Aesthetics are an important component of any interior design project but a professional interior designer focuses on much more than appearance.

In fact, professional interior designers receive training on building technology, ergonomics, environmental issues, and local building and fire codes, in addition to studying design fundamentals. They bring together technical expertise and a comprehensive understanding of design to enhance the function and quality of interior spaces.

Professional interior designers have the education and experience necessary to oversee the complex tasks of designing and managing the construction of interior environments. Whether designing a private residence, commercial office, retail environment, recreation facility, or public institution, interior designers coordinate with other trades, suppliers, and licensed practitioners to ensure the safe, successful completion of a project.

In British Columbia, a professional interior designer has successfully completed the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam and is actively involved in the field of interior design. If they are members of IDIBC, such individuals may use the title Registered Interior Designer (R.I.D.).

With this combination of training, experience, and examination, a professional interior designer’s role is to:

  • Analyze clients’ needs, goals, and life and safety requirements
  • Integrate findings with knowledge of interior design
  • Formulate preliminary design concepts that are aesthetic, appropriate, functional, and in accordance with codes and standards
  • Develop and present final design recommendations
  • Prepare working drawings and specifications for non-load bearing interior construction, reflected ceiling plans, lighting, interior detailing, materials, finishes, space planning, furnishings, fixtures, and equipment in compliance with universal accessibility guidelines and all applicable codes
  • Collaborate with other licensed practitioners in the technical areas of mechanical, electrical, and load-bearing design as required for regulatory approval
  • Prepare and administer bids and contract documents as the client’s agent
  • Review and evaluate design solutions during implementation and upon completion

This professional definition is endorsed by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), major interior design associations of North America, and unaffiliated professional interior designers.

Public health, safety and welfare (HSW) are an interior designer’s first priorities. NCIDQ Certificate holders and licensed interior designers are trained to create spaces that meet local, state and provincial building codes and the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act - as well as the needs of the intended user.