The Best Interior Designers in Marin County CA Are the Ones Verified As Safe To Hire
Interior designers in Marin County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol are those local interior designers who have been proven by our independent research to have passed the Top Ten requirements for ability and value, and for whom our staff has called previous clients to verify high satisfaction with them for interior design services in Marin County CA, including residential and commercial interior designs.
Updated December 05, 2018
The Best Interior Designers in Marin County CA Are the Ones Verified As Safe To Hire
The state of California does not require interior designers in Marin County CA to be licensed by the state, so there is no state standard for competency in interior design.
This makes it all the more significant that all interior designers in Marin County CA that bear The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have been cleared by our research staff as passing all the requirements for Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten status, such as survey phone calls to previous clients to verify high satisfaction, good complaint record, best business practices, sufficient length of time in business, and more.
What's the difference between Interior Designers and Interior Decorators?
There is a difference between interior designers and interior decorators. Interior designers design functional spaces with an understanding of the likes, wants, and behaviors of the people who will be using it. Interior decorators are professionals who furnish a space taking the aesthetics into account such as fabrics, color, etc.
It's easy to get them confused. In fact, interior decorating is part of what interior designers do, but interior designers are also equipped to recommend structural changes such as the removal or addition of walls, doorways, windows, and other facets of buildings. Although they don't conduct those changes themselves unless they also hold a state contractors registration. The barrier to entry to become an interior designer is usually much greater than to be an interior decorator, and interior designers usually can demonstrate college or design school degrees, and industry accreditation.
While there is no state license or other legal standard for interior designers, there is a designation of Registered Interior Designer which is applied for and earned by passing an exam.
What is the Value in Finding and Hiring a Local Interior Designer?
In the digital age, there are a growing number of online computer imaging tools that let the average consumer see and compare different choices in colors, fabrics, materials, fixtures and more. But there are also lots of medical websites that list symptoms, yet we all agree that a real diagnosis and solution should come from an actual doctor and we wouldn't undertake a certain course of treatment based only on something we saw online.
Similarly, interior designers provide value that computer imaging tools can't. They have spent years learning, living, and breathing design, material properties, and judging performance after installation for previous clients.
For example, a consumer can pick among colors and finishes of a coffee table online, but a designer will be able to also consider the consumer's lifestyle based on previous experience, such as knowing that if they have children, a shiny finish will be hard to keep clean of fingerprints. Likewise, there's more to fabric selection than simply color and texture. Perhaps flame retardant qualities should be a priority in a house, or new carpets not made with off-gassing chemicals should be chosen for the house of a chemically sensitive client or those who are health conscious.
Good local interior designers in Marin County have run across these problems and found solutions before for previous clients, so they can be a great resource for you in planning the layout, flow, and appearance of your home or business.
Interior Designers Save You Money
Technology allows consumers to do more design elements themselves that previously may have required a designer. This might let a consumer believe that they are saving money by not hiring an interior designer, yet interior designers can save you money.
For example, while consumers can use a retailer's website to mix and match color and fabric choices on a couch, a good interior designer will know of many more options available than the consumer can possibly know, thus they are able to provide better products and greater satisfaction in the long run.
In addition, local interior designers in San Rafael and the rest of Marin County often get steep discounts on furnishings not available to consumers due to special manufacturer relationships or greater purchasing volume. This can further keep the cost of your interior design low, giving you more bang for your buck and a better end result.
So it may well cost you more to go it alone, and you may find that you're dissatisfied in just a few years and want to spend all over again to replace items that you didn't like as much as you could have or that held up poorly. Or you may end up frustrated with a home remodel that could have provided a bigger resale price with a designer's input, reaping tens of thousands of dollars more upon the sale.
Home Staging Services in Marin County CA
Some interior designers and interior decorators also specialize in staging homes for sale in San Rafael and throughout Marin County. They use their years of experience combined with their knowledge of the latest trends in colors and fashions to get a higher price and a quicker sale for homes, condos, apartments, commercial buildings, office suites, and other buildings that are for sale.
Qualified Interior Designers in Marin County CA Are Better than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these interior designers in Marin County CA: Julie Hove Interior Design San Rafael CA, Atmosphera San Rafael CA, Engstrom Design Group Inc San Rafael CA, B & R Kortz Interior Designers San Rafael CA, Phebe Gregson Interior Design Mill Valley CA, Linda Applewhite & Associates Sausalito CA, Artistic Designs for Living San Francisco CA, MWS Design Petaluma CA. Others doing interior design in Marin County CA who might still be in business include: Stacey Lapuk Interior Design San Rafael CA, Susan O'Riordan Interior Design Mill Valley CA, Sherry Williamson Interior Mill Valley CA, Brukoff Design Associates Inc Sausalito CA, Exceptional Space Interior Design Sausalito CA, Carol Barnes Tiburon CA, Beryn Hammil Designs Corte Madera CA.
Questions To Ask Interior Designers in Marin County CA
When choosing which Marin County interior designer to hire in San Rafael CA and your area, ask the right questions about their experience, education, range of services, and credentials:
• How long have the local interior designers been in business and providing interior designs and interior decorating services?
• How many interior design projects have they done specifically in Marin County CA?
• What is their experience doing projects similar to the one you have planned? (Such as size of home, value of home, residential interior designers versus commercial interior designers, etc.)
• Can the local interior designers give you names and numbers of clients you can call as references? Can they give you references that had similar work done as the interior design services you're considering so you can get feedback about what you can expect during the process? (All interior designers in Marin County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have already had their client references called by our research staff.)
• Do the interior design companies charge for estimates? If so, how is that amount calculated?
• If they charge for interior design estimates, will they apply that fee to your final bill if you decide to hire them for decorating services?
• What is the hourly rate of the local interior designers, and will they be able to give you an estimate of the finished project total cost? (This is important because cheap interior designers in Marin County and the surrounding areas may only appear to be less expensive by quoting a lower hourly rate and then taking much longer to complete the project, ending up being more costly than an experienced interior designer with a slightly higher hourly rate.)
• Do the interior decorating companies have a particular specialty you should know about?
• Regardless of their specialties, are they familiar with your preferred style and can they work with you to create the home of your dreams?
• Can the interior design firms show you proof of active liability insurance and, if sending employees to your property, workers comp insurance for your protection? (All interior designers in Marin County CA bearing The Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have had proof of insurance verified by our research staff.)
• Do the professional interior designers use interior design software that will help you visualize your space as you make choices?
• What school(s) did the interior designer go to, and what degrees do they hold? Do they have additional training or certification that pertains to interior design and interior decoration?
• How many clients do the Marin County interior design firms typically handle at one time? What does this mean in terms of their availability to you?
• Who will be your point of contact at the interior design company on an ongoing basis, the owner or an employee?
• If the interior designers recommend structural changes to your home or office building, do they have a state contractor's registration to do the work themselves? If not, will you or the interior designer be responsible for hiring and managing a contractor? If it's the designer, what is the name of that outside contractor they propose using?
• Do the interior designers have special relationships with distributors or manufacturers?
• What kinds of samples do the interior designers have available for you to see and feel?
• How will the interior decorators show you examples of their previous interior design projects?
When you've chosen the best interior designers in Marin County for your needs, make sure they have a good complaint record by checking local agencies and consumer agencies. (All interior designers in Marin County CA bearing the Prime Buyer's Report Top Ten symbol have had their complaint status checked by research staff at The Prime Buyer's Report.)
Tips About Interior Designers in San Rafael
Do You Need an Interior Designer or an Interior Decorator?
When you find yourself in the market for interior designers or interior decorators, it's a good idea to know what you need. Interior designers generally have more training in the biggest types of home decorating, like knocking out walls, or re-framing doors and windows. They should also have some knowledge of building safety.
An interior decorator works less with the planning of a space and is instead an expert in aesthetics, finishes and furnishings. Ask yourself if you need a major project manager who can advise on square footage and usable space, or if you just need help with interior color design, harmony, furniture selection, and accessories.
Plenty of interior design firms in San Rafael CA and the rest of Marin County can handle most interior decorating and interior designing projects, from new drapes in your living room to coordinating with an architect on a new building or addition. Know what it is you hope to accomplish with the aid of interior designers or interior decorators, and choose accordingly.
Think About Your Home Decor Ideas and Wishes
Think through your plans, and write down your design ideas for your space. Do you want more storage space? What about favorite colors? Is there a home decorating style you prefer, such as farmhouse, industrial, modern, cottage, beachy, or another style? Write down all of your ideas so you can share them with the Marin County interior designer you hire.
Think about objects or pieces you currently own that you love. Sometimes a single piece of artwork or a favorite chair is the inspiration for your home decorating dreams. Don't be afraid to share your insights with your interior designer. The best interior decorators and home designers will want to know more about you and your lifestyle.
Also be prepared to talk about how you intend to use the space. Is it formal or informal, or should it be designed to accommodate both? Do you have children or pets? Do you entertain often? Is your current space a good fit for you in terms of size, or do you need more room? Jot down anything you think might be important when it comes to home designs that fit your lifestyle.
Spend time watching design shows, browsing magazines and blogs, and visiting Pinterest and other websites for ideas. If you find something you love, save the picture so you can show it to the Marin County interior design firms you're considering. They should be able to help you recreate styles and ideas you like.
Get Several Opinions From Several Interior Decorators and Interior Designers in Marin County
Get a few opinions from local interior designers about the options and expenses associated with your home decoration or interior design wishes. Try to give each potential interior designer or design firm the same information so that your comparison is easier.
Choose Experienced Interior Designers & Interior Decorators in Marin County CA
If you want to know how the interior designers' products turn out, ask around. Experienced interior designers and interior decorators should have plenty of examples to show you, and they should be willing to give you contact information for recent clients as well as clients who hired them for projects similar in scope, size, budget, and style to the one you're considering. Keep in mind, though, as you look at pictures and talk to previous clients that you are not basing your comparisons solely on the way projects look. The interior design client's taste is always a factor in the outcome of a project, and good designers will tailor their designs to what their clients want. Recognize that something may not be your taste, but it can still be well designed and harmoniously or creatively decorated.
Know Your Rights As An Interior Design Client
Although it can be difficult to know whether or interior designers or interior decorators have acted negligently or been reckless with your budget or space while redecorating your office or home, there are resources available if you feel you need to lodge a complaint or report an incident. Reference the California Department of Consumer Affairs. (See our article, "Key Consumer Resources for Interior Decorators and Interior Designers in Marin County" to learn more.
Resources About Interior Designers in Marin County
The following is a list of trade publications, consumer publications, and associations related to interior designers in Marin County and home interior decoration services:
Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations Related to Interior Designers in Marin County
DCA California Department of Consumer Affairs
State Attorney General
ASID (American Society of Interior Designers)
IIDA (International Interior Design Association)
AIDP (Association of Interior Design Professionals)
IDS (Interior Design Society)
CID (Certified Interior Decorators)
IFI (International Federation of Interior Designers)
IDEC (Interior Design Educators Council)
NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification)
AAHID (American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers)
CSD (Chartered Society of Designers)
CIDA (Council for Interior Design Accreditation)
OBD (Organization of Black Designers)
Publications Relevant to Interior Design Services in Marin County
Interior Design Magazine
Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine
Home Design Magazine
Healthcare Design Magazine
Interior Design and Contemporary Homes Magazine
California Home + Design
Style At Home
California Home and Design
Workspace Design Magazine
Design for Living
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Interior Designers in Marin County within the following zip codes:
94976, 94973, 94977, 94979, 94971, 94938, 94957, 94966, 94914, 94950, 94913, 94933, 94948, 94912, 94978, 94915, 94964, 94929, 94942, 94963, 94937, 94946, 94949, 94970, 94904, 94941, 94901, 94930, 94940, 94974, 94925, 94903, 94960, 94924, 94965, 94956, 94945, 94939, 94947 and 94920
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the Top Ten Interior Decorators and Interior Designers in Marin County within the following cities:
Bel Marin Keys, Belvedere, Belvedere Tiburon, Black Point, Bolinas, Corte Madera, Dogtown, Fairfax, Greenbrae, Ignacio, Inverness, Kent Woodlands, Kentfield, Larkspur, Marin City, Marinwood, Marshall, Mill Valley, Muir Beach, Muir Woods, Nicasio, Novato, Point Reyes Station, San Anselmo, San Marin, San Quentin, San Rafael, Santa Venetia, Sausalito, Stinson Beach, Strawberry Point, Tamal, Tamalpais Valley, Terra Linda, Tiburon, Dillon Beach, Forest Knolls, Lagunitas, Mission Rafael, Olema, Ross, San Geronimo, Tomales, Woodacre, Almonte, Lucas Valley and Sleepy Hollow