Interior Design vs. Interior Decorating: Why They’re Different in Critical Ways

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /data/24/2/126/40/2778529/user/3055217/htdocs/doriandehaanrossi/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 277

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /data/24/2/126/40/2778529/user/3055217/htdocs/doriandehaanrossi/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 280

I often hear people using the words “interior design” and “interior decorating” interchangeably.  However, these two professions are different in critical ways.  If you’re looking to make improvements to your home, it’s important to know the difference, especially if you are seeking to hire a professional for your project.

The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) states,

“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. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability.”

Differences in Qualifications

As stated above, an interior decorator can certainly assist a client in choosing wallpaper, paint colors, and furniture, but is not qualified or certified to alter your living spaces.  The NCIDQ requires that all interior designers receive the requisite education and training and obtain licensure in their field.  By contrast, interior decorators require no formal training or licensure.

While Dorian is a NY State Certified Interior Designer (CID) and Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD), there are many individuals out there who call themselves interior designers who are not certified or licensed to practice the profession.  Additionally, I have seen individuals who claim to be designers when they are really decorators.  Be careful! These individuals may not have had the education and training to ensure their designs are functional, structurally sound, and safe.

Differences in Education

Now, you may ask, “Well, what education and training is required for an interior designer?” Excellent question! Dorian is a graduate of Pratt Institute, a School of Art and Design in Brooklyn, NY whose Undergraduate Interior Design Program ranks second in the nation.  The program, which is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), “is an architecturally oriented program with emphasis on spatial design as well as surface embellishment. All aspects of space—scale, proportion, configuration, and light source, as well as textures, materials, and color—are studied in relation to their effect on the human spirit.”

Students in the program take courses in 3D and 4D design, light/color design, construction systems, and architectural drawing, to name a few, and must produce a senior thesis (Dorian designed a new wing for a children’s hospital).

As you can see, there are several differences between the interior design and interior decorating professions.  Dorian takes great pride in her education and training, and has maintained her certifications, licenses, and professional memberships for nearly 30 years.  If you’re looking for an individual who has the talent and experience to produce quality designs that appeal to your spirit, look no further than the one I call Mom.

Buying Local: Why It’s Worth It.

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /data/24/2/126/40/2778529/user/3055217/htdocs/doriandehaanrossi/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 277

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /data/24/2/126/40/2778529/user/3055217/htdocs/doriandehaanrossi/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 280

Welcome to the first blog post for Dezign Concepts, an interior design firm in Chester, NY started nearly 30 years ago by my mother, Dorian DeHaan.  Like many small business owners, she has always struggled to compete against “big box” chain stores. Today I’m going to share two experiences with you that hopefully change the way you think about buying American-made products from local vendors, for good.

Choosing the cheaper option

Recently, my boyfriend offered to buy me a set of golf clubs. So we went shopping around for the best deal.  We found a local sporting goods store near our home.  The owners were helpful and courteous, and the clubs were a decent price.  We thought it prudent to continue shopping elsewhere to compare.  Ultimately, we found ourselves at Sports Authority, a large sporting goods store chain, and bought the first set of clubs we laid eyes on.  A good starter set for me… and they were cheap.

We returned to the local sporting goods store to have the clubs resized and my boyfriend looked at one of the employees and said, “Sorry, these were so much cheaper at Sports Authority.”  The employee sighed and responded, “Yeah, unfortunately we just can’t compete with the prices of those big stores.”  I felt a little ashamed.  In retrospect, the prices weren’t that different and I could have saved for another month and given the business to this local store.  But I wanted the clubs now. And I wanted them cheap.

A friendship rekindled

This brings me to my more uplifting story.  As a young adult, I have been slowly turning my house into a home.  I decided it was time to purchase some nice dinnerware and part ways with the plates I received in college as a hand-me-down from a friend’s mom.  I looked in Pier1 and found lots of things I liked.  Many had the word “handmade” stamped on the bottom.  I thought, “Handmade by whom? Where?”  Then I remembered something.  A close friend I grew up with became a potter like his father.  I hadn’t seen or talked to Andy in years but immediately fell in love with his work (here, take a look on Etsy).  I decided to save my pennies.  It took me AWHILE but I finally had enough to purchase a beautiful dinner set.

My experience working with Andy to get what I wanted was amazing. When I went to pick up my plates we reminisced about our childhood and he showed me around his shop.  I took a tour of his kiln and he taught me a little about the hard work it takes to produce his art.  I was not only amazed, but so happy that I waited and saved my money.  I didn’t just buy plates. I rekindled a friendship and purchased art that has a story.

The moral of the story

Can you see where I’m going here? Think of an item in your home that has special meaning and how it feels to retell the story of how you came to own it.  That’s the feeling you get from buying local goods made in America from small business owners.  You get higher-quality products, you support the American economy, you build relationships, and you get a story to tell.  You may have to save and pay more, you may have to wait while the goods are made, but it’s worth it every time.

So the moral of the story is… Good things come to those who wait.  Good, beautiful, unique, and cherished things.

~ Fallon ~

Welcome to Dezign Concepts WordPress Blog and Forums

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /data/24/2/126/40/2778529/user/3055217/htdocs/doriandehaanrossi/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 277

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /data/24/2/126/40/2778529/user/3055217/htdocs/doriandehaanrossi/wordpress/wp-content/plugins/facebook-button-plugin/facebook-button-plugin.php on line 280

Welcome to Dezign Concepts blog and forum website.  Please feel free to post comments or ask questions about designs for you entire home or office.