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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.

DESIGNVSDECORATING_CHART1

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

Janine Signature Photo

Bathe in Luxury

When you walk into a hotel bathroom, what are the things you hope to find? We are not surprised by the typical things like a terry cloth robe, soft fresh towels, and sample size body washes, shampoos and conditioners. The 4-star hotels that leave an impression have unexpected elements like a floor-to-ceiling steam shower, whirlpool tub, vanishing television mirrors, heat racks for towels, slippers to go with your robe… The list continues. I had a client that wanted a piece of this luxury at home, so they put my design skills to the test.

Design Requirements

  • Gut the existing ensuite as the space was outdated & did not meet the needs of the client
  • Jacuzzi tub was unused & the shower was too small.
  • Increase the size of the walk-in-closet
  • Maintain location of the existing toilet

Include the following in the new design:

  • Large tiled steam shower w/ body jets, rain shower head, hand held shower wand & bench
  • Large vanity with single sink
  • Make-up counter (separate from vanity)
  • Separate toilet room
  • Use sustainable & eco-friendly materials

The Existing Space

2014-05-27 09.54.28 2014-05-27 09.54.51 2014-05-27 09.55.15

The Concept

  • Create an urban escape; a home space that mimics the amenities of a hotel
  • Space for various functions, separate toilet room, suit preparation in good lighting, make-up table, and shower for 2
  • Maximize storage
  • Shower to be the main feature of the bathroom
  • Make-up table to be designed for easy access for styling tools (hairdryer, curling iron, etc)

AS BUILT

Inspiration Image

Click here to see the inspiration for this design.

Project Limitations

  • Working within the existing square footage
  • Staying within budget $40,000
  • Adding a new hot water tank for new steam shower
  • Compliment the glass block windows that will remain

New Design

In the new design, I started out by removing the angles that were taking up valuable square footage, which allowed for an increase in length for the walk in closet by 3’-6”. I then took some room from the master bedroom to allow for a nice sized make-up table. I maintained the existing toilet room but just shortened it to decrease wasted space. The vanity was relocated to the back wall to make it the feature when you walk into the ensuite. The shower was moved to the backside of the closet and is the focal point of the bathroom.

BOSCHMAN FINAL-A-2 CONSTRUCTION PLAN

Millwork Design

The Vanity was designed strategically to balance the existing stepped window with the sink & mirror. We wanted to draw the attention of the viewer away from the window which we did by creating vertical elements on one side & horizontal elements on the another side. We used a stone & glass backsplash tile to bring some drama behind the mirror. Open vertical storage boxes were used in the base cabinets to emphasis the vertical line.

Ensuite sink Makeup space

We recreated the backsplash detail on the make-up counter to bring consistency through the space.

Quality fixtures

BOSCHMAN FINAL-A-5 ELEVATIONS

Shower Tile Design

As the shower was meant to be the focal point of the bathroom, I used a variety of tile combinations & Schluter products to bring the final product to life. We used the KERDI-BOARD system on the shower head wall for recessed accents (backed with a beautiful glass tile) as a place for the client to store shampoos, body washes, and conditioners. We also used the KERDI-LINE shower drain which allows you to use large format 12” x 24” tiles on the shower floor for limited grout lines.

BOSCHMAN FINAL-A-6 ELEVATIONS

Tile attention to detail Glass & tile shower

The Finishes

The clients wanted a fresh & neutral palette with a hint of colour. As a way of giving the palette an enhanced look, while keeping it neutral, we looked at using texture to give the space a boost.

Finishes Boschman

The Final Result

The final result is soft & elegant. The tile design in the shower & the reconfiguration of the space make the space feel large and luxurious.

ensuite photo

I would love to have this bathroom in my own home!

Come talk to me if you want to create your own spa in your home.

Carrie

Carrie Signature Photo

basement design

Renovating this Spring or Summer? Start planning today!

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Has winter already got you thinking of renovating when the snow melts? Well, I’m here to tell you that NOW is the best time to get started on the planning process. But, I bet you’re asking yourself…

Where do you start?  What do you need?  Who do you contact?

I’ve been working in the industry for many years now and I can tell you, without a doubt, planning ahead of time is not only suggested, it’s a necessity!

Here are the steps that I think you should take when starting a renovation project:

1. Start planning early: 

Depending on the size of your project, expect to spend 2-8 months in the planning stages. This may seem long, but it’s well worth the effort.  A poorly planned project will end up costing more time & money (not to mention frustration) in the long run.

2. Create a list of needs and wants:

The more decisive you are about your spatial needs, your aesthetic style and your budget, the more accurately the professionals you enlist can do their jobs. As the designer on your project, I truly want to hear from you. I want to know how you want to function in your space, how you want others to function in your space and, ultimately, how you want the space to make you feel. In the end, it’s all about the experience!

3. Enlist the help of professionals:

Interior Designers | Architects | Contractors | Builders | Electricians | Plumbers | Etc

The list goes on… Hiring a professional will be the best thing you’ll ever do! Bold statement, but it’s true. They can assist you with putting your dreams into visual form, making your dream into a reality.  At our office, Elaina, Annie, Carrie and I are qualified to do everything from the space planning to the final finishing touches. It is up to you, our clients, to decide how much or how little assistance you need. Getting everyone involved right from the beginning allows for problems to be solved before they even begin.

Please see our Design Services on our How We Do It page. 

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Renovating will have its challenges, it ALWAYS does (remember it’s humans you’re dealing with). However, if you allow yourself enough time to plan your project; if you hire competent, honest and hardworking people; and if you keep a positive attitude with the end goal in mind, the results are well worth it!

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So, if you’re looking to renovate that kitchen, that basement, or really anything else, come Spring or Summer, call the S3 Team today to get started on the planning.

We’d love to help you out!

Tracy

Tracy Signature Photo