It may seem a little confusing, Decorator… Designer… What’s the difference, right? Well there is a difference, but very few people actually know what that is. Most people use these titles interchangeably. Some will tell you that one is better than the other, but it really comes down to what you want to do with your business and what type of designer you want to be? How fast do you want to get started and how much time do you want to invest into this new career of yours?
The basic definition of a designer is someone who has a college degree in interior design from an accredited school, and has passed the NCIDQ exam as a member of ASID, or the American Society of Interior Designers. It’s like passing the bar exam for interior designers, and it’s required if you want to be licensed in your state. You must also work for a number of years for an ASID certified designer before you are even eligible to take the test. Wow, that seems like a ton of work!
That may be why most designers, including myself at times, get very defensive about the title. I thought, «Hey I busted my hump through four years of school, and many years working in the field for another designer. I deserve that title!» Ok, we may have a chip on our shoulder, I’ll admit it. One interesting thing I’ve learned is unless you plan on working for an architectural firm, or strictly in commercial design, you don’t really need to put yourself through all of that time, effort, and money.
I do understand its importance. If you want to advise a client on moving walls, or structural changes, you must be educated on the latest building codes, fire regulations, and structural physics of a building. There is serious liability if you make a suggestion that has dangerous or detrimental consequences. If this is the type of designer that you want to be, then the school route is for you. If you really want to be considered a technical «designer» some day, you can use your working time towards your «apprentice» requirements and go back to school.
I have found that it’s sometimes easier to contract out to your engineer or general contractor and let them handle the technical stuff. It takes so much time to draft the design, have it checked by an engineer, which is required to make sure it passes codes, and have it stamped with a regulation seal or engineering endorsement. I now cut that step out and go right to the source. I will teach you more about building your team in a later issue.
I’m here to tell you, as a residential designer, I have learned far more in the «real world» than in design school. I spent thousands towards ASID dues and four wonderful years in college, but never took the plunge to take the exam. I wouldn’t change going to college, nor will I discourage anyone from going. I’m a firm believer that you should never stop learning, and of course it’s an amazing growing process that everyone should experience. I’m just saying that you don’t have to get a degree to be a designer. Especially if this is a new chapter in your life, or a second career. Many women and men today are reinventing themselves in the current economy. You’ve heard this from me before, «Time is precious». There’s no time like the present! If you keep it simple, and learn from my experience, I can teach you how to have a great career starting now! Only a few clients have asked me if I am licensed or still in ASID, and I explain that for me, it has never been a necessity. That’s usually the end of that. I have had a successful career for almost 20 years now without passing The Test, and I’ve never lost a client because of it. I learned at an early age what really motivates me, is simply making other people happy. I help families create a beautiful home, while making the process painless for them, and profitable for me. I have done commercial design and poured over blueprints, codes, and building requirements, but that isn’t my calling.
If I want to make structural changes, I turn to my team of experts. By delegating and networking, you save tons of time, frustration, and liability. Let the experts do their job, while you do what’s most important to you: Making sure the customer is happy and that your design is coming together as planned. You still make a profit from their work and with all of the time you save, you can build your clientele and spend time doing the things that you want to do.
When you’re first starting out, you will be considered a Decorator, and that’s OK! Four year degree or not, most people will refer to you as their decorator anyway. «A rose by any other name would smell as sweet». Some of the most influential people I have ever worked with, were hugely successful and profitable… Decorators.
Compra online la Camisetas de fútbol! En JD encontrarás las del FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, la selección de España y equipos internacionales. by Chelsea Coryell