Frequently Asked Questions

Is Interior Decorating the Same as Interior Design?

  • No. According to the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, “Interior Design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Interior 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.”

How is an Interior Designer Different from an Interior Decorator?

  • 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 adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environment sustainability.

Why Hire a Professional Interior Designer?

  • To solve problems, save time and money and prevent costly errors that could the impact health, safety and welfare of you and your loved ones. A degreed interior designer has been trained in space planning and utilization, building codes, materials, finishes, textiles, furniture, lighting, color, and the principles and elements of design. They utilize their knowledge to create functional, safe, attractive environments.
  • They have the vision, skills and talent to conceptualize a design and put it all together to meet your lifestyle needs and achieve your objectives.
  • Great resources! An established interior designer is worth her/his weight in gold with their resources and relationships.
    • A great team of professional, skilled, reliable, dependable contractors and trades people means the job gets done right.
    • Access to trade-only vendors, enables the designer to furnish your home with unique, high-quality goods that will last and will set you apart from your neighbors and friends.

Are There Downsides to Using Furniture Stores’ “Free Design Service”?

  • Yes, while it sounds good, nothing is “free.” Companies build the cost of design service into the cost of their products.
  • You get their “free design services” if you agree to purchase their products and your design plan will only include their products. So, you’re options are will be limited and you may not get the best design, product or price. And, usually they will only help you with the products they offer. For example: they will help with furniture, but are not able to help with flooring, lighting; window, wall and ceiling treatments; color scheme, interior detailing, millwork, cabinetry, fireplaces, or other custom elements.
  • Store “designers,” often, are usually sales people with a design title, NOT trained, professional interior designers.

What is Aging-in-Place?

  • Aging-in-Place is when people continue living in their current residence, as long as possible as they age, rather than moving into a family member’s home or a senior living community.

Is Aging-in-Place Always Possible?

  • Many times it is, if the house or apartment has been modified for the resident to sustain independence. Aging-in-place principles support physical convenience, well being, security, and comfort.

Is Universal Design the Same as Aging-in-Place Design?

  • No. Universal Design is the design of products and environments for all people without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

Does Universal Design Eliminate the Need for Aging-in-Place Design?

  • No. Homes or home features can be universally designed to meet everyone’s needs, but few will ever be completely universal because once the needs of one or more family members change due to accident, illness or aging. Homes must then be customized for accessibility or assistive technology in order to sustain independence and remain in the home.

Who Can Best Advise Me On How to Prepare My Home for Aging-in-Place?

  • A professional interior designer that has specialized expertise in senior living and is a certified aging-in-place specialist is your best option. Theses specialists provide thoughtful, long-term, design-savvy solutions with aesthetic appeal and subtlety, unlike the short-term, immediate fixes that many remodelers or bath companies provide.