Designing vs. Decorating/Styling

Although the terms ‘interior decorator’ and ‘interior designer’ are often used interchangeably, they are two very different professions. It is important to explain the options that are available to you, so that together, you can best determine the type of service you require.

Interior Design Consultants

Both decorators and designers focus on creating an aesthetically pleasing space but our interior design consultants take this a step further by addressing the function of that space and how its inhabitants will live and work within it. Designers focus on the entire interior and exterior of a space, from where the walls will go, to what kind of flooring material will be used and the implications that flooring has in the space- durability, acoustics, life of the product, colour, etc.

Ideally, the designer will start on the project at the very beginning stages of the new build or renovation. First they will meet the end users of the space and attempt to understand how the space will be used. Interior design consultants apply the science of human behaviour as well as human dimension as it relates to interior space to design a building or home that maximizes efficiency and functionality as well as creates a stylish, welcoming and beautiful environment.

After the initial designer & client meeting, the designer will then lay out the floor plan, considering everything from circulation, accessibility and acoustics to furniture and lighting plans and creating architectural focal points. As the project progresses, the designer will take on the role of the decorator, choosing furnishings, paint and other finishes. 

After the design is complete, the client will have two options of how to implement that design. They can either take the plans that they have been provided with by their designer, find their own contractor and handle the installation and completion of the project themselves. The onus will now be on the client to ensure the vision that they and their designer conceptualized is properly put into place.

The other option, that is most often practiced, is to have your designer involved right through to the completion of the project. This way you can rest assured that the design and your vision will be realized accurately.

Interior Decorating/Styling Consultants

Although interior decoration is a specialized field, formal schooling is not a necessity. It does require the individual to be creative, have great visualization skills and the ability to pull an overall scheme together, considering all aesthetic details down to accessories. Because a technical education is not required, interior decorators are not involved in designing the layout of the space or projects that involve large scale renovations or structural planning and they will usually come on board after the “bones” and more technical aspects of the project are complete. However, many decorators will complete courses in colour and fabric, furniture layout, furniture styles and more and develop an extensive knowledge on how to update a space efficiently and effectively.

Decorators focus on the overall surface look of a space. They choose furnishings, fixtures, lighting, paint, fabric, and accessories, creating a decorating scheme that is beautifully put together, and reflects the personality of the homeowners. If you feel that the bones of your home are in good shape and up to date, or if your budget doesn’t allow for major changes, a decorator can do wonders to give your space a facelift by focusing on the finishing touches. They have a keen eye in judging what changes or additions will give you the most impact for your dollar!

Decorators are exceptionally talented when it comes to bringing a space to its full potential. We focus our attention on gathering beautiful pieces locally and from our own sources. We make selections that are aesthetically pleasing and create focal points that are unique and will really set your space apart! The most important part of the job as a decorator is to keep you, the homeowner in mind so your space truly reflects your style and personality!

Understanding the difference between the two professions can help to qualify which type of service you require –