by Carmen Schechinger

When people think of interior design, they often think about picking out paint colors, or selecting furniture and artwork. The truth is, there’s a great deal more to the profession, and it takes more than a business card to call yourself an interior designer. Education, a certain level of experience – there’s even a test!

The common misconceptions about the role of an interior designer recently led the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ) to release an updated definition of interior design to further clarify what the profession actually entails.

Under the updated definition, professional interior designers are distinguished by their successful fulfillment of several criteria including:

  • Education – Majority have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in interior design or interior architecture.
  • Experience – Minimum two years practice in the field.
  • Examination – NCIDQ Examination and Certification, which includes verifying competent application of building systems, codes and construction standards.

So why does it matter how we define what we do?

Well, Denver is changing – fast. Our growing economy and booming population have driven a massive surge in construction as businesses relocate or expand. With so many companies looking at the investment of building an office space that will attract and retain employees, there is greater demand for qualified professional consultants to help them get their space right. The aesthetic of the Mile High City is being shaped every day, so the design of these interior spaces matters.

Good design is about more than how a space looks. It’s also about how it works. A qualified interior design team should make sure the design is as smart as it is beautiful. That it supports the health, safety, wellbeing and productivity of building occupants as well as enhances the human experience. That the space is compliant with building codes (of which there are many) and that it makes sense in the context of the building’s architecture.

As qualified interior designers, we guide with our clients from concept through delivery and beyond. We manage budgets, contracts, schedules, consultants, staffing and resources. Our clients rely on us for detailed and accurate drawings that directly impact the construction of the space. They expect us to know what to look for during construction and to work with the project team to get any issues addressed quickly. This all requires a level of expertise that only comes through education and experience.

So while it might not seem like a big distinction between “designer” and “decorator” on the surface, the old adage “It’s what’s on the inside that counts” applies in a big way to the design of your space.

Recent Posts

Designing to Support Neurodiversity 

In recent years, there has been a long-needed and collective recognition of the diversity of human experiences, particularly in the…

Reimagining the Fire & Police Pension Office Space 

The Elsy team recently had the pleasure of working with the Fire & Police Pension Association (FPPA) to relocate their…

Teaching the Next Generation of Interior Designers 

Teaching the Next Generation of Interior Designers At Elsy Studios and throughout my career, I have had the privilege of…

Recent Projects