Interior Design Vs Interior Decorating Vs Home Staging Vs Interior Redesign – What’s the Difference?

The other day a real estate agent whose listings I stage for sale introduced me to someone as a “designer”. I didn’t want to take the time to correct him, but I thought to myself, “This isn’t the first time I’ve heard people use ‘designer’ erroneously. It’s often used to label someone who’s an interior decorator. So, why does everyone lump us all in one category, when we all clearly do something different?”

To put the differences succinctly:

  • Interior Design involves, among many other things, the preparation of documents often by a licensed professional for the construction of an interior space such as plans and elevations, and details and specifications, including lighting, power and communication locations, materials and finishes, and furniture layouts.
  • Interior Decorating involves the adornment of surfaces in the interior space, such as fabrics, wall coverings, furniture, decorative accessories, flooring, light fixtures etc., and takes into account the lifestyle, taste, needs and preferences of the user of the space. While interior designers may decorate, interior decorators don’t design.
  • Home Staging is preparing the home for sale through updates and “decorating” so that it appeals to the broadest range of buyers for the market that the home is in.
  • Interior Redesign is often done by home stagers for homeowners not currently selling because it employs many of the same principles that home stagers use, such as primarily using what furniture and decorative accessories the homeowner already has, with an eye towards the future sale of the home.

Now, let’s explore each one more in-depth.

Interior Design

According to the National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ):

  • Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment.
  • These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive.
  • Designs are created in response to and coordinated with thebuilding shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project.
  • Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability.
  • The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is the leading organization for interior design professionals. Certain levels of its members must meet certain education, work experience and examination requirements administered by the NCIDQ. Further, some states have licensing requirements for interior designers which include the passage of this exam. ASID also has continuing education requirements for its members.

Interior Decorating

No wonder people often confuse Interior Decorating with Interior Design. Even I had trouble finding a definition for Interior Decorating. Often it said “see interior design”.

Perhaps its best to understand interior decorating as it exists in contrast to interior design:

  • An interior decorator would select floor coverings based upon the tastes and lifestyle of the client, whereas the interior designer would take it a step further and look at usage, sound transference, flammability, etc.
  • An interior decorator would select lighting fixtures, whereas the interior designer would plan for the location of lighting and ensure that it is in compliance with building and safety codes.
  • An interior decorator does not need to have any formal education and/or work experience, testing or licensing, whereas an interior designer does.

Home Staging

Home staging is the art and science of preparing a home for sale so that it appeals to the broadest range of buyers in order to sell quickly and for top dollar. The objective is to make the potential buyer fall in love with the home, envision themselves living there and aspire to the lifestyle the home portrays.

According to the Real Estate Staging Association’s Consumer’s Guide to Home Staging, it is a “systematic and coordinated methodology in which knowledge of real estate, home renovations and creative design principles are applied to attract a buyer.”

Home staging involves any or all of the following:

  • Evaluating what furniture and decorative accessories (throw pillows, artwork, decorative objects, lamps, knickknacks, etc.) the owner has, and:

– eliminating some of the furniture and/or decorative accessories, otherwise known as decluttering as well as depersonalizing (removal of family photos, trophies, collections etc. so the buyer can envision living there)

– arranging the furniture and accessories for optimal placement to enhance flow (the ability to walk freely through the room), focal point enhancement (e.g., emphasizing a fireplace or a beautiful view), balance (are there too many or too large pieces in the bookcase or on only one side of the room?) and the positive aspects of the home while downplaying the negatives

  • Carefully selecting for purchase or rent, if necessary, the appropriate furniture and accessories for the style of the home and it’s market.
  • Recommending, implementing and/or arranging for enhancements, updates and repairs such as painting, flooring, sink fixtures, lighting fixtures, window treatments, landscaping, etc.

Interior Redesign

As stated above, interior redesign is like home staging, however it enhances the home for the homeowners rather than for potential buyers. And it does so with an eye towards its future sale. It is like home staging in that it primarily uses the client’s existing furniture and decorative accessories to transform the space, and may also involve the purchase of additional furniture and accessories as well as updates to the wall colors, window treatments, lighting fixtures etc.

Summary

To summarize the differences:

  • Interior Design involves the planning of all aspects of interior space often by a licensed professional.
  • Interior Decorating involves the adornment of surfaces in the interior space. Interior designers may decorate, but interior decorators don’t design.
  • Home Staging is preparing the home for sale through updates and showcasing so that it appeals to the broadest range of buyers for the market that the home is in.
  • Interior Redesign employs many of the same principles that home stagers use, such as primarily using what furniture and decorative accessories the homeowner already has, with an eye towards the future sale of the home.

Top Interior Designers

If you are majoring in interior design, interested in interior design, or looking for a good interior designer, you should be aware of some of the top designers in the world. They are Ron Dayan, Candice Olson, David Bromstad and Vern Yip.

Ron Dayan, the founder of Piccadilly Designs, has earned the nickname ‘The Interior Designer to the Rich and Famous’. Originally, he studied and explored famous buildings in Europe where he was born. Even when he was young he was fascinated by architecture and interior design. He graduated from a highly reputable London university, the Polytechnic of Northern London. However, in 1979 he moved to Los Angeles to enroll at the Woodbury University.

In the United States Ron Dayan pleased many celebrities, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Louis Gossett Jr., John Couch, Smokey Robinson, Barry Gibb, Duff McKagen, and Bruce Vilanch. He was even given the nickname ‘the Sherlock Holmes of Interior Designers’ by some of his clients, because of his talent for reading their minds and collecting the right settings. Ron Dayan is fond of this nickname and has said ‘I actually use the Holmes’ methods of detection in my design process, to discover what the client would love to be surrounded by, and need now, and years from now. I often do this without even asking the client any questions, simply observing, listening, and being in tune with their signals’

Candice Olson is a HGTV Design Star judge and host of HGTV’s Candice Tells All. She is one of the top interior designers in both the United States and Canada. Candice Olson graduated from the School of Interior Design at Ryerson University in Toronto and received awards and media attention before she accepted spots on television. She also writes for a biweekly newspaper column that runs in more than 400 U.S. Newspapers. In addition, she has made appearances on the Today Show, the Oprah Winfrey Show, and Live with Regis and Kelly.

This busy designer has even launched her own collection of home decor products, such as upholstered furniture, wallpaper, bedding, fabrics, lighting, and much more. She describes her signature style as ‘a fusion of traditional form, scale and proportions, with the clean, crisp, simplistic beauty of modern design’

David Bromstad, one of the top interior designers, was the winner of the first season of HGTV Design Star and is now the host of Color Splash. He attended the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota. He has become known for his out-of-the-box thinking and endless energy. This passionate and innovative designer has also created custom art and furniture.

He is unique because of his ability to combine vibrant colors with practicality. According to him, he ‘blends styles that incorporate realism and fantasy’. He is also on the show HGTV in which he travels across America in an 18-wheeler to surprise fans with is vibrant and unique room designs.

Vern Yip, the founder of Vern Yip Designs, is a HGTV Design Star judge and designer for the annual HGTV Urban Oasis home. He has received awards and national acclaim for being one of the top designers with the ability to transform restaurants and home both on television and on his own. These awards include the 2003 Distinguished Southerner Award from Southern Living magazine, 1999 Best New Restaurant for Fusebox restaurant in Atlanta, 2000 Southeast Designer of the Year, and 1999 Best New Night Club for DeuxPlex Bistro and Night Club in Atlanta.

He has also been featured in multiple publications, such as The New York Times, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly.This over-achieving interior designer has also made appearances on highly popular TV shows such as Live With Regis and Kelly, The Early Show, CNN, and Today. He has a master’s degree in architecture and science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Virginia. His unique style can be described as eclectic with influences from his trips to Asia, Latin America, and Europe.

In conclusion, Ron Dayan, Candice Olson, David Bromstad, and Vern Yip are some of the top interior designers in the world. Ron Dayan is known ‘the Interior Designer to the Rich and Famous’ and ‘the Sherlock Holmes of Interior Designers’. He lives up to his nicknames, because he has the ability to discover what a client wants and needs through his observations. Ron Dyan has worked for many celebrities, such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Louis Gossett Jr., John Couch, Smokey Robinson, Barry Gibb, Duff McKagen, and Bruce Vilanch. Candice Olson is a HGTV Design Star judge and host of HGTV’s Candice Tells All. She describes her style as ‘a fusion of traditional form, scale and proportions, with the clean, crisp, simplistic beauty of modern design’. David Bromstad is the winner of the first season of HGTV Design Star and the host of Color Splash. He is known for the ability to blend the realms of fantasy and realism into one unique and innovative design. Vern Yip, the founder of Vern Yip Designs, has a style that is eclectic with traces of Asian, Latin American, and European influences.

New York Interior Design Programs

There are many New York interior design programs available for the aspiring design student. If the individual wishes to be on campus then one school that offers an Associates Degree in Interior Design is Berkeley College, which is located in midtown Manhattan.

Berkeley College is a top New York interior design school that provides a real world education that interior design professionals demand. The class sizes are small and students get hands on training. Students receive free lifetime career assistance as well. Internships are offered and there is a large network of employer connections through the school.

The New York interior design school campuses of Berkeley College are located in White Plains. Berkeley is a recognized leader in preparing students for their professional careers in interior design, 96% of graduates secure jobs in their areas.

Other schools in the New York interior design program offer online training. One of those schools is Westwood College where you can obtain a Bachelors Degree in Interior Design. An online program is designed for the student who feels that they just do not have the time to attend classes for whatever reason but still have the desire to obtain a well-respected degree in interior design.

Another New York interior design school that offers an online degree is The Art Institute Online where the student can achieve a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design. This school is a division of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

Whether you attend a New York interior design school in person or online you will be prepared to enter the exciting and creative world of Interior Design with the knowledge to succeed. Before an Interior Designer receives his or her license, they must meet some very strict guidelines. The Designer must have a combination of six years of school and work experience before taking the licensing exam. Once the Interior Designer has completed the six-year requirement, they must pass a test administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification.

Interior Designers wishing to do commercial design work must have a bachelor’s degree in interior design from an accredited school. All Interior Design students including New York interior design students will learn how to use computer aided design (CAD) software. Securing an internship free is a good way to get practical knowledge and experience. Internships can often lead to full time positions.

New York interior design students must learn other skills besides design to be successful professionals. Artistically inclined is a good skill to have along with strong people skills. It is recommended that New York interior designers take some business courses as well since many Designers are self-employed. Interior Design is an ever-changing profession and today’s designer must stay up to date with all the trends.