1 comment | Posted | by Fawn Interiors Studio

Interior Designer or Interior Decorator?

These days, interior design is certainly becoming a lot trendier and cooler thanks to prominent designers such as Ilse Crawford, Rita Konig, Abigail Ahern and many more. And with a plethora of gorgeous interiors blogs for inspiration (Remodelista, Design Sponge, Interior Style Hunter, etc) people are recognising that good interior design really can change the way you live. 

But too often people think that it’s just a cushion or rug change (or new curtains!). While the role of an architect is clearly understood in the UK, we are often frustrated when the terms interior design and interior decorating are used (incorrectly) as interchangeable roles. Interior designers are more than just pretty swatch carriers and, to a certain extent, are still tainted somewhat by the old perceptions of interior design businesses being hobby businesses. The problem is also exacerbated because in the UK it is illegal to use the term Interior Architect, as the title ‘architect’ is protected. Which, we think, would clear up a lot of confusion and better delineate the two.

So...what is the difference?

The definition of interior design on Wikipedia is:

the art and science of enhancing the interiors, sometimes including the exterior, of a space or building, to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the end user. An interior designer is someone who plans, researches, coordinates, and manages such projects. Interior design is a multifaceted profession that includes conceptual development, space planning, site inspections, programming, research, communicating with the stakeholders of a project, construction management, and execution of the design.

So now we know what an interior designer does, what about an interior decorator?

From SBID, the Society of British Interior Designers:

A decorator provides styling and adornment of beautiful items and objects after the interior design is complete. This is possibly the most misunderstood role within the interior design industry. Decorators do not provide advice on space, structural reconfiguration or fittings. 

And, summing it all up, we love this comparison between the two from the CIDQ, Council for Interior Design Qualification in the US:

Many people use the terms “interior design” and “interior decorating” interchangeably, but these professions differ in critical ways. 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.

We’ll leave the differences there, clearly defined by credible sources. Conclusion? If you want curtains, cushions and rugs, you can give us a call but, as interior designers, we would recommend that they become part of a much broader renovation scheme and that we create a whole home for you that you will love.

If you would like to chat about your next interior design project, drop us a line at projects@fawninteriors.co


Post Comments

  • Posted On January 28, 2019 by Tony

    Good Morning, recently I decorated our company’s office (it was fun and messy at the same time) and I decided to write up an article on how to decorate a home on a budget. It would be superb if you could publish this little guide of mine on your blog.

    I have saved the guide on my google drive which you can access through here:


    I did not have time to collect some pretty images so please add some to the post.

    It would be fab if you could ping me the link to the published blog so that I could share it with my friends on Facebook who I am sure will read it with great interest as I am sure that everyone is bound to decorate their home sometime.

    Best wishes


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