Change is certain in our lives; its breadth and pace is mind-boggling. Many of us have lived though the digital revolution – some of us may have even lived without color television! This is never so important to consider as when embarking on a renovation or new construction.
As Interior Designers, we are constantly introduced to new products. It is imperative for us to discern if the product is worthy of our clients by determining how well it will perform and how it will be used most effectively. Examples may include a new fabric which utilizes nano-technology to provide stain resistance, water repelling or bacteria-killing properties among other very desirable qualities. An imitation silk of bamboo can now be weaved into an area rug professing to be stronger and a more eco-conscious choice. Smart homes and appliances with all their technology may be fun for one client while highly necessary for another’s well-being. An early adaptor will enjoy the “toys” and take advantage of their possibilities while a client with special needs, such as a handicapped or aging person, and their family will benefit greatly from the technology. Sensors and alarms may signal danger or remind someone to take their medicine. Of course, there is the added benefit of total pre-programming and/or remote control of the lighting, the temperature and the security from your home or anywhere in the world!
Innovations in home design and décor evolve, and the powerful ones replace older technologies and become mainstream. Often these improvements that modify or simplify our lives can empower and substantially improve the lives of the poor in developing countries. Case in point: the drip irrigation system initially invented by a farmer in the Israeli desert became the most convenient way to water our gardens and potted plants. This process also assisted developing nations in the agriculture of their desert lands, yielding the most crops from their limited water supply.
It is important to be up-to-date with the changes that affect home design. Here are some notable examples:
- Lighting is crucial in the interior design of any space. LED lighting is certainly replacing the incandescent and fluorescent bulbs with which we are most familiar. We need to understand its benefits and where it may be lacking. We are no longer assessing wattage or the energy required but lumens, a measure of how much light is produced. This variation in the reference of specification is another reason we continue to learn our craft.
- Shower Systems have gone digital with many spraying options. They can now be pre-programmed similar to your car seats with personal preferences, or controlled via a touch pad.
- Materials are constantly evolving. Natural materials were once the best choice however many synthetic alternatives outperform their natural counterparts in certain circumstances.
How do I, as a professional Interior Designer, keep up with all these changes?
I keep reading, asking, learning and consulting with specialists. I surround myself with knowledgeable colleagues and sources and I network with these individuals. I utilize the continuing education opportunities afforded me by vendors on the cusp of research and technology and our premiere trade organization, ASID or the American Society of Interior Designers. I also attend many various trade shows in the arts, design, technology and construction.
Interior Designers benefit greatly from our vendor manufacturers. We build teams with years of experience and relationships. Our sources and their representatives educate us on both the positive and the negative; they direct us on the preparation for and the installation of their products. Most importantly, they are there when there is a problem. In a recent case, I specified many yards of various wallcovering for a commercial space. One of the products showed slight imperfections. I called my vendor, he looked and had it replaced immediately. My clients have peace of mind during their renovations knowing that anything that is not right will be corrected.
The design of your home or office requires coordination among a multitude of products. In this role, the Interior Designer will work with many sources to achieve your beautiful results.
Do you have a project on the horizon or are you trying to decide among a plethora of options? Allow me to assist you in making these decisions. I would like to help you in achieving your goals and transforming your space. Call me at 201 233-4636 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pat Valentine Ziv, ASID, CID, is a NJ Certified Interior Designer and a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers. She holds an Architectural Design degree and possesses in-depth knowledge of buildings and their systems.