Designers Bring More Than Just the "Beautiful"

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I don't know what you think of when you think of an interior designer, but most people picture someone who has great taste and knows how pick out pretty things. Well, creating beautiful, functional rooms requires that... and much more. 

We designers have to know about building materials & their properties, paint finishes and uses, code and safety requirements, fabric types & properties (including understanding things like "Wyzenbeek 30,000 double rubs", which sounds like a type of massage (I wish!) but actually refers to fabric durability), and the art & science of lighting (which, believe it or not, requires using a mathematical formula & evaluating things like color temperature, energy-efficiency and placement & selection of fixtures & switches). This is the not-so-pretty, not-usually-all-that-entertaining stuff they don't show you on HGTV or in the pages of glossy magazines, but it's absolutely necessary. Let me take you behind the scenes of a project to show you what I mean:


This young family had a living room that was uninviting and unused. The goals were to make it warm, inviting, and bright; pet- and small children- friendly; and a gathering place where they could watch TV with friends. The challenges: no wall suitable for wall-mounted TV, unattractive columns, poor lighting, and furniture that wasn’t comfortable.

The solutions: remove the columns, change the flooring, add a rug, add comfortable yet durable furniture, add hard-wired lighting of various types, and elongate one wall to accommodate a TV and storage.

The floor plan went from this:


to this:


It now looks like this: