Thinking about a career as an Interior Designer or Decorator? Or possibly, think it just might be fun to acquire a basic knowledge in design to develop your personal design projects. There is a distinction among the Interior Designer, Interior Decorator, and the Do-It-Yourself adventurer. Most significantly, the difference is in the level of formal education and credentialing one must fulfill.

As a young girl in High School, I dreamed of a career in design. Having a natural talent with clothing construction, pattern making, and a working knowledge of fabrics, I enjoyed creating beautiful gowns form family and friends for many special events. As life takes us on many paths, my journey took me the long way around to the present day career of enjoying ownership of a decorating studio and workroom. Still, the sound of the sewing machines and scissors stitching and clipping through yards of fabric is music to my ears. And, of course, the satisfaction that comes with the completion of a beautiful designed project, acclaimed by a satisfied client is the mark for a job, “well done,”! How I love the creative atmosphere of working with a home interior, clubhouse, stage set, and more…each offers a creative edge.

With the world of HGTV, we have the image that design projects can be completed simply within the constraints of an hour of prime time, even with the commercials! Oh, the illusion of television! Just as TV provides us an illusion about design, do do people romance the profession of design. How much fun it must be to play with color, select lush fabrics and decor, and simply be in creative play all day long! It must be nothing but pure fun, right? Well, yes and no.

Beyond creativity, both interior designers and decorators have to utilize business skills in the art of marketing, negotiation, selling, cost estimates, budgets, product knowledge, purchasing disbursements, schedules, and more. It requires impeccable communication skills with clients and fabricators, vendors, and skilled laborers. Time management is critical to coordinate project details to meet completion deadlines. Stress management is a must! What just happened..this creativity stuff is supposed to be luxurious and fun?! Well, it is! However, it is filled with many hours of behind the scenes planning, preparation, and deadlines.

The business of design is one that develops from passion, creativity, and skill. Skill is developed through levels of education and experience. Today, although the titles of “Interior Designer” and “Interior Decorator” are often times used interchangeably and fields related, this is misleading and is wise for the consumer to know the differences.

Interior Designers are required to complete a combination of six years of work experience, consisting of a minimum of a two year design curriculum from an accredited university or college. The Interior Designer has more training in the structural elements of a build and the required higher level education to obstain the professional license. They must pre-qualify for a license by passing the NCIDQ (National Council of Interior Designer’s Qualification) exam. Also, upon receiving their credentials, they are subject to more professional regulation as specified by the sate in which they are licensed

Similar to the Interior Designer, the Interior Decorator also plans and implements projects, advising clients in matters of color, material selection, layouts, lighting, furniture, and flooring, etc. However, they may or may not have any formal education in design, nor are they required to take qualification or state exams for a specific Interior Designer licensing. Some state, including Florida, do not allow an unlicensed design professionals to call themselves, “Interior Designers”. Also, the Interior Decorator does not fall under the same scrutiny and professional regulations because they are not involved with the structural changes od buildings, code requirements, etc. However, keeping within the scope of their knowledge and expertise, they are passionate, creative, and talented professionals. Their skill levels may vary based on their education, experiences, and creative ability.

Although a fun and creative career, interior design requires a working knowledge, passion, attention to detail, and willingness to dedicate time. Interested to know more about this career, explore an apprenticeship or opportunity to shade a design professional? Please come by or call our studio/workroom at 1615 Cypress Drive in Jupiter. Phone: 561.746.0686.