If I'm just remodeling and not building an entire house, I'd prefer an experienced residential designer over an architect. I think that when it comes to this type of work, experience is more important than education.
My family has had the same designer for the past twenty years and he has completed several remodeling projects for us. He is really well known in the area and has remodeled hundreds of homes. He is really good at what he does and works very professionally.
I don't know why some people insist on working with architects for remodeling. Can a new architecture graduate be as good as a residential designer with twenty years of experience? I personally don't think so.