Updated: Apr 21
I've been working as an interior designer for 30 years now. In the past 20 odd years Interior Design or decorating became increasingly popular with TV shows such as Changing Rooms with featured decorators (not interior designers) such as Linda Barker and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen who quickly gained celebrity status. 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, (there's nothing wrong with that profession either.)Interior Design is not the same as Interior Decorating and I think it's important to explain the differences.
"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" This is from a blog written by Lisa League (USA) in June 22, 2018, and sums it up pretty neatly, that's why I've used it. It is also interesting to know that in America, the Interior Design professional is very highly regulated in most of the 50 states. As an example, if you call yourself an Interior Designer in Florida but do not have the NCIDQ credentials, you can be fined around $5,000.00.
I personally believe in regulating the practise of Interior Design; 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.
A good interior designer should have bucket loads of integrity, be able to problem solve as problems inevitably crop up. A good interior designer requires excellent communication and organisational skills. A good head for money and budgets. Being able to translate a clients verbal brief into specifications and drawings, which then are used to obtain tenders and pricing to instruct and manage builders and craftsmen. Having knowledge of basic building is also helpful, but if you have a competent team around you they will support and advise where it's necessary. Interior Designers (should) add value by delivering the project on time, saving the client time and money and as a bonus increasing the value of the property they are working on creating worthwhile ROI -return on investment. My own personal objective is to provide outstanding customer service, provide clients with eco-friendly and sustainable interior alternatives and to support British designers and manufacturers.