What Does An Interior Designer Do?



It's a good question that I'm not sure many people know how to answer.


There's is a big difference between Interior Designers and Interior Decorators. They are not one and the same.


In the past 30 odd years, decorating our homes became increasingly popular with TV shows such as Changing Rooms which featured decorators (not interior designers) such as Linda Barker and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who quickly gained celebrity status.  


More recently, Interior Design Masters tells you tune in to find out who will become the next "professional" interior designer - a bit of a smack in the face for the interiors designers that have spent years toiling over their craft and are in fact professional and qualified! You might have noticed I'm a little passionate about this!


The public's perception of interior design has been skewed over the years because of this 'instant decorating' trend and the wrong use of the word 'design'.  


Qualified interior designers sometimes become a little frustrated, shall we say, at being tarred with the same brush (forgive the pun) as decorators.


If you don't mind, I'd like to help you understand what the difference is between interior designer and interior decorator 👇 Please read on...



✴︎ Interior Decoration is "The furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things."


✴︎ Interior design Requires the skills of spatial awareness along with the understanding of people’s behavior to create a living environment that works in all the functional aspects required including layouts and all details within that space".



⭐️ 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.


👉 In America, the Interior Design profession is very highly regulated in most of the 50 states. They do not allow you to draw up your own working drawings and sign them off, you would need the stamp of an architect to approve it.


In some States, if you call yourself an Interior Designer but do not have the NCIDQ credentials, you can be fined around $5,000.00.


I personally believe in regulating the practice of Interior Design; I have seen and heard of disasters happening to people and their homes by not using qualified or professional people.


👉"It can be a highly complex profession, and "Unlike 'architect', 'interior designer' is not a protected term in the UK and therefore anyone is able to set up a practice and call themselves an interior designer regardless of qualifications or experience." BIID.


There are two recognised associations that designers can become a member of BIID and SBID, of which I am a member of, proof of education and experience is required for membership.




Here's my list of the qualities I believe a person requires

to be a good Interior Designer.


  1. Have bucket loads of integrity.

  2. Be an outstanding problem solver.

  3. Have excellent communication and organizational skills.

  4. A good head for money and budgets.

  5. Be honest and transparent at all times.

  6. Able to translate a client's verbal brief into a cohesive and intelligent design scheme.

  7. Instruct and manage builders and craftsmen.

  8. Have a knowledge of basic building terms.

  9. Add value by delivering the project on time, saving the client time and money.

  10. Provide outstanding customer service.

  11. Provide clients with the knowledge for eco-friendly and sustainable interior alternatives if this is something they are interested in.


I also believe in the regulation of the building profession. Sadly, there are many more bad builders than there are good. I would always look for builders with good recommendations, looking for membership to a registered trade association such as The Federation of Master Builders would also be a smart idea.


If you have questions about any of the information mentioned, please call or email me here I'd love to hear from you.


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SVM Interiors Ltd, 7 Henrietta Street, London, WC2E 8PS, London, United Kingdom

Company Registration No. 10854884

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