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Interior Design vs. Decorating

Dreaming of the log home you’ll build one day naturally conjures images of a freshly excavated basement, bare drywall, floor deck installation…  No?  Of course not.  In your daydreams, the dirty work is done and the end product has been achieved – a finished home that functions perfectly and looks beautiful throughout.  We all do it.  But between the groundbreaking and the comfortable, stylish dream home lies an important step that can make your home function well and look great: interior design.

Did we mean decorating?Kitchen Cabinets
Interior decorators beautify rooms by coordinating fabrics, wall treatments, furniture and accessories, but don’t address how that space works for the people living there.  A decorator may choose an attractive lamp, but doesn’t create an overall lighting plan for the home.  A decorator might select object d’art to feature on a bookcase wall, but would not conceive the layout of the bookcase or direct the carpenter as to its construction.

So what is Interior Design?
Interior design focuses on the physical aspects of interior spaces, to ensure that living areas function effectively for the people who use them.  The concept of a “golden triangle,” for example, makes kitchens easier to work in by creating an efficient traffic pattern between the refrigerator, stove and sink.  Likewise things like fireplace design, and the materials specified for flooring, lighting, countertops and cabinetry, all contribute to the way the home works, not just the way it looks. This is the primary difference between interior design and interior decorating – the goal of interior design is to do more than just adorn the space.  In its definition of the field, the National Council for Interior Design Qualification notes, “interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.”


  1. Bill says:

    Do you have anything on interior design that you can mail me or do you have a site for it i can go to