Over the years, I've developed a great appreciation for designers in specialized areas - for example kitchen and bath designers, and lighting designers. Their expertise in their respective fields adds a great deal to the end results and overall success of a project, and should be recognized as a valuable asset when putting together project details. Rather than trying to "do it all" on a project, interior and architectural designers can benefit by bringing in a consultant who can provide design solutions for different aspects of a project.
I've highly enjoyed working with these specialized designers. For example, when working on a kitchen design project, I generally do the 'prep work' with clients to arrive at the overall look, including cabinet style and finish, countertop material selection, pendant or accent lighting selections and the like, and I then turn to the specialists to design exact layouts and dimensions. Tools such as 2020 Cabinet software and others facilitate the kitchen/bath designer's work and allow quick studies of variations in designs and dimensions (for example doors vs. drawers, cabinet interior features, and more).
With regard to lighting design, although designers usually receive a fair amount of education, and can stay current on innovations and trends, I've found it useful and valuable to consult with lighting designers who generally know products inside-out, who can evaluate spaces for most effective lighting, and who provide that extra level of expertise to assure that a projects' end result will be completely satisfactory for clients.
Once, as a fledgling designer, I was involved in a project that included a large amount of valuable original art in a gallery area of a client's home. The client requested that the design firm that I worked for bring in a lighting consultant to properly light the art. The head designer in my firm insisted that he was capable of specifying and implementing the right type of lighting, and that a lighting designer wasn't necessary. The client went along with the designer in good faith, but the end results when the art went up were less than spectacular and the client was very unhappy. It was an expensive learning experience for all involved, as lighting was removed and replaced, and ceilings and faux painted walls had to be repaired and refinished. Ultimately, it was the client's decision not to call in a lighting specialist, but the designer played a large part in that decision.
While it's important for designers to research and learn as much as possible about specialized areas of design in order to keep current with the latest technologies and trends and to be able to converse in an informed manner with clients and specialists, designers can often gain a great deal by collaborating with qualified experts.