By Lisa Yorgey Lester
We've often heard the cliché, "Home is where the heart is." In today's economic climate, however, "home is where the investment is" might be a more appropriate phrase.
The stock market's roller coaster ride of late has spurred "a huge remodeling trend in the country," observes Linda Henry, senior editor of Window Fashions magazine. Many homeowners, she explains, are "investing their money in their homes instead of the stock market, finding it a safer investment as well as a way to enjoy their hard earnings."
And while many homeowners may know the aesthetic they want to achieve, they don't necessarily know how to achieve it. So, they hire interior designers to bring their creative vision to fruition.
In 2001, interior designers held approximately 46,000 jobs, with the middle 50 percent earning between $26,800 and $51,140, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. They may work in either residential or commercial settings; however, they tend to practice in one more than another.
Interior designers prepare drawings and specifications for interior furnishings, lighting and finishes, as well as select furniture, floor covering and window treatments.
Unlike decorators, interior designers are professionally trained in space planning, and are subject to government regulation. They must design space to meet federal, state and local laws, and building codes. According to the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID), interior design is the only design field in which practitioners are required by 19 states and the District of Columbia to be registered by title or licensed. Membership in a professional association, such as ASID, also requires academic and professional qualifications.
These academic and training requirements make them ideal prospects for schools, associations and universities that offer certification programs. And because they need to stay on top of the latest products, design trends and building codes, they also are a good audience for continuing education seminars, association memberships, magazine subscriptions, journals and books, as well as conferences and trade shows.