Tag Archives: interior Designers

Interior designers gain jobs, wages

Hiring of interior designers picked up in the year from May 2016 and May 2017, according to just released employment and wage estimates (OES) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Most of those gains were due to increased employment in interior design and architecture firms — an indication that demand for professional services has grown with improved economic conditions. In addition, employed interior designers as a group experienced the largest increase in wages in recent years. (BLS OES data does not include self-employed designers.)

Nationwide, the number of employed interior designers grew by 2,910 positions during those 12 months, to 56,070, up 5.2 percent from the previous reporting period. That amounts to 800 positions more than tallied in the period May 2015 to May 2016, or 1.2 percent higher. It is the largest increase in employment since the rebound from the recession in the period between May 2014 and May 2015.

Demand for designers and their work helped to push up wages as well. The mean annual wage for all employed interior designers rose by nearly $2,000, to $58,210, a hike of 3.4 percent. (Wage growth for all workers nationwide was just under 3 percent in 2017). The largest wage increase since the recession, it was nearly three times as high as in each of the previous three years.

Architecture firms added nearly half of all new positions (1,330), an increase of 11.6 percent over the previous 12-month period. Interior design firms were the second-largest creator of new jobs, adding 480 positions, up 2.3 percent. (The number of interior designers working in interior design firms is now at its highest level since the recession.) Slightly more designers (150) were working in residential construction companies, up 6 percent from the prior period.

Within the building and construction industry, architecture firms still pay the highest salaries. The mean annual wage for an interior designer employed in an architecture firm in the period from May 2016 to May 2017 was $63,820. Interior design firms came in second, at $60,250.

For all employed designers, the median wage in this reporting period ranged from $27,240, in the lowest percentile, to $93,780, in the highest percentile. Salaries can be considerably higher in some sectors outside the industry, such as the federal government and manufacturing, but few designers are employed in those positions.

Fewer designers were employed in furniture stores from the prior reporting period, down 8 percent. Substantially more, however, were working in home furnishing and improvement stores, up more than 17 percent, the largest sector increase during the reporting period. At the same time, wages for designers working in these establishments declined by 5.5 percent, perhaps due to increased competition in the retail industry.

Regionally, the Midwest, the South and parts of New England experienced notable gains. Aside from California, the West had weakening employment.

At the state level, those that added the most new positions were New York (1,020), California (740), Minnesota (330), Georgia (310), Michigan (260), Virginia (230), and Colorado (210). Those with the biggest percentage growth were Puerto Rico (57.1 percent), Montana (45.5 percent), Rhode Island (41.1 percent) and Arkansas (38.2 percent).

Among states that lost positions were, surprisingly, some that in the previous few years had seen considerable gains, such as Texas (-810), Florida (-350), the District of Columbia (-210), and Washington (-180). Proportionately, states reporting the biggest declines in employed designers were West Virginia (-40 percent), Mississippi (-39 percent), Wyoming (-25 percent) and the District of Columbia (-24 percent).

In its 2018 Outlook and State of the Industry Report, the American Society of Interior Designers notes that the number of self-employed designers has been declining in recent years (down 13.5 percent between 2009 and 2016). Part of the drop is due to retirements and consolidations, and some from changes in the marketplace that produced new challenges for sole practitioners.

The new BLS OES data suggests that some of these designers, at least, may have decided to go work in another firm — although it may also be the case that, out of necessity, some have moved into the retail sector as well.

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Helping your employees deal with stress

Interior designers often work under considerable stress to meet deadlines, stay on budget, manage vendors and suppliers, and please their bosses as well as their clients. Not all stress is bad, and not all workplace stress can be eliminated.

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The Trends Designers Hope Not to See in 2018

New year, new home design trends. Or so these designers hope. As 2017 draws to a close and many look forward to a brighter 2018, AD PRO has asked some trusted creatives what they hope to leave behind. From color fads (hello millennial pink) to tile treatments, there’s plenty they’re ready to kick to the curb. Read on for the trends these designers hope don’t see it to 2018. Happy (and stylish) New Year!

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The right approach to design for aging in place

Building and remodeling projects to make homes more aging-friendly have boomed in recent years. And no wonder. The 74-plus million members of the baby boom generation — whose youngest members will turn 55 in two years and oldest members are already in their 70s — make up the largest portion of the nation’s homeowners and the second-largest group of homebuyers.

However, surprising as it may seem, these senior homeowners are undertaking changes to their homes not because they anticipate getting older, but because they foresee a time when their lives will change.

A survey conducted last spring by the National Association of Home Builders Remodeling Group found 80 percent of remodeling companies were doing aging-in-place projects, up from 68 percent in 2013. Interviewing local remodelers about the survey, the Detroit Free Press cited the example of one firm that had seen its business from aging-in-place projects increase to 30 to 40 percent of total revenue from just 15 to 20 percent five years ago.

In its second-quarter 2017 Home Design Trends Survey, the American Institute of Architects reported that aging-friendly and multigenerational living modifications were among the most commonly requested special features in residential projects. The NAHB’s most recent 55+ Housing Market Index shows builder confidence remaining positive and optimistic for the 14th quarter in a row.

Housing, building and senior organizations have been expecting the demographic inevitability of the aging of the baby boom generation for the past several decades. With multiple surveys showing that the vast majority of boomers have long planned to remain in their homes in their later years, much has been written about the benefits of modifying the home for aging-in-place.

In anticipation of the “silver tsunami,” professional associations like the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the American Society of Interior Designers established efforts early on to educated their members on the changes that occur with aging and how to design environments to make homes supportive, comfortable and safe for older occupants.

Although it took them some time to warm up to the idea, boomers are now coming round to appreciate the benefits of making some modifications, renovations and upgrades to their homes in response to present and future needs. But not so much, as one might expect, because they have come to accept that they are aging. Rather, it is because their lives are changing, and they want homes that will accommodate those changes.

Findings from this year’s Home Advisor Aging in Place report provide insights that should prove valuable to interior designers and kitchen and bath specialists. One of the difficulties designers have had with selling aging-in-place modifications to homeowners has been the stigma around aging.

Whatever their age, people in general don’t think of themselves as elderly, and they don’t want to think about getting “old,” by which they usually mean infirm or incapacitated. However, they do recognize that changes are occurring in their lives, whether that means no longer having children at home, experiencing some health or mobility issues, entering retirement or observing the needs of caring for an aging parent or relation.

“So, how do homeowners prepare for aging in place when they can’t admit that they’re aging in the first place?” asks the report’s author Marianne Cusato, adjunct associate professor at the University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture.

“They perform regular maintenance and complete projects to keep their homes in good working order, for starters. And that sets them up to layer on the aging-related projects as their aging-specific needs are revealed.”

The report identifies a seven-phase planning period, which begins typically around age 55 and may continue to up to age 75 and beyond. As homeowners’ physical needs and lifestyles change over time, they move up to the period to add more extensive age-friendly modifications.

The changes usually begin by addressing low-cost, ease-of-use and ease-of-maintenance issues, and gradually move to renovations and upgrades made to improve functionality, safety and mobility. A major motivator for making changes is the experience of watching a loved one struggle to get around their home as they age.

For designers, the big takeaway from the report is that they don’t have to talk to these clients about aging. They just have to know what kinds of modifications and improvements to offer them that will suit the changes in their lives they want to address. It also indicates that there is substantial opportunity to attract clients early on by assisting them with smaller projects and then continuing to help them as their needs change over time.

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Inside the Rise of Emotional Design

Brought on by isolation fatigue in the cyber age, architects and designers are increasingly seeking to imbue spaces with deeper sensory resonance.

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IIDA Avant Garb Fashion Show 2016: Interior Designers Create One-Of-A-Kind Garments Out of Materials Commonly Found in Built Environments

Think of the fun process of making a garnment! Now, imagine a different level of the creative process when this garnment is not made out of your ordinary textiles/fabrics….

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