Myth #1: Interior designer/interior decorator what’s the difference, there is no difference...
This is one of many myths about the interior design and decor field, over the following few months I will be discussing, and hopefully dispelling these:
- Interior design myth #1 – There is no difference between interior designers and interior decorators.
- Interior design myth #2 – I can’t afford an interior designer.
- Interior Design myth#3 – My home will look like your style, and wont reflect my personality.
- Interior design myth#4 – I can do it myself, I see it on TV all the time.
- Interior design myth #5 – I can get free designer advice in a salon or shop.
- Interior design myth#6 – Good design is trendy
- Interior design myth #7 – Interior designers are “artsy weirdoes”.
- Interior design myth #8 – Even if I don’t like the design, I will still have to pay.
In this edition I will be discussing the first myth; it is common practice for society to confuse the two different professions. When undertaking my research on proposed topics, I posed a question on my company Facebook page asking people for suggestions on topics they wished to know more about in the interior design field, one response was “Things not to do when decorating.. Current trends.... simple changes to keep with current seasons....”. So point proved.
Some interior designers (not excluding myself) might be a little offended, if you called them an interior decorator. There is a difference between the two and the main difference is the level of education received in the field. Many people with flair or some sense of creativity can and do call themselves decorators, to call yourself an interior designer; you should have at least a 3 year diploma or degree in the field.
The main task (and training received) of an interior designer is to improve the functionality in terms of health, safety and welfare of their clients and the public in the interior spaces they are commissioned to design, and naturally, as required by most clients to achieve a desired aesthetic. Interior decorators do not always receive this intensive training and are mostly concerned with soft finishes and aesthetics. Likewise not all interior designers can call themselves interior architects.
There are very many talented decorators in the industry that produce beautiful work, and have been doing so for many years. There are also many fly by nights – who fling the word “designer” around like it means nothing.
The main point is that there most certainly is a difference between the two respective fields, and clients should be mindful of what the actual scope of the work is before hiring anybody.
The IID (The South African Institute of the Interior Design Professions) is the only professional body representing the Interior Design industry in South Africa. The institute is concerned with promoting professionalism and maintaining high standards in the industry, below is how they define the different professions.
Professional Interior Architect – “Any person who has obtained minimum 5 year full time degree from an accredited educational institution affiliated to a faculty of Architecture at a University and a minimum of 1 year’s practical experience and who has satisfied the National Council of their professional competence.” (http://bit.ly/1rDPJXq)
Professional Interior Designer – “Any person who has obtained a minimum 3 year full time diploma or degree from an accredited educational institution and a minimum of 3 years practical experience, or who has been practicing for a minimum of 6 years and has satisfied the National Council of their professional competence and suitability.”
Professional Interior Decorator – “Any person who has obtained a minimum 1 year full time qualification from an accredited educational institution and a minimum of 5 years practical experience, or who has been practicing for a minimum of 6 years and has satisfied the National Council of their professional competence and suitability.” (http://bit.ly/UmFaff)
For more information on this topic you can access www.iidprofessions.org.za.
Dale Dennis (B-Tech Interior design TUT)