Interior Design Association of WNY

Do you have a question for the IDA? Please contact us and we will try to provide an answer. You may even get your question featured here!

How do I join?

Please fill out our brief form and an IDA member will contact you regarding details and application information, or, contact our IDA Treasurer, Sandy Nelson for details of membership and an application at (716) 876-1650 or

How do I choose a designer?

Choosing a designer is a combination of personal taste (is their style what you are trying to instill in your home) and chemistry (is this designer on your wave length). Start by reviewing the various biographies then request an appointment. Some designers charge for initial consultation. Define what your goals and expectations before your actual meeting.

Will the Design Association recommend a designer to me?

All our designers are highly qualified. Your personal taste should drive your choice in designer therefore, it is very hard for us to make a recommendation.

Interior Design: the Profession

Interior design is the process of shaping the experience of interior space, through the manipulation of spatial volume as well as surface treatment. Not to be confused with interior decoration, interior design draws on aspects of environmental psychology, architecture, product design and furniture design in addition to traditional decoration. Interior design is a creative practice that analyzes features, establishes a conceptual direction, refines the design direction, and produces graphic communication and construction documents.
To become a successful interior designer, the person must be able to:

1) determine the needs of the client and the resources that the client can devote to the project.
2) determine the primary purpose and function of the space to be designed.
3) determine how to set the mood and appeal of the interior space for the customer.

Whats the difference between an interior designer and interior decorator?

Let’s dispel the impression that interior designers and interior decorators are synonymous. Professionals will aggressively explain that designers carry degrees that represent years of technical training, internships and project execution. The course of study for a degree is demanding and extensively explores all facets of interiors including but not limited to space planning, development of color schemes, use of texture to build interest and understanding the proper use of lighting to balance a room. A decorator’s talent is generally naturally developed and tested at home with friends and family before the decorator begins a professional career.

Astute buyers should be aware that no one can really be taught how to pick a great color or visualize a sense of balance. Many of these skills professionals simply have a natural talent for. Knowledge about use of materials, periods of furniture and construction techniques, are characteristics of either in depth traditional education or years of field experience and self training. With that in mind, know that you need to select a designer or decorator that has proven field experience and references.