Slideshow Widget

  •  photo Blogslideshow1_zps02617255.jpg" />
  •  photo blogslideshow2_zps51434c8f.jpg" />
  •  photo blog slideshow 3_zpsfpg2sfq9.jpg" />" />
  •  photo Finneganslideshow_zpscd7c6354.jpg" />
  •  photo blogslideshow5_zpsd3bb2dfc.jpg" />
  •  photo Blogslideshow6_zps8b2f4abb.jpg" />
  •  photo blog slideshow 8_zps1hqitpaf.jpg />
  •  photo Blog slideshow 9_zps6cchbs10.jpg />
  •  photo Blog slideshow 10_zpsnttbp0us.jpg />

Pet Peeve

Monday, December 8, 2008

When I tell people that I'm an interior design major, these are the responses that I usually get:
Response #1: "How fun!"
Response #2: "You should come design my house."
Response #3: "Are you going to be on TV someday?"

HGTV has shaped America's idea of what an interior designer is. And I find that a little annoying. In my opinion HGTV designers aren't designers at all. I would call them decorators.

Here's a great explanation of a designer vs. a decorator:
"While interior decorating is an important aspect of interior design, interior design encompasses a much greater scope of practice and professionalism. Interior decorating is the application of finishes, i.e., wallpaper, fabrics, furniture, etc. An interior designer is a professional who identifies, researches and creatively solves problems to interpret the function and quality of the interior environment. A designer is responsible for performing services relative to interior spaces, including programming, design analysis, space planning and aesthetics, using specialized knowledge of interior construction, building codes, equipment, materials and furnishings. Designers are formally trained to prepare drawings and documents relative to the design of interior spaces in order to enhance and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public." (found on this website)

Here's Rebecca's explanation:
Decorators spend their time matching paint colors, throw pillows, and fabric. Designers learn much more technical information. We learn all sorts of building codes and fire codes, and how many inches a toilet can be from a wall. Lots of boring stuff. Instead of learning which carpet looks good in a room, we learn which flooring choices inhibit bacteria growth and are slip resistant.

Sure, interior design can be fun, but it's a lot more than paint and fabric. It involves a lot of research and work. For my studio apartment project I spent weeks researching sustainable counter tops. For my restaurant project, I spent hours rearranging the restaurant kitchen, trying to find the most functional floor plan.

And interior designers don't just design houses. What's the last building you walked into? Church, school, shopping center, hotel, or office building? Chances are that an interior designer worked with the architect to create the space.

Choosing paint, and fabric and flooring is only about 10% of what a designer does. There's so much more to it than that.

7 Responses to “Pet Peeve”

  1. All that being said, do you have a favorite part of your job?

  2. What are you hoping to do when you graduate, other than become a kick @$$ Navy wife? ;)

    I'm going to start calling myself an Interior Decorator, apparently, I'm qualified for the job!

  3. Hey...just wanted to let you know I've been married to a Designer for 21 years. She is the most creative, dedicated, hard working professional I know. Her work brings long-term enjoyment and appreciation to her clients.

  4. I must say, I totally agree with your description of a interior designer. However, you must admit it has to be FUN! Not everything is fun about it but there has to be some element of enjoyment from this career choice otherwise people would have no interest in it! (wink) That is a common mistake people make which is confusing decorators with designers. I like the idea of design and decorating mixed.Many people who are specialize in interior decorating will still obtain a degree in design even if they don't pursue the architecture/construction side of design because it gives them more credibility as a Licensed designer vs just a decorator and can give them a little more of a cutting edge vs just being a decorator.

  5. My aunt is an interior designer, so I actually know what one does. Just do what some languages do: You're not an interior designer, you're an interior engineer. (Seriously).

    For some reason, slap "engineer" on anything and you confer an instant respect to it, "I'm not a sculptor, I'm a physio-visual placement engineer," even if it should be perfectly fine without it.

  6. Hi, I just found your blog because I was searching for "designer's pet peeves" I LOVE this blog post. I am a designer myself in Texas and this is my greatest complaint. People not knowing the difference. Good luck with school. Its a crazy time!

    Leslie Thomas

  7. Wow, this is a whole lot! I truly agree to everything you said here. That's one of the most things incoming Interior Design freshies think of: interior design is all about paint and fabrics, which isn't.

    I'm a sophomore student of BS Interior Design and I know how frustrating it can be when you realize that you had done something silly with your floor plan (like the measurements of furniture & fixtures are wrong). I love my work, I used to question myself before if Interior Design is really my passion because I was inspired by Will Wright's PC game, The Sims. And in fact, it turns out that it IS!

    I love your blog and I'm now a fan. I love how you wrote everything straight to the point - I knew it because I can relate. I came across your blog when I searched French Baroque furniture btw (I'm having a hard time recognizing it because of all the other ones that do not live up to the period).

    Thanks for making this blog! Keep it up! And btw, if you have Twitter I'd like to follow it. Mine's @irisxxvii. :)


Comments make my day! You can also email me: RenovatingRebecca (at) gmail (dot) com