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Would You Take Out Your Own Appendix?

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I was having a conversation the other day with my sister-in-law; a physician working in a rural community where their clinic is over capacity.  She is on the committee that is looking to renovate the facility and has been given the responsibility of compiling ideas for the new design.

My first reaction was (and I’m thinking this in my head):

“This is crazy!!  Why is a doctor trying to redesign a clinic??  I wouldn’t take out my own appendix!”

My more diplomatic response was “have you considered bringing in professional designers to look at your space?”

The conversation made me think about the ‘Do It Yourself’ society we live in.  Now don’t get me wrong, I like to DIY with the best of them (I’m a Mennonite girl, so if I can get it done without outside help, I can save some money…), but I’ve slowly come to realize the value in utilizing the expertise of others.  The reason why we have experts is because the problems we need to resolve are more complex than we realize.  And often the result of doing it wrong results in wasting our time, money and feeling frustrated when the outcome wasn’t what we’d hoped for.

The built environment, for example, is extremely complex.  There are physical, social, emotional and mental elements to consider. Not everything is tangible, but in the end the intangible has a massive effect.  How will people use the space?  How do you want them to move through it?  How do you delineate public and private areas? How do you accommodate for individuals with physical limitations? How do you want to direct behavior? How do you want people to feel? How do you design spaces that contribute to wellness?  Believe it or not, these are some of the questions that professional designers ask when starting a new project.  And if we’re not, then we should be.

Food for thought.

Tracy

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“A great building must begin with the immeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed, and in the end must be unmeasured.”

– Louis Kahn

Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator… do you know the difference?

Just the other day Heather and I were onsite measuring for an office renovation when one of the staff approached us and asked who we were. When we told them her we were Interior Designers her immediate response was “oh wonderful, are you going to make our office look pretty?”

This is possibly one of the worst things that you could say to an Interior Designer, and the most common misconception of our profession…that all we do is decorate! So many people think that Interior Designers and Interior Decorators are one in the same, but this is just not the case.

So what’s the difference??

Interior Decorators are ‘stylists’. Their expertise is in selecting and arranging colour palettes, finishes, paint, furnishings and accessories. Although they are talented in creating beautiful spaces, they are not required to have formal education, as their focus is primarily on aesthetics.

Interior Designers are highly skilled professionals with anywhere between 4-6 years of post-secondary education. They are experienced in understanding human scale, acoustics, lighting, life safety, building code, accessibility, sustainable design, technical construction, and so many other elements that make a space function before it looks ‘pretty’. They are trained to create interior environments that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but are experiential and improve the overall well-being of the user.

A Professional Interior Designer must also pass a qualifying exam called the NCIDQ which certifies that they are competent in the interior design principles that enable them to protect public health, safety and welfare.

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For more information on the difference between Interior Design and Interior Decorating as well as the Interior Design Profession please visit the National Council for Interior Design Qualification website.

If you are looking for a qualified, professional interior designer for your next commercial project, give me a call!

Janine

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Merry Christmas + Happy New Year { 2013 }

Just here to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2013 has been a great year here in the office:

  • Our new website was launched in November www.s3interiordesign.com
  • We all traveled to Greenbuild in Philadelphia to discover the best ways to design more sustainably
  • We’ve worked with some amazing clients and have helped them realize their dream spaces
  • We had another successful summer of Show Homes (16 homes) for the Parade of Homes
  • Elaina got engaged and will be getting married next Christmas 2014!
  • Tracy  passed her NCIDQ exam and is now officially a Professional Interior Designer!
  • Annie bought a new house! We’re still waiting on the house warming party…
  • Carrie has discovered a great love of fitness training (to complement her already outstanding cheer coaching talents)!
  • …and best of all, we are all still happy & healthy, ready to take on another great year together

S3 Christmas Card 2013

We hope you stay tuned to our blog for some great topics and chats in 2014.

All the best to you, our wonderful readers, clients, friends & family. Happy Christmas!

Tracy & the S3 girls (Elaina, Carrie & Annie)

Tracy Signature Photo