Interior Designers need to be proficient in many, many areas. Following are a some of the roles we play that we receive no formal training for, and yet are able to perform so well:

BEST FRIEND: This is actually a perk! And it is the only item on this list that is not a joke. Over the many years I have been practicing interior design I have developed some wonderful lasting friendships. Because of the personal nature of residential design, we have the opportunity to become quite close to the people we are designing for, therefore creating a personal bond. I have designed for entire families – I am up to 2 generations, but give me enough time and I hope to be designing for clients’ grandchildren one day!

MARRIAGE COUNSELOR: It is not unusual for wives and husbands to disagree during the course of a design project. The interior designer’s job is to ensure that the couple remains together by the completion of the project. This can be challenging and it might require teaching both parties to compromise. When this method doesn’t work successfully, bribing the husband is usually the most effective option (please see following blog posts on “best ways to bribe husbands”).

CHILDREN DISCIPLINARIAN: It is the interior designer’s responsibility to teach the clients’ children that muddy feet and silk don’t go well together. Children must also learn not to use ballpoint pens on the leather furniture. When we encounter a disobedient child, a last resort method of discipline would be to move the X-box to the small TV in the basement — usually when threatened with this horrible punishment the child will follow the designer’s rules.

PET TRAINER: Prior to training our clients’ pets, interior designers must take into consideration the pet’s color. Every home’s color scheme must be centered around pet hair color. Important: If a client has multiple pets of different colors be sure to use only prints that encompass all colors of all pets – projects of this type can sometimes exceed the budget requirements due to a lot customization (please see following blog posts on “best ways to bribe husbands”).

PSYCHOLOGIST: Be prepared to hold a clients hand during moments of anxiety and uncertainty, and assure them that it will all work out. Clients can sometimes become anxious about making decisions. Our job as designers is to assure them that yes, we do know what we are doing, and that, even though Sherwin Williams has not actually color coded all of our selections, it will all work out beautifully in the end. This can be especially difficult when the client is the designer’s spouse (again, see “best ways to bribe husbands”).

FIREMAN: The old “put out the fire” expression could not be more true to a real fireman as it is to an interior designer. During the course of every project things will happen that will make our subcontractors, vendors, and clients act and sound like the whole house is on fire. It is the interior designers role to turn on the hoses and make sure that every fire is successfully extinguished and that all men, women, and children are safe and sound.

ACCOUNTANT: Creative brains have a reputation of not being able to keep up with the accounting side of running a business. Although this could be true for some designers, this interior designer prides herself on being proficient and extremely gifted in every area of the job. As crazy as it may seem, someone once told me that invoices must be sent out more than twice a year! A special note of thanks here to my real accountant who has been able to keep me legal and out of jail for all these years!

And there are so many other roles that we, professional interior designers, have to play every day to successfully perform our job.

I am proud to call myself an interior designer!