Interior Design or Decorating?
It is easy to understand the confusion between interior design and interior decorating.
The terms are often used interchangeably, but they are two very distinct professions with clear differences.
Interior design is the design of interior space as it relates to architecture, human behavior, function, and general aesthetics. It is a multi-faceted profession and involves both creative and technical skills including documentation and specifications. An interior design solution is functional, improves the quality of life, culture, health, safety and wellbeing of its occupants. Effective interior design will respond to and coordinate with the built-environment, it will also improve one’s socio-psychological connection via acknowledgment of physical location, social context and performance. Interior designers adhere to strict rules and requirements regarding building codes, accessibility standards, and sustainable stewardship, meeting all public health, safety, welfare codes and requirements.
It may be perceived by some as a profession focused on the adornment of space, filled with luxurious finishes, infinite options, and no budgetary constraints – but it is quite the opposite. An interior designer must be vigilant to satisfy the client’s needs. They must be qualified by means of education, have the appropriate level of expertise, and be an advocate of responsive design. The interior designer must be a thought leader, strategist, psychologist, teacher, learner, and relator. Maintaining strict coherence in what the client prefers and what is appropriate – often making value based choices on the client’s behalf and always striving to produce authentic results.
mLive Media Hub – Downtown Grand Rapids, MI
An interior designer is trained to learn how your space should function and often collaborates with all manner of professionals from architects to civil, mechanical, and electrical engineers to ensure that the space will respond to the needs it must serve, support the users of the space, and further your functional and business goals.
In some states in the U.S. there are laws requiring interior designers to be licensed or registered – similar to architects. An interior designer is required to document their formal education and training and earn National Council of Interior Design Qualification Certification (NCIDQ) to demonstrate experience and qualifications. In contrast, an interior decorator requires no such training or licensure. Decorating may be done freely without legal constraints, guidelines, requirements or specifications.
Interior decorating is the furnishing or adornment of a space, especially as it relates to color and other decorative effects. An interior decorator is not involved with the design of the building or the configuration and appropriation of interior space. An interior decorator focuses on items such as texture and color to capture the mood or personality of a room or express a resident’s personal hobbies or interests.