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The Difference between Interior Design and Decorating

When we envision that dream timber frame home of ours, it is the elegant finishes both inside and out that we see, not the fresh drywall and exposed wiring for the electrical system. We like to see our home as a finished whole that looks picture perfect from every angle, not the work it takes to get there. However, there is a step between daydream and dream home that is necessary to achieve both beauty and functionality for the final product, it’s called Interior Design.

Is Interior Decorating the same as Design?Interior Design of a Kitchen

Interior decorators are in the profession of making a space attractive through fabrics, wall treatments, furniture and accessories. Their expertise does not involve how that space will function in stride with the lifestyle of its inhabitants. For example, a decorator may help a homeowner pick out lamps and chandeliers, but they will have no influence on the home’s lighting plan. A decorator might also put together color schemes for a space’s walls and furniture, but would not be the person a client seeks aide from to conceive the overall layout of a kitchen or facilitate the construction of their cabinetry.

What is Interior Design then?

In its definition of the field, the National Council for Interior Design Qualification notes, “interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.” With that notion, interior designers focus on the physical aspects of a space to determine its functionality is congruent with the homeowner’s lifestyle, not just how it looks.  The “work triangle,” for example, is a designer’s reference to the efficient traffic pattern created between the fridge, range, and sink. Utilizing this tool, kitchens are designed to be easier to work in.  Other features of the home that would be considered by a designer are things like complete fireplaces, lighting schemes, cabinetry functionality, flooring layouts, and the overall continuity of architectural space.

 

Now that you know the primary differences between interior design and interior decorating, you can better understand and choose the level of services needed to bridge the space between your dream and its reality.