Five things ….. that challenge interior designers daily by Elie Choucair

A career in interior design can be a rewarding one, perfectly suited to those with a natural creative flair but, like any job, it can also be challenging. Associate – senior interior designer Elie Choucair shares some of the key issues faced by designers.

1. The competition. It’s no secret, competition is fierce in the interior design industry. It is a competitive and challenging business and the key to success is getting noticed. An interior designer should always know their competitors. The key is not to downplay what your competitor’s offer but, instead, demonstrate how your skills and services better the needs of the potential client.

2. Deadlines. We are no strangers to deadlines in this part of the world. Interior design is fast paced, dynamic and a highly creative industry. Deadlines and short timelines are two of the worst enemies of the interior designer so it is an essential part of the makeup of an interior designer to be able to work with these pressures. Long working hours is also a factor.

3. Codes and regulations. Codes, standards and guidelines govern the process of design. And with them comes the inevitable paperwork. Every code relates to particular discipline, speciality or approach to the design process. A key challenge for designers is to be up to speed with the latest regulations as they do change with alarming regularity. The interior design process becomes more than just the visual or ambient enhancement of an interior, it seeks to optimise and harmonise the use of space whilst still complying with regulations and standards.

4. Value engineering. Ah yes, two words that cause much gnashing of teeth. Value engineering is a method of analysing and specifying products and design solutions based on cost-effectiveness. Unfortunately this process takes place after the detailed design process for a project has been submitted. The key then is to find acceptable substitutions to higher design costs in order to provide quality outcomes at a lower cost.

5. Budget constraints. Let’s face it all companies have budget constraints but when it stifles creativity and thus your reputation, then it’s a real issue. We always hope for a carte blanche to allow us to be able to create unique interiors and specify original furniture pieces but the value engineering process tends to change this when the quantity surveyor steps in to control the project budget.