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Get Help Decorating Your Home

By Doris Younger

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

I have been an interior designer for over 35 years with experience in both commercial and residential design. I started my own company nine years ago specializing in residential interiors. My company provides full service interior design including space planning, lighting design, elevation and detail drawings, furniture, art and accessory selection, custom window treatments and bed coverings, as well as kitchen and bath remodeling.

What is a common misperception that people have about interior design?

I think many people feel an interior designer is going to dictate to them what they should do with their home when actually a good designer will guide a client to make the best decisions for their lifestyle and needs.

Another misconception is many people use the terms "interior designer" and "interior decorator" interchangeably, but these professions differ in critical ways. Interior Designers apply creative technical solutions and use the art and science of understanding people's behavior to create functional, attractive spaces within a building or home that are beneficial to the occupants' quality of life. Interior Decorators furnish or adorn a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate but interior decorators do not design.

Additionally many states have passed laws requiring interior designers to be licensed or registered documenting their formal education. By contrast interior decorators require no formal training or licensure.

How should someone who wants professional help decorating their house start the process?

When you're ready to select an interior designer, the number of individuals and firms to choose from can be daunting. How do you know if you've chosen a professional designer? In general, you want a designer with the following characteristics:

  • Is accredited as an interior designer in the state of Texas by the State Board of Architectural Examiners.
  • Has experience in the type of project you are doing.
  • Has demonstrated creativity, talent and resourcefulness.
  • Is attentive, responsive and communicates well.
  • Has a record of reliability and good work habits.

Another way to ensure you are working with a professional interior designer is if he or she is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers or ASID. The ASID appellation after a designer's name indicates that he or she is an accredited interior designer who has passed rigorous professional testing.

What is the most common room that people in Texas want to redecorate/redesign?

At this time, kitchens and bathrooms are the most common areas people want to redesign. If they plan to stay in their home indefinitely, they will have an updated, modernized kitchen and/or bathroom to enjoy. Or, if they ever do sell, it will make it easier to sell their home and they will realize increased value in their home.

What are the basic elements of a complete room design?

First and foremost is creating a scaled space plan custom made for your room giving careful consideration to the flow of traffic, the activities planned and the scale, proportion and balance of all elements in the room. This is the foundation of achieving the results you want for your design project, creating a beautiful, stylish and functional setting that is uniquely you.

How are the interior design fee and budget typically set?

Designers usually charge one of three ways. One is hourly which works best if you are just needing consultation services, i.e. choosing materials for a small project, such as paint colors, flooring, tile, etc. The second is cost plus which is the designers cost on materials or furnishings plus a percentage mark up to pay for the designers time. The third is a flat fee based upon the hours a designer projects it will take for him/her to complete the job. An experienced designer can help a client decide on a realistic budget for their project as well as the best fee structure that would be fair to the designer and client.

What is one of the most common regrets homeowners have when it comes to interior design choices?

Each project is unique but I have found that interviewing a client in depth at the beginning determining their needs, how they use the space, their expectations, the budget, fees and time frame sets the tone for good communication from the start. Truly listening to the client and then guiding them through the design process, adding suggestions and inspiration and making them comfortable with the experience ensures a client will be satisfied with the end result and feel tremendous pride and satisfaction every time they walk into their space. Regrets should be rare!

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

I can be reached through my website dorisyoungerdesigns.com/ on the contact page. I can also be reached by phone at 972 979-7003.

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