What Misconceptions are there About Your Job?

I am an interior designer.

The misconceptions:

-That I just pick colors and fabrics. People automatically ask me to pick colors or "do" their house.
-They assume that I do residential design.
-They assume that my house must be awesome.
-That "interior designer" and "interior decorator" are interchangeable.
-That anyone can be a designer.

The truth:
-I have a 4 year BS degree in design- I do space planning, construction documents, construction admin, etc. for small and large scale commercial and healthcare projects.
-My house is nice on a standard scale. It is normal.. just because I am a designer doesn't mean I have all of the funds necessary at my disposal to decorate all the time.. And back to the idea that I am a decorator.. I just don't "do" trinkets and accessories.
-An interior designer is one who has gotten the degree and passed the exam and registered with the state. In many states you cannot legally even call yourself an interior designer if you haven't done so. A decorator usually does residential design, is usually the person who has the blog-design business, and they have no education in design other than they are able to make their house look pretty.
-Being an interior designer requires a degree (in most cases), passing a rigorous 2 day written national exam and registering with the state.
-There are fire codes, accessibility codes, life safety codes, plumbing codes, electrical codes that we must adhere to and be familiar with.
-I need to know the lingo and expectations so that I can coordinate MEP (Mechanical/HVAC, electrical and plumbing) drawings.
-I am in charge of design from start to finish - initial client meetings, approving proposals and pricing, space planning, the construction drawings, answering questions from bidders/contractors, approving the construction and doing walk-throughs.

Yup, a small (very small) portion of my job involves selecting architectural finishes and occasionally furniture, but that is not the norm.

The majority of these misconceptions are created by HGTV/DIY Network, etc. and the ability of Joe Schmoe who gets told by friends that their house looks nice and then they start a blog/business as "an interior designer". And that, my friends, frustrates me and belittles what I do all day and the work it took me to get here.

So... what are the misconceptions about your job?

LoverBoy –   – (October 9, 2011 at 3:26 PM)  

That I am a nerd.

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