What is Interior Design?
Interior design is a multifaceted 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 that includes research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process. This methodology includes a wide range of tasks, including:
- Determining and satisfying client and building code requirements for appearance, accessibility, environmental responsibility, and economic, physical, psychological, organizational, cultural and social considerations
- Creating visual representations and conceptual space plans — from stacking/zoning diagrams to block plans/square footage allocations — to develop design concepts and explore solutions
- Recommending finishes and materials and the placement of furniture and furnishings based on technical and design features, and evaluating consultant reports, technical information and manufacturers' data for materials, methods and products
- Preparing interior construction documents, from demolition plans to permit applications, based on approved design, budget and schedules
What is the definition of Interior Design?
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.
What is the Difference Between Interior Design & Interior Decorating?
Many people use the terms "interior design" and "interior decorating" interchangeably, but these professions differ in critical ways.
Interior design is the art and science of understanding people's behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.
Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive and beneficial to the occupants' quality of life and culture. Designs respond to and coordinate 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—to satisfy the needs and resources of the client.
Many U.S. states and Canadian provinces have passed laws requiring interior designers to be licensed or registered — documenting their formal education and training — and many of them specifically require that all practicing interior designers earn the NCIDQ Certificate to demonstrate their experience and qualifications. By contrast, interior decorators require no formal training or licensure.
How will I Know if an Interior Designer is Qualified?
Qualified interior designers are usually members of professional associations such as the IDA (or one of their provincial affiliates). These professionals will have an aggregate of post secondary education in interior design and practical experience totalling seven years, and will have successfully completed a qualifying examination (NCIDQ). As a guideline, you can look for the designations LID, IDA, RIDIA, IDC after the designer's name to ensure that you are hiring a qualified professional.
Provisional members of the IDA are "designers in training". They have completed their post-secondary education and are in the process of acquiring the practical experience required to sit their qualifying examination.
What does IDA stand for?
IDA stands for the Interior Designers of Alberta.
The IDA, through its representation of all classes of interior designers — students to retired members — is actively involved in provincial, national and international affairs and discussions related to professional governance, liaisons, reciprocity, etc. Through this work the IDA is able to ensure that its members receive current information and are qualified by standards that reflect the profession at large. The IDA receives and is able to offer support from other interior design associations throughout North America and is thus able to offer continuity and currency to members. As the largest and most comprehensive interior design membership in the province; the IDA is recognized by other interior design associations as the voice of the profession within the Province of Alberta.
Education of practicing designers; and
To provide a liaison between the profession and the general public
To protect the health, safety and well-being of the general public;
To develop and maintain standards of practice of interior design;
To encourage excellence in interior design;
To develop standards of and encourage continuing education
What does IDC stand for?
IDC is the professional association for interior designers in Canada. IDC's mandate is to advance the profession of interior design across Canada as well as internationally. It does so through advocacy with government and the public, and by providing continuing education opportunities and business practice support services to members. For more information on IDC, please visit idcanada.org.
What does LEED stand for?
LEED stands for 'Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design'. LEED is a rating system developed by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) used to certify the sustainability of buildings in the United States and Canada. Green (sustainable) building encompasses the planning, design, construction, operations, and ultimately end-of-life recycling or renewal of structures. Sustainability means creating places that are environmentally responsible, healthful, just, equitable, and profitable. Greening the built environment means looking holistically at natural, human, and economic systems and finding solutions that support quality of life for all.
LEED certification (on a building) provides third -party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures.
Do you have insurance?
Yes our firm carries professional liability insurance and commercial general liability insurance for all of our projects.
What Are Your Fees?
Our fee structure is determined by the scope of the project and is either a fixed fee or an hourly rate of $150/hour.
Why Should I Hire a Professional Interior Designer?
Choosing the right design professional is a very important decision for your project's success. By selecting a Professional Interior Designer you will be working with a professional who:
- Is formally educated in interior design and has a comprehensive knowledge in the principles of design, construction, completing and understanding construction drawings, materials and project management.
- Adheres to a strict code of professional conduct
- Is skilled at assessing a client’s individual needs and wants and creating designs that meet and exceed these requirements
- Remains current on local building codes, safety and environmental regulations and the wealth of new products and equipment on the market
- Belongs to a provincial Interior Design Association (i.e. IDA)
What does NCIDQ stand for?
NCIDQ stands for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification.
NCIDQ is the global leader in establishing standards of competence for interior design/interior architecture professionals.
The National Council for Interior Design Qualification protects public health, safety and welfare by identifying interior designers who have the knowledge and experience to create interior spaces that are not just aesthetically pleasing, but also functional and safe.
Independent, nonprofit organization of state and provincial credentialing bodies, NCIDQ has issued professional certificates to competent interior design professionals since 1974. Interior designers who meet NCIDQ's eligibility requirements for education and experience and pass the rigorous NCIDQ Examination are assigned a unique NCIDQ Certificate number that attests to their qualifications for employers, state regulators and the general public.
In addition to developing and administering the examination, NCIDQ provides research and expertise that informs state and provincial licensing laws and regulations for the interior design profession.