what is an interior designer?

i've been working a lot on the design for the green house lately.  a LOT.  a few days ago i was feeling disconnected from my design.  i was feeling like the space wasn't really reflecting who chris and i are.  upon some reflection i realized that it was because i was spending too much time on the computer- sourcing things, crunching numbers, putting lovely things together into a lovely looking board., etc. etc. etc.

anyway, upon stopping to think about what wasn't working and why, i realized that i was doing more shopping than actual design.  i was pulling a space together but i wasn't actually CREATING anything.  yet.  and i started thinking about what an interior designer actually IS.  now i know there are lots of designers and there are probably just as many ways of working as there are designers, but here are my thoughts on the matter:

-a designer is NOT just a shopper.  certainly, a fair amount of time goes into sourcing things, finding awesome furniture, great deals and beautiful artwork and making it all look nice together.  yes, that is a huge part of what designers do.  but being a designer is so much more than that.

-a designer is an INTERPRETER.  first and foremost, a designer should understand their client and be able to translate who they are into their space.  i believe a home should be a reflection of the people who live in it.  either what they are, or what they'd like to be.

-a designer is a THERAPIST.  when you enter a space, it makes you FEEL.  design sets the mood, whether it is done it intentionally or not.  a good designer can help you set them mood you want.  that's why when i'm working for someone else, one of the first questions i always ask is, "how do you want to feel when you walk into this space?"

-a designer is concerned about FUNCTION.  i see lots of pictures of completely un-lived in and un-livable spaces that are beautiful.  but i don't envy them and i don't envy the people who live in them.  a space should work for the people who live in it.

-a designer is an ARTIST.  ok, i confess, drawing and rendering are not my strong suit.  but i can at least sketch an idea well enough to communicate it to someone else.  and i'd like to become better at this so my ideas can come to life even better.  (please note: this is not my sketch.  it is done by a designer with rendering skills that i'd kill for.)

-a designer CREATES.  this is probably one of the most challenging (and in my opinion, the most satisfying*) tasks.  a designer doesn't just find furniture and place it in a room.  to me, design is about building, about making, about thinking of a completely new way of doing something and trying it out.  it is about customizing solutions to your exact project and doing something completely unconventional.

this week, that is what was out-of-sync.  in my rush to put together a complete house in a week, i'd forgotten to include the elements that make our place distinctly "s+c."  i forgot that my work is about creation, innovation, and doing new things.  as well as creating something beautiful and functional.  but don't worry....  i've found my way back.**

so now, my questions for you:
if you're an interior designer, does my design philosophy resonate with you?  what do you feel like is the most important aspect of design for you?
and if you're not a designer, what do you think of when you think of interior designer?  are you surprised by my (very rough) definition of an interior designer?

*i love to push these boundaries.  in fact, there have been times where i've taken it a little overboard.  i can think of a few school projects where i reinvented the entire wheel and left everyone thinking, "whaaaat....?"

**i was so inspired by the design philosophy and work of christian lacroix.  did you know he dabbles in furniture design, as well as fashion?  reading this interview with him was what helped me find my way back once i was thinking about rethinking my design.

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