipping through the pages of wallpaper books or touching reams of fabric to find just the perfect color and texture for a chair.

Now don’t get me wrong, wallpaper and perfectly-designed chairs are great, but there’s so much more I can help my clients with. 

If what you know about interior design is based on the late 1980’s television show Designing Women, then we’ve got a lot to talk about. I invite you to pull up a chair, pretend as if we’re enjoying a cup of coffee or tea together, and I’ll catch you up with everything you need to know about my role as an interior designer.

What Does An Interior Designer Do: A Very Basic Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Interior designers make indoor spaces functional, safe, and beautiful by determining space requirements and selecting essential and decorative items, such as colors, lighting, and materials.” They can work on new home builds or renovating a pre-existing place.

What does an interior designer do regarding function and safety?

In order to make your space “functional”, I need to get to know you, how you plan to live in your home, and then determine what changes to the layout, space planning, and design need to be made to get your space to function to meet your needs. Most people plan how they live around how the home is already set up. I help you to try and make your space suit you. This is especially my favorite task to focus on in new build homes, as I’m able to act as the second voice for homeowners and make suggested blueprint changes to the architect.

What does an interior designer do to make a house beautiful?

Interior designers are good listeners. We’re able to hear what you tell us about your needs, wants, likes, and dislikes, and distill those thoughts into a design that makes you feel comfortable — a design that makes you feel at home. 

And, you know, one that makes your friends and family wishing they lived there!

Designing and Decorating Aren’t (Necessarily) the Same Thing

I often hear the terms interior designer and interior decorator interchanged, but there is a difference between the two. 

An interior decorator is a person who helps to decorate the inside of a home or office space. This person works with a home or business owner to choose the colors, textures, floor and wall coverings, and lighting fixtures, along with any decorative accessories for the home. They may order the items on their own, and include the cost in their project fee to the owner.

what interior designers do

Interior designers can do that, and so much more. I’m regularly working with architects on blueprint drawings. I often act as a go-between builders and homeowners when it comes to encouraging decision-making at all stages of the process. In a renovation, I help homeowners keep a consistent design between new rooms and old ones, all while uplifting the overall look. 

And let’s talk about ordering for a moment. One of my missions is to empower homeowners to order their own items for their home, especially decorative pieces. Let me focus on the big picture. I’m happy to incorporate a lamp that’s been passed down through generations or the art collection you own from your years abroad.

Interior Designers Don’t Need to be Local Businesses

Did you know that you can work with an interior designer from anywhere in the world? Of course, it can be fun to work in-person with a designer, but I often work with clients who don’t live in the same geographic location as I’m in!

With the advances of video calls, online ordering, and project management tools I’m able to meet with my clients virtually to strategize, organize, and help them make decisions about how to decorate, redecorate, or renovate their personal spaces. 

There’s no need to wonder “What does an interior designer do?” anymore! If you’re looking for someone who can help you organize your design ideas or help you make decisions on your next project, reach out to me. I’d love to work with you!

Clevelan Ohio interior design

I’m Ingrid Porter. As a designer with 30+ years of experience serving Northeastern Ohio, I specialize in personal and detail-driven design for families building or transforming the home of their dreams. If you’re ready to take “home” to the next level, we can’t wait to work with you.

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