• Is there a difference between an "interior designer" and an "interior decorator"?

Yes. Interior Designers focus on functional and aesthetic solutions to interior spaces. Interior Designers will analyze your needs and budget, prepare and present conceptual solutions and manage the implementation of the project. They will ensure that the design complies with all regulatory and legal requirements. Interior Designers work in corporate, healthcare, hospitality, retail, residential, public and institutional spaces.

Interior decorating, on the other hand, focuses on surface treatment and selection and placement of fixtures and furnishings. An interior decorator’s scope of work would include things such as color, materials and furniture selection, and typically only work in residential environments. For more information on hiring and working with an interior decorator, contact the Canadian Decorators’ Association.

  • Can I call myself an “interior designer”?

In the province of Ontario, the title Interior Designer is restricted to Registered members of ARIDO who have met ARIDO’s qualification standards. Using the title without being an ARIDO Registered member is an infraction to Bill Pr6, An Act Respecting the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario. If you are aware of an individual who is improperly using the title Interior Designer, you can report the incident with documented proof to report@arido.ca. When a report of a misuse of the title is received, ARIDO investigates the incident and, where there is a clear infraction to Bill Pr6, pursues the matter to the full extent, taking all steps necessary to ensure that non-authorized parties cease and desist using the title.

  • How do I know which interior designer is the right one for me?

Ensuring that you select the right interior designer is important to the success of your project. Follow these steps as part of your selection process :

  • Review the profiles of various Interior Designers. You can use referral services,  ask friends and family for referrals, or visit ARIDO’s blog of member work, BLOG//ARIDO. Most Interior Designers have websites with a portfolio of examples of their work.
  • Have a conversation with the Interior Designer to describe your project and ask them about their approach to the project and about similar projects they have undertaken.
  • Invite the Interior Designer to your space, or schedule a virtual meeting for a portfolio review and a discussion about the project and the process that will be undertaken. Be sure to ask about references, fees, and contracts.
  • Check the references your interior designer provides, compile your budget, and carefully review any contract an Interior Designer provides before signing it.
  • Make your selection based on the information you have gathered. Ensure that you are informed and your project will be successful.
  • Can you recommend any interior designers to design my house or office?

As a regulatory body, ARIDO does not provide referral services. To confirm if an individual is an ARIDO Registered Member in good standing, you can use ARIDO’s Public Registry on BLOG//ARIDO which allows you to search for Registered members of ARIDO who have met and continue to meet ARIDO’s qualification standards. No endorsement of individuals and/or organizations listed in the Public Registry is implied.

  • How much does an interior designer cost to hire? Is there an industry guideline of interior design service fees/rates?

Interior designers’ rates vary based on a number of factors. Estimating costs for projects is very difficult because it depends very much on the project being undertaken, as well as the qualifications and experience of the professional. In addition, your project may require consultants at various levels, in which case you could be paying different rates for different parts of the project.

It is important to ask if your project will be billed hourly, based on a total project cost, based on a price per-square-foot or if costs will be determined by some other method. There are various ways interior designers bill a project – you should ensure that you discuss this prior to signing a contract.

  • How do I become an interior designer?

We encourage you to take some time to research the profession and understand the entry requirements to become an interior designer, as well as the ongoing requirements to maintain the status.

Once you complete your research, you need to ask yourself if a career in interior design is right for you or if you might want to explore other fields. You can explore more about a career in interior design at www.careersininteriordesign.com.

  • Which Ontario interior design programs are currently recognized by ARIDO?

You can refer to the List of ARIDO-recognized interior design programs in Ontario. Keep in mind ARIDO’s current minimum standard is a CIDA-accredited Bachelor of Interior Design. CIDA-accredited programs are indicated on ARIDO’s Education page.

Each program has unique offerings that you are encouraged to investigate as part of your selection process. Most programs require applicants to produce a portfolio as part of their admissions criteria. To find interior design programs in other parts of Canada or in the United States, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) has a list of interior design programs that have been accredited according to its standards.

  • I have just graduated from an interior design program. How do I apply for membership with ARIDO?

The next step on your career path to becoming a Registered member is to join ARIDO as an Intern member. During your time as an ARIDO Intern member, you must complete 3,250 hours of supervised work experience under the supervision of a qualified professional.

As an Intern member, you will have access to mentorship programs and support through ARIDO that will help you understand the profession and assist you on your path to becoming an Interior Designer.

  • I want to get involved with ARIDO or volunteer in the design community. What can I do?

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer with ARIDO. ARIDO has various types of volunteer opportunities available – some opportunities are restricted to ARIDO members while others are open to members of the design industry and the public.

Each of ARIDO’s six local chapters across Ontario also has a number of volunteer opportunities available if you would like to devote your volunteer hours in your local community.

ARIDO members can also consult the member portal for additional opportunities.

If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions about any volunteer role, please contact registrar@arido.ca. ARIDO thanks all its volunteers for their time, energy and commitment.