How To Interpret Interior Designer Acronyms

When you hire an interior designer, you might be bewildered by the string of letters following his or her name. You would assume, and rightly, that these likely indicate some type of certification or degree the designer has earned, but beyond that you likely wouldn’t know what those letters signified. Wonder and worry no more. The following is an interpretation of the most common interior designer designations.

NCDIQ – National Council for Interior Design Qualification

This council is self-described as “the global leader in establishing interior design standards of competence.” Interior designers must pass a 2-day examination to earn this title. This enables them to be licensed interior designers in all 50 states.

ASID – American Society of Interior Designers.

This acronym indicates the designer is a member of the society. Membership requires a certain standard of education and some number of years of experience. Designers pay a fee yearly to maintain their membership.

Allied ASID

These interior designers have completed some level of education in interior design coursework but have not accumulated the required number of years of experience or level of education to qualify for full membership.

While a list of designers who have these qualifications is a good place to start looking for a design contractor, keep in mind that such certifications do not guarantee their style will complement yours or that they have a natural talent in the field. Kris Kolar, an interior designer and vice president of merchandising and design for Clive Daniel Home in Naples, said, membership in the aforementioned organizations “is only one way to demonstrate design qualifications. A designer’s talent doesn’t necessarily come from their professional credentials or the initials behind their name.”

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Prepare For Remodeling Surprises

In 1785, Robert Burns, the famous poet, penned the words, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” The words are as true today as they were over 200 years ago. This maxim is especially apt when referring to the home renovation schemes of homeowners. Unfortunately, unexpected mishaps are par for the course when people attempt to update their homes.

A Home Full of Unexpected Guests

Case in point: Keith Stivers, a contractor and president of Stivers Design LLC of Columbia Station, told a pair of homeowners that before he would repair their water-damaged ceiling, he wanted to inspect the roof for what he suspected was going to be a host of other problems. His prediction proved correct when during the course of his inspection he “uncovered a family of mice, a nest of centipedes and—as he suspected—lots of rotted wood and crumbling plaster walls.” Luckily, the family had planned in extra money to their renovation to cover this unwelcome surprise, but not all homeowners are so forward thinking.

Budget in an Extra 5-10%

With this and other cases in mind, Stivers has suggested that all homeowners “set aside 5 percent to 10 percent more than their budget for those unexpected discoveries.” And it won’t always be rotten wood or pests—Stivers said sometimes he runs across the remnants of past renovation projects that were poorly done or incomplete and he has to spend extra time and money repairing those.

Cheryl Reed, spokeswoman for Angie’s List, recommended, “Never pay for a project with cash. Always use a credit card so you have recourse in case something goes wrong.”

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Best Practices For Freshening-up Your Vacation Home

If you have a vacation home that lies vacant all winter long, by summer it’s dusty, musty, might even be crusty. You’ll want to make the most of this home for the next few months, which leads to two competing desires: to spend as much time relaxing in it as possible and to style it in a way that makes it more comfortable. So whatever sprucing up you do should be quick and cheap.

The Purpose of Vacation Homes

John Boyd, a Texas-based architect and interior designer, said that with vacation homes, “it’s important to keep its purpose top-of-mind.” Why do you go to the lake or the mountains or the ocean (wherever your vacation home may be)? You go “to relax and hang out with family and friends, escaping busy city life; so, simple and straight-forward décor does the trick to bring this vibe to your private escape.”

The Power of Paint

One way you can encourage this atmosphere is by making the house clean and fresh-looking. Splash on a new coat of paint and you’ll see what a difference this can make to a room. Rooms that are congregated in frequently should have lighter paint colors because it makes the area feel more spacious.

Update Your Porch

If you spend a lot of time outdoors on the porch or a patio, make sure your outdoor furniture is comfortable and well-cared for. You’ll enjoy your outdoor activities far more when you invest in quality cushions or update older furniture that has become worn by prolonged exposure to the elements. Boyd suggested, “Because so much time is spent on the porch . . . it’s important to furnish this space as a fully functioning room.”

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Massachusetts Habitat for Humanity Looking for Applicants

The non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity is famous for its goal of providing good housing for low-income families who might not be able to afford good housing for themselves. In Massachusetts, the Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity group has renovated 10 homes in the last 20 years and they’re looking to do another one in the coming year.

Selection Process is Underway

The selection process for who will live in the renovated home will be tough. Board President Paul Austin said, “There’s so many people who deserve a home.” In order to be eligible, applicants need to meet four prerequisites: “a need for shelter, a sufficient income, be willing to put in 500 hours of ‘sweat equity’ and have at least a year of residency in the Northern Berkshire area.”

Selected Family Must Have Means of Income

The selected family must have some means of earning money because they will be in charge of paying off the home’s mortgage (though the mortgage will be interest-free) and be able to pay for taxes and utilities. The group likes to give preference to families with children because having a quality home can make such a big difference in the success rates of the kids.

Volunteers Needed

One challenging aspect of the project is they are dependent on volunteers for labor. Austin said they would “accept volunteers of all skill levels and can teach them how to help renovate homes.” People interested in getting involved can also donate equipment and money.

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