What's the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?

An interior decorator may work in a variety of venues from a design showroom to a retail store. There is no government regulation regarding the work of an interior decorator and they spend less time in school. Interior decorators are concerned only with the look or appearance of a building or space.

An interior designer has a more specialized career field, requiring a certain combined level of education and work experience. An interior designer may also deal with issues of safety like accessibility and building codes as well as having additional experience with architecture. Interior designers have to be able to design a space and deal with possible problem areas using skills to create a solution, focusing on function in addition to aesthetics.

What should I expect when working with an Interior Designer?

Working with an interior designer is all about communication and trust. Given that every designer and every project is different, it is best to discuss likes, wants, needs, and a budget with your design professional to create the best working relationship for both of you. The designer will select furniture, paints, and fabrics, do drawings and get pricing in order to present them to you to choose from. Interior designers can also orchestrate the scope of a project with various subcontractors if needed, to ensure that every detail is accounted.

Why choose J. Hettinger Interiors? What makes you different / exceptional from other designers and firms?

J. Hettinger Interiors has been keeping our clients happy by maintaining a 39 year track record of knowledgeable, creative, and personable service, and has a full staff of licensed interior designers. We are also the only Diamond Certified Interior Design firm in Northern California. We offer selections from hundreds of manufacturers and have a showroom displaying many of our vendors. In addition to the large selection, J. Hettinger Interiors is considered a “dealer” for all the lines we carry. This is always to the benefit of the client as our purchasing power affects pricing. We also have a white glove delivery department to deliver and set up your new furniture and accessories.

How far will you travel?

Since opening our doors in 1980, J Hettinger Interiors designers have been travelling all distances to get to our clients. We understand how busy our clients are and want to accommodate them, near and far. We have designed homes in Hawaii, Las Vegas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and South Africa, as well as a yacht in Mexico and a jet in the East Bay area.

Can you design any style?

All of our creative interior designers are fully qualified to work with all types of styles and design concepts so that we can provide whatever our clients require. We are professionals with years of experience, dedicated to meeting your various design needs.

When and why should I seek the services of an interior designer? What are the benefits?

You should seek an interior designer before you start your home or office project. A designer takes the research out of a project by listening to clients’ wants, needs, and budget, and then presenting a few choices to select from. An interior designer will save you time, money, and simplify your life by guiding you to prevent costly mistakes such as purchasing items too small or large for space.

Should I bring anything to the initial meeting?

Spending a little time flipping through magazines is an easy way to find your personal style and get some ideas about color. Gather magazine pages and photos of certain styles you like, as well as fabrics and colors. Make a separate pile for things you don’t like as well – this will help your designer know what to stay away from. Any additional ideas or questions you have collected, including an estimation of your budget, will make your experience with your designer more successful.

What services do you provide?

Our designers can do anything needed, running the full range from pre-construction detailing to complete interior design. We specialize in both residential and commercial design. Some of our projects include reupholstering, furniture placement, lighting plans, and custom window treatments or custom built-in furniture. Accessories can also be taken out of our showroom “on approval” so you can try them in your home. We work with a large number of installers, painters, contractors, etc. and can offer referrals when needed.

Do you work with all budgets?

Yes, we welcome all size projects. J. Hettinger Interiors is very sensitive to our clients’ budgets. We will help you develop a budget that is value based while providing you with the latest styles and trends to create your dream home. Our designers will also help save you money by avoiding costly construction changes or incorrect furniture sizing.

Do I have to purchase furniture for an entire home or can I do it in stages? Can I just ask you to give me a color palette?

We understand that a large project may need to be done in stages and we are here to guide you through to completion. No job is too big or too small. J. Hettinger Interiors will help you with anything from selecting a paint color to redesigning a room, designing the entire house, remodeling just one room, or working with a builder on new construction. Whether you are designing one room or an entire home, J. Hettinger Interiors will always provide you with a master plan with which you can purchase a few items at a time.