You want an entirely new look in your kitchen. A better work flow would be nice, too. So maybe it’s time to call that interior decorator one of your friends recommended. Or perhaps it was an interior designer. What’s the difference? Read more to truly understand the difference.

There can be an overlap between interior design and interior decorating. In fact, some designers are also decorators. But in terms of purpose, function, and practices, interior design and decorating are two distinct and separate disciplines.

As our name implies, Triple Heart Design is an interior design firm. From Austin and Round Rock, Texas to cities across the country, we help design beautiful and functional spaces that turn houses into personal expressions of the people who own them.

Interior Decorating Is Aesthetic

Interior décor following home remodelLet us start with interior decoration since that’s the discipline people are most familiar with. If you’ve seen TV shows like HGTV’s Trading Spaces, you already have a good idea of what interior decorating is. It is a discipline that focuses mainly on furnishings and decor.

Interior decorators work with color palettes and lighting. They pay attention to shading, texture, shape, and so forth. An interior decorator’s main goal is to create a space that is appealing to all the senses.

There are times when interior decorating involves more than cosmetic changes. But if the general layout, work flow, and function of a given space are not altered through redesign, the project is mainly a decorating one.

Interior Design Is Functional

Interior design is more complicated in terms of architecture, structural engineering, and so forth. The simple way to describe it is to say that interior design is functional rather than aesthetic. Trained designers are tasked with creating functional spaces that meet the customer’s needs in the most pleasing way, while meeting building codes and general construction practices.

If you were looking to change your kitchen countertops and give the entire space a new coat of paint, you would bring in an interior decorator. But if you were looking to completely gut the kitchen and start over to make it more functional and efficient, an interior designer would be the better option.

This is not to say that interior design is superior to interior decorating. It’s not. It is just a separate discipline that requires a professional with a different kind of training and knowledge.

When the Two Overlap

Common sense tells us that interior design and decorating overlap a lot. Let us go back to talking about your kitchen. Hiring our team to handle the remodel job would guarantee that you get top-notch interior design services by people who know their stuff. But you would expect that, when all is said and done, your new kitchen is just as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional.

We expect that, too. So interior decoration is part of the plan. We design functional spaces that comply with all industry best practices and local building codes. We design spaces that meet our customer’s expectations for workflow and efficiency. But then we also want those spaces to look and feel good.

As the customer, you might want to bring in your own interior decorator to handle the furnishings on your remodel. Meanwhile, that friend of yours uses the same firm for both. Either way, the overall look and feel of the finished spaces should be a coordinated effort to create cohesiveness in the home.

Interior decorating and design are two distinct and separate disciplines. Both can play a huge role in transforming dated, worn, and inefficient spaces into beautiful and functional creations. When design and decorating work together, the result can be truly outstanding. After all, the most beautiful spaces are both functional and aesthetically pleasing.