The Difference Between an Architect, Interior Designer and Decorator

The Difference Between an Architect, Interior Designer and Decorator

This article explains important differences you always wondered but never asked: the difference between Architects, Interior Designers and Decorators. I even made a nifty graphic. If you're interested in a new build, renovation or home decor, this article is for you.

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How Much Will My Project Cost?

Hiring an Interior Designer is a smart decision. We spend many years in school to become educated on the important aspects of safe design including building codes, fire ratings and money-saving preventative measures. What you get from a Designer is the same guarantee you would get from an architect: that your home is safe, sound AND beautiful.

***TIP: Please ask your Designer how they determine their fees instead of how much it will cost. They will immediately know you are a savvy client and be much more willing to work with you. Every project needs an in-depth look at the requirements for an accurate quote*** 

We can perform almost any construction service such as drafting, space planning, lighting, fixture, finish and furniture selection. Architects would need to be involved if you want to change exterior windows and doors are move anything structural. When most people hear Interior Designer, they almost immediate think Decorator, however, Decorators do not have degrees or the knowledge and responsibility of creating safe interiors. Please see my other article here on the difference between all 3 disciplines.

***TIP: You can save $$$ by hiring a Designer to complete the majority of drawings, who then brings to an Engineer or Architect on board to review, consult and stamp the drawings***

With that in mind, here are some general Interior Design fee guidelines for typical spaces in the Austin, TX area: 

  • Bathroom remodel - $75-$100 per sq. ft.
  • Design presentation for one room with furnishings $1500- $2000    
  • A full-service design, procurement and installation of furniture, window treatments, lighting, etc. for one room can be around $5000-$6000 with fees that lower per additional room.
  • Minimum project design fees to start a project are usually around $3000.

As you can see, renovations are an investment, but when you spend so much time at home, it's worth it. Seeing pricing up front for materials, installation and design can prevent sticker shock later one you start working with a Designer and get bids back from contractors and vendors.

Think about it like this, when do your best days happen? They're when you wake up in the morning and everything is where it should be. You turn on the lamp next to your bed and get up. You go to your organized closet and find exactly what you're going to wear that day. You cook a meal in your new, functional kitchen. You get out the door on time because the keys are on the console table right by the front door. You make it to work and the rest of the day goes smoothly. Interior Designers are there for you and your day-to-day.  Success starts at home.

Decorating Resources in Austin, TX

Times are fast and hot in Austin right now. 

There are over 153 people moving here every single day. That's insane. After two years, that's the equivalent of the entire UT Austin stadium full of people. And that's if the daily number doesn't go higher. 

With all the people, businesses and traffic coming to town, it can be a little overwhelming to go out and about nowadays. That's why it's more important than ever to have a calm, collected space. Like I always say, "success starts at home".

Here are some items I've found after exploring Austin last week that can be used to decorate and update your space in a flash.

 
 
 

Mermaid Pillow - from At Home (located in South Austin)

 How fun are these? The magic happens from hundreds of sequins sewn on sideways that have one color on front and other color on the back so that when you wave your hand across, abracadabra, the color changes! These are super trendy right now.

Other Stores to Check Out in South Austin

-Nest Modern (midcentury modern)

-Five Elements Furniture (contemporary)

-Back Home Furniture (upscale transitional -modern and traditional)

 

Light Fixtures- from Jaya Furniture (in Downtown Austin).

Mango_wood_19.75x24_large.jpg
 

This light fixture is really great. It's neutral and textured so it could work in almost any space. The candelabra look has come back in the past year or so and brings a warmth coziness that would work perfectly in a formal dining or entertaining space. Jaya imports directly from places like Indonesia so they have one-of-a-kind pieces and have a warehouse worth of furniture behind the store. Visit Amy for an unforgettably pleasant experience.

Other Stores in Downtown Austin to Check Out

-Urbanspace Interiors (modern and contemporary)

-Scott & Cooner (Italian Modern)

-Blu Dot (large chain offering affordable, contemporary pieces)

 
 
 
 
 

Quirky, one-of-a-kind items - Austin Antique Mall

This is one of my go-to spots for unique home decor and to think out of the box. You can find anything from vintage furniture to oversize signs to knights of armor. Their eclectic arrangement always brings surprises. 

Other Store in North Austin to Check Out

-Austin Antique Mall (This store is HUGE and has thousands of vintage collectibles)

-Copenhagen Imports (Contemporary)

-Louis Shanks (High end traditional and transitional)

10 Home Decor Ideas to Update Your Master Bathroom Over the Weekend

Some of you getting ready for the cold while others are casually going about their weekends in warmer weather. Here are 10 ways you can easily update your bathroom home decor over the weekend.

# 1. PAINT

This blue pulls the cooler tones from the marble and creates a calm, spa-like environment.

This blue pulls the cooler tones from the marble and creates a calm, spa-like environment.

#2. TEMPORARY STONE TILE

You read that right! There are temporary stick-on stone tiles that actually stick on and don't look tacky. You'd never know the difference! Of course they don't last forever, but they're good for changing up your home design. White subway tile is always classic. You can get products like Smart Tiles at http://www.thesmarttiles.com/en_us/tiles/

You read that right! There are temporary stick-on stone tiles that actually stick on and don't look tacky. You'd never know the difference! Of course they don't last forever, but they're good for changing up your home design. White subway tile is always classic. You can get products like Smart Tiles at http://www.thesmarttiles.com/en_us/tiles/

#3. NEW ACCESSORIES

New accessories are an instant way to change the feeling of a bathroom. Add scented candles and soaps to add another dimension to the space.

New accessories are an instant way to change the feeling of a bathroom. Add scented candles and soaps to add another dimension to the space.

# 4. HEATED TOWEL WARMER

forget radiant floor heating, a towel warmer is an instant way to add luxury to your master bath.

forget radiant floor heating, a towel warmer is an instant way to add luxury to your master bath.

#5. ADD  A VALENCE TO YOUR SHOWER CURTAIN

Adding a valence makes the shower the focal point of the bathroom.

Adding a valence makes the shower the focal point of the bathroom.

# 6. ADD CROWN MOLDING OR PANELS

Add faux wood MOLDING for a traditional twist that's easy oN THE WALLET.

Add faux wood MOLDING for a traditional twist that's easy oN THE WALLET.

 

# 7. ART

It's totally acceptable to put art in a bathroom (as long as it's not an important piece). This makes the room feel more cozy which is perfect when winding down after a long day.

It's totally acceptable to put art in a bathroom (as long as it's not an important piece). This makes the room feel more cozy which is perfect when winding down after a long day.

# 8. LIGHT FIXTURES

A chandelier makes a glamorous statement in a bathroom. Have an electrician replace your flat ceiling light with an elegant fixture rated for wet locations. This is an especially great idea for bathrooms with limited natural light.

A chandelier makes a glamorous statement in a bathroom. Have an electrician replace your flat ceiling light with an elegant fixture rated for wet locations. This is an especially great idea for bathrooms with limited natural light.

# 9. MIRROR DIVIDERS

One big mirror isn't always the best solution. You can actually put trim directly on top of a mirror to make a more custom look.

One big mirror isn't always the best solution. You can actually put trim directly on top of a mirror to make a more custom look.

 

# 10. TRY TEAK FLOOR MATS

Teak is a water resistant wood that is great for covering up floor drains. You can purchase custom floor mats from companies like https://www.teakworks4u.com/store/Mats/ (photo credit).

Teak is a water resistant wood that is great for covering up floor drains. You can purchase custom floor mats from companies like https://www.teakworks4u.com/store/Mats/ (photo credit).

INTERIOR ROOM STYLES - MODERN, INDUSTRIAL, RUSTIC, ETC.

INTERIOR ROOM STYLES - MODERN, INDUSTRIAL, RUSTIC, ETC.

In this blog are descriptions of different home styles based on categories ranging from time periods to colors that can be used (or combined) to answer the question, "what is your home style?". You can also add your own categories for a truly personal description.

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Open For Business

We are officially open for business!

If you haven't read the About section, Ethos is a luxury interior architecture firm based in Austin, TX led by Principal Designer Amanda Beltran. She graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelors in Psychology before heading to NYC for 4 years to complete a degree from the #1 rated design school in the country, the New York School of Interior Design. She worked for several prominent architects, designers and celebrities in Manhattan before starting her own business in 2013.

In 2016, Amanda relocated to her home state of Texas and settled in the South Lamar area of Austin to open Ethos Interior Design (Ethos ID). She is currently available for phone and in-home consultations and specializes in renovations, remodels, kitchens and baths, custom furniture and full-service design in Austin and Dallas/Ft.Worth. Contact us today to discuss your project.