What Is Interior Design and How Is It Different From Interior Decorating?

To begin this journey, first an attempt must be made to answer the question, ‘What is Interior Design’; The National Council for Interior Design Qualification offers up the following definition: ‘is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive’. Comparing this to the definitions provided by The Free Dictionary for an interior decorator: ‘also called interior designer a person whose profession is the planning of the decoration and furnishings of the interior of houses, shops, etc.’ and ‘a person whose profession is the painting and wallpapering of houses’

Well it is understandable, based on the two definitions above, why there are two camps. One camp holds that the interior designer is held to a higher standard and has significantly more training and design responsibilities than the interior decorator, and then there are those that bunch them all together as one and the same. There are those that look at the designer as a version of an architect and those that look at them as being a house painter. No wonder there is confusion amongst the ranks.

In an attempt to answer the question, ‘Is there a difference or not?’, a Google search was performed for ‘Interior Decorator Degree’ and the response overwhelmingly returned results for ‘Interior Designer’; and not the keyword as searched. One can reasonably conclude that since one can get a degree in interior design, but not as an interior decorator, that there is a difference.

So where would one draw the line between a designer and a decorator? Reverting back to the two definitions above one can discern the key difference. The definition for the designer refers to ‘built interior environment’ whereas the decorator suggests ‘decorating and furnishing’ as the key activities. The higher standard is the designer’s ability and responsibilities to call for tearing out walls, flooring, windows, lighting, electrical, as well as recommending furniture and miscellaneous design pieces. In short, the scope their role includes the responsibilities of a decorator, but goes much further.

Often it is critical for the designer to understand the wants and needs of the individual or company leadership that is hiring them to make a space comfortable and esthetically pleasing to ‘the eye of the beholder’; meaning whoever is paying the freight. This will require the designer to ask the question, ‘What is interior design through the eyes of my employer?’

Determining just how to customize a small dwelling area up to major corporate businesses like a national restaurant chain that must be attractive to the eye in many different regions of the country with a common design can be very challenging. Requiring a grasp of many different fields including developing and reading floor plans, a knowledge of building codes, and access to a long list of contractors that are capable of doing the work to specification are just a few of the extra requirement that separate interior design from decoration.

Often specializing in unique areas like hotels, casinos, restaurants, or other businesses that may regularly freshen up their designs to keep their businesses looking comfortable yet enticing, designers generally develop skill sets that may not play all that well outside of their special areas of expertise. What they probably are looking for in the interior design of a hospital is most likely a far cry from what they are looking for at a casino. Perhaps a better example would be determining just how to continue on with a southwestern theme for a Mexican restaurant chain in places like Seattle, St. Louis, Charlotte, Pittsburg, and Boston. What is interior design widely accepted in one region may not be well accepted in another.

In asking, ‘What is interior design?’ in today’s environment, one must also begin to start thinking green and to look for ways to minimize the consumption of non-renewable energy sources. How does one create areas with a lot of natural lighting but not subject the individual to the blazing rays of the sun? How does one incorporate solar panels into the design or solar powered floor heaters in colder climates without losing the esthetic charm and ambiance of marble floors? These are the challenges of today’s designers. It’s a good thing that they love their jobs.

5 Reasons to Hire an Interior Decorator

A home has to look good from the inside just as much as from the outside. Just as gardeners keep the front porch and the backyard of a house in pristine condition, an interior decorator is responsible for bringing out the best features of every room and perk up the interior of a house. While they generally cost more than your average gardener, they are more than worth it when it comes to giving your home a complete makeover. This article will be illustrating a few reasons why hiring an interior decorator for your home decoration can be a worthwhile decision on your part.

1. Interior Decorators Have a Keen Eye:

This is something that you cannot develop. Either you have it or you don’t. Interior decoration requires great attention to detail and an ever greater depth in imagination. An Interior decorator can scan a room and instantly pick up on what is working and what is not. Each ornament or piece of furniture in a room has its own vibe and aura that it portrays on the surroundings. A good interior decorator will remove the negative effects and replace it with attractive ornaments or objects that would enhance the existing look and feel of the entire house.

2. They are Good Listeners:

Many people regard this as their best quality. People want to be heard. An interior decorator will listen to all the concerns, thoughts and queries of a customer and then provide solutions based on that input. Owners should be a key part of the entire redecoration process. Their concerns must be addressed and their opinions must be weighed in. While the decorators are there to give a house a new look, both the owner and the interior decorator must be on the same page before any of the remodeling can begin and the only way that can happen is through listening.

3. Awareness of the Latest Trends:

Since their entire world revolves around interior decoration, they are always up-to-date on the latest technologies, ideas, designs and materials used in remodeling homes. Their knowledge of the latest trends far exceeds that of a common citizen. In retrospect they can be compared to walking talking design catalogs that can highlight the best and latest designs currently in use for home decor.

4. Working With Your Budget:

Unlike some professions where the price is fixed, interior decorators will work with you and your budget in order to provide you with competent customer service and back it up with quality interior decoration. Depending on the amount of money you can spend, a decorator will come up with multiple design solutions for you to choose from.

5. You Get What You Paid For:

It is always best to hire experienced decorators who have been active in the field for some time. While they can be expensive, they are a worthwhile investment when it comes to home decorations. Hiring a qualified interior decorator will take your living standard to a completely different level. Hiring a mediocre or novice one could end up costing you more in the long run.

Interior decoration is considered a luxury. Therefore, people who are seriously pondering taking up this luxury should start off right and get a good interior decorator.

Become an Interior Decorator – Case Study of a Mompreneur

“It’s easy to get it right”, says interior decorator guru, Linda Fornam, when I ask her views on the subject of that all important home makeover we all tend to ponder over at some time during the year. Linda offers an Interior Decorating consultancy to clients where she visits their homes and helps them to realize the full potential of their living space. Working with clients Linda advises on color and interior finishes helping maximize the use of space and light. Linda also coaches others on how to become an interior decorator.

How To Become An Interior Decorator – Linda’s Personal Story

Back in the 90’s, having been a home based mum for almost five years, Linda wondered if her interest in interior decorating could be turned into a business from home. So Linda set about finding out how to become an interior decorator. With no formal training, but armed with a good text guide and a flair for color, she soon found out that in fact she could become an interior decorator, and her aspiration was realised when she got the opportunity to decorate a friends house. This friend had a PR business, and when the results of Linda’s makeover were spectacular, word spread quickly, and Linda has been inundated with work ever since and has never looked back.

“I would have thought that to become an interior decorator would be very difficult and challenging but if you have the passion and talent it is entirely possible for anyone to become an interior decorator” said Linda.

Practical Issues When You Become An Interior Decorator

Jobs can take anywhere from one month to 15 weeks to finish, and Linda’s favourite part of the job is to be on hand and to recognise and offer smart practical tips while working on the transformation.

“There’s a great buss with every job, and you get to meet some great characters. And of course the neighbours are always there to keep an eye on you and pitch in with their ideas”.

Buts it’s not all plain sailing and sometimes the nerves do get little strayed. “Sometimes I do worry that someone will absolutely hate it, but thankfully that has never happened and they really love it”.

And of course there are the daily challenges when you become an interior decorator, wrong carpets delivered, paint that won’t dry. But most of the time is terrific. The secret is to give the customer the tools to live with on their own. Decluttering is an integral part of interior decorating. People have so many reasons to hold on to things, sentimental reasons, genuine horders, inherited heirlooms, but to live in a clutter free house is so much better for you, Linda believes.

“You get a sense of wellbeing” Linda says, “My rule of thumb is if you can’t see it you don’t need it”. When you become an interior decorator you will learn that one biggest mistakes people make is when buying a couch, either because of the color they choose or the size. “Often people ask me to design a room around it but is just not possible”.

When I ask about current themes, Linda says “One of the biggest themes this year is an eco-friendly interior or green fashionable lifestyle with different shades of green becoming very popular in fabric”.

Linda’s message is clear that to become an interior decorator is open to anyone. And there are terrific guides out there to help you through the process step by step.

As Linda says, “Good design doesn’t have to cost a lot, just follow a few simple steps and you can become an interior decorator like me!”.