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What is an Interior Design Consultant?

An interior design consultant gets a client's input on what she wants.
Some interior design consultants specialize in minimalist yet luxe room designs.
An interior design consultant may focus on accent pieces to compliment existing furniture.
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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 November 2014
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An interior design consultant is an individual who plans and directs the construction or remodeling of an interior space. A professional may help people decide on color schemes, materials, and furniture that fit their personalities and add aesthetic beauty to their homes. A consultant may also specialize in remodeling commercial buildings and health care facilities, focusing on safety and functionality. Becoming an interior design consultant requires several years of education and practical training to master a broad range of duties, from blueprint design to customer service.

People usually hire design consultants when they are planning major renovations or constructing new buildings and residences. An interior design consultant gets a client's input on what he or she wants, takes careful measurements, determines if specifications meet safety codes, and creates blueprints for the new design. The designer often personally selects the paints, artwork, furniture, and materials to be used for the project. He or she supervises contracted workers in the construction of the new interior design, ensuring that everything is up to code and matches the client's wishes. After the completion of a project, the designer meets once more with the client to address any concerns and suggest small finishing touches.

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A large number of professionals are employed by design consulting firms, construction companies, and retail stores, though many experienced consultants choose to operate their own businesses. A self-employed interior design consultant offers his or her services on a contract basis, accepting many clients and scheduling appointments. He or she usually assumes general administrative and management duties in addition to consulting services, such as promoting the business, directly billing clients, collaborating with construction and design companies, and possibly hiring assistants.

To become an interior design consultant, a person must typically hold at least an associate degree or certificate from an accredited interior design school. Some colleges offer four year bachelor's degree programs in design and consultation. Most graduates of design programs take on paid apprenticeships at interior design firms. An apprenticeship, which may take one to three years to complete, entails observing and assisting established designers, gaining valuable firsthand experience. A designer who has successfully completed an apprenticeship may be required to pass a written licensing exam administered by his or her state or country before practicing independently.

There is generally a steady demand for qualified interior designers. An increasing population and urbanization create the need for experienced consultants to help design new commercial buildings, apartments, and houses. Employment opportunities are usually very good for individuals with highly specialized skills, such as those who concentrate on bathroom design.

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anon127075
Post 5

either by hourly (for smaller job or short term job) or percentage (10 percent is considered the norm) for a bigger job. hope this helps.

googlefanz
Post 4

Do I need to get a spot of interior design consulting before I start a commercial interior design overhaul of my business? Is it worth sitting through the floor plans and fabric swatches?

rallenwriter
Post 3

@anon76780 -- The charging method usually depends on the interior design consultancy you work with. Some interior design businesses charge by the hour; others give free consultation in exchange for you agreeing to use them for a certain service.

Again, it depends on the interior designer or consultant, but most will tell you up front how they bill -- and if they don't you should ask them! No sense in getting a nasty surprise later.

EarlyForest
Post 2

When trying to choose between interior design services for an interior design consultation, don't be shy about asking a lot of questions.

Sometimes people feel like they're being poorly behaved or rude to grill the interior design consultants or decorators before they hire them, but that's their job, people. You need to make sure that they can give you what you want.

That way you go home happy, and they go home happy -- win-win situation.

anon76780
Post 1

how do an interior design consultant charge for services rendered?

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