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Using an Interior Designer



(ARA) - To look at most decorating magazines and television shows, you would think that rooms are meant to be seen and not used. In fact, often the picture you see is not how the room looks most of the time. The contents have been rearranged, possibly even enhanced, to improve the composition of the picture. Once the photographer or cameraman has gone, the room will be changed back to the way the interior designer envisioned it, as a place for people to use and enjoy. After all, the real test of a well designed room is not whether it is photogenic, but whether it works as it was intended for the people who live there.

Magazines and decorating programs can show us what is possible. They can inspire us to think differently about the space we have. But when it comes time to make changes, it is important to think beyond the frame. While we want our homes to be pleasing and attractive, we need them to be functional as well. That is where the expertise of a professional interior designer can prove invaluable.

Unlike many home remodeling or decorating services that may advise you on a particular aspect of your home, a professional interior designer can help put your home project in perspective. Will that “dream” room that looks so great in the magazine also meet your needs on a daily basis? An interior designer will want to know who is going to use the room and how, whether it will accommodate your guests and visitors, and what changes you may be planning for the entire house that could affect the design over time. Like a chess player who is always several moves ahead of the game, a professional designer has the training and experience to anticipate how lifestyle changes can affect the use of space and vice versa. He or she can ensure that the finished project not only looks right but performs to your expectations now and for years to come.

Going beyond the big picture, a designer is familiar with the thousands of details that make the difference between a good project and a great project. In addition to advising on color, fabric, furniture and furnishings, professional interior designers have an in-depth knowledge of flooring, wall coverings, windows, finishes and sealants, hardware, flooring, lighting, acoustics and many other elements involved in completing a room. He or she also will address safety and health issues, such as indoor air quality and protection against fires or falls.

In a recent survey of homeowners conducted by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), nearly nine out of 10 homeowners who had worked with an interior designer on a home design or remodeling project said their experience was highly satisfactory, and more than half (54 percent) said it was “Extremely Satisfactory.” Almost all (92 percent) said they would work with an interior designer again.

To find out more about how to work with and locate a qualified interior designer in your community, visit the ASID Web site at www.asid.org, or obtain a free copy of the new ASID brochure, Designing Your Space, available for download on the Web site or by sending an e-mail request, including name and mailing address, to arc@asid.org.

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