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A Rose by Any Other Name?

Hello all!

Today I have a very serious topic to discuss. No, it has nothing to do with politics. In fact it is all about expectations.

There is a difference between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator!

Okay, it isn't all that serious. It is important though, because knowing one from the other will make sure that your expectations are in line with reality. Names usually mean something, even when people consider them interchangeable. Roses might not smell as sweet if you call them a skunk because you expect them to be something else.

So, without further ado Designer vs. Decorator!


- have special schooling or formal training

This means that you have been trained to work with special design programs, understand the psychology of space, and are able to consider many design aspects including light and sound.

- are comfortable with spacial planning

Capable of drawing plans from the initial floor plan all the way up to the decorative accents

- work closely with the architect/contractors

Start at the beginning of a project, not just coming in after the contractors done.

Philosophy: What a space does for the client is more important than how it looks


- do not require formal schooling

There is some schooling available, but it is less intensive

- focus on aesthetics

They decide style, color scheme, furniture, and accessories

- begin working when contractors are finished

They specialize in finishing touches

What does all this mean?

To sum it up, a designer can and does do it all. Designers have to be able to decorate. Decorators, however, are not designers. It is a mistake that many people make, one that even those in the design industry are prone to.

And one more thing!

Designers and Decorators are different than stagers or stylists.

A stager or a stylist require a sense of style and pizazz. They are called in to help sell a house, organize what you already own, or set up for large events like a party or holiday. They don't buy furniture, deal with custom fabrics, pick out tile backsplashes, or draw up the plans for your kitchen remodel. Some decorators may be willing to stage or style your home, but very few designers will because it is akin to asking an aerospace engineer to help you make a kite. They can but probably won't because they have too much training to do so.

Hopefully this cleared a few things up for you. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or shoot me an email here.

And don't forget to share this with your friends! The more people read and comment, the better my business does and the more people I can help feel comfortable in and proud of their homes.

While I could have stated this all quite clearly on my own, I did use the following sources for research to make sure I didn't leave anything out:

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