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Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator

I know I know people talk about this all the time but I just need to voice my opinion about it and then leave it alone. I am one of those designers that make it a point to correct my family and friends every time they introduce me to someone or if they just refer to me as being an Interior Decorator. I make sure they know it’s "Interior Designer." So what is the difference you ask? Let me explain, Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design. Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive and beneficial to the occupants’ quality of life and culture. Designs respond to and coordinate with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project.

I am a proud Alumni of The Art Institute of Austin with a bachelor's degree in Interior Design. Like most people I thought that Interior Design was all about the "fluff and puff" as my instructor used to say but it was way more than I thought I could do or was even ready to do. Because I attended an art school there was an artistic approach taken to every class I had. Now I am most definitely qualified to decorate but I have an education in design. Interior Designers work closely with architects to design interior spaces and we have a good amount of experience within the construction field. We have to be able to read architectural plans, site plans, construction drawings. We need to communicate with plumbers and electricians and understand how all the systems work together to construct a particular space. We have to know building codes and regulations, ADA, fire codes and safety. There is even a licensing exam call the NCIDQ exam that we have to take to call ourselves “Registered Interior Designers “ it’s kind of a big deal if I have to say so myself. So yes I make things look pretty but I have to know more than just the pretty stuff. There are levels to this Interior Design game.

Having an education in design sets you apart because you have learned things about design that you wouldn't necessarily have learned on the fly just decorating. There is color theory, history of architecture and furniture styles, residential, commercial, hospitality, vernacular design and it dives into environmental factors, social, human, ergonomics, the list goes on. It cost me a lot and I learned a lot and I'm not saying that one is better than the other but as a Interior Designer my knowledge of design is a lot deeper because of the education that I have received and I am very proud of that and would like people to know that they are getting all this knowledge when they choose to work with me.

This is something that I do enjoy but by no means is this just some hobby that I do to keep myself busy. My passion for design goes beyond anything that I can explain. I was born to do it I guess. God has given me a gift and I choose to share it with the world. I will continue to educate myself and continue to work on perfecting my craft. 

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