I get a lot of questions on what is it exactly that I do. And I realized, a lot of people confuse interior design with interior decoration. Sometimes they use the term interchangeably. This, however, is not necessarily wrong: the two fields are closely related and designers and decorators could work together. However, designers work on way more technical things than decorators. So, Interior Design vs Interior Decoration: what is the difference?
What is Interior Design?
This is a profession that requires formal training and specific schooling. The course involves studying Computer Aided Design (CAD), space planning, technical drawing, furniture design, architecture and more.
What Designers Do
Interior Designers often work closely with architects and contractors to help achieve visual representations of what clients desires. This could be in commercial, residential or hospitality spaces. For instance, in my case, I mostly design kitchens and wardrobes.
The process I undergo usually involves going to site, taking measurements, plotting them on the computer to give a design. I also give clients suggestions of colors they can use when doing this. Most of the time i have to create a render of the house using relevant rendering software.
After approval for the design, I have to make a cutting list of the boards to be used in construction of the kitchen. This is most definitely very technical, because the boards have to be fit in said space. A quotation is generated from this cutting list too.
Designers not only just enhance he look, they have to ensure the space is functional. It would be useless to have an aesthetically pleasing space that is not functional.
What is Interior Decoration?
Interior Decoration does not require any formal training or schooling. This is mainly because decorators focus primarily on aesthetics. Moreover, they cannot take part in renovations or structural planning. Their work mostly comes after the space is complete, to add extra aesthetics like vases, light stands and soft furnishings.
What Decorators Do
Interior Decorators are great for coming into a room and whipping it into a beautiful space. They pick color schemes, purchase furniture and accessorize. Even though they don’t work with architects and contractors, they could be very handy to furniture makers, upholsters and other industry professionals.
Interior Design vs Interior Decoration: Which do I need more?
This decision will generally depend on one’s need. For instance, if I have a house that needs renovation for the kitchens, wardrobes, bathroom vanity or gypsum, a designer will be useful. Structural changes like moving plumbing, wall demolition, new doors and windows cover their specialty too.
If, however, one needs new curtains and couches that will match, a decorator will come in handy. Picking wallpaper, paint, window treatments, lighting and accessories all fall under a decorator’s work scope. Decorators know all the tricks to transform a room without doing any technical work.