My role at K4 is an Interior Designer. So when someone asks me what I do for a living and I tell them I am an Interior Designer their first reaction is “Oh cool, you have a fun job,” followed by “Can you come and do my house?” This common misconception led me to write this blog post describing Interior Design and breaking down the differences between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator. There are some pretty major distinctions, as described below.
Projects undertaken by an Interior Designer vary widely as the profession is multi-faceted and not always clearly defined. Terms such as decorator and designer are often used interchangeably. However, there is a distinction between the terms that relates to the scope of work performed, the level of education attained, and often, professional accreditation as an Interior Designer. Another big difference is that Interior Designers typically work more on commercial projects where Decorators focus more on residential projects.
Interior Design is creative discipline which requires developing and implementing practical solutions that are applied within a space to complete a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, aesthetically pleasing, and enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants. It is the process of shaping the experience of the interior space, through the manipulation of spatial volume as well as surface treatment. It draws on aspects of environmental psychology, architecture, and product design in addition to traditional decoration.
Interior designs are created in response to and coordinated with the building shell as well as the physical location and social setting of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the use of environmental sustainability. The Interior Design process follows an organized and coordinated approach; including research, analysis, and integration of knowledge into the creative process; whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.
Interior designers may perform some or all of the following activities:
According to the NCIDQ Examination by the Council for Interior Design Qualification, Interior design includes a scope of services performed by a professional design practitioner, qualified by means of education, experience and examination, to protect and enhance the health, life safety and welfare of the public.
These services may include any or all of the following tasks in addition to the duties above:
In summary, knowing the difference between the two interior professions – Designer and Decorator will make you much more equipped in hiring the right kind of professional for your project.