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Interior Design vs. Interior Decorating and other Ramblings

June 22, 2010
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A lot of times Interior Designer and Interior Decorator are used interchangeably.  They are, however, two entirely different things.  An Interior Decorator helps pull spaces together.  They can assist with furniture arrangement, decor selections, paint choices, etc.  An Interior Designer does all of that but also has a basic understanding of construction, architecture, and functionality.  Additionally, Interior Designers, by definition, require formal education.  One must be certified in order to call themselves a designer.  Interior Decorators do not have to have formal education.  In fact, many are trained in other fields such as fine arts.

In this respect, I am much closer to being an amateur Interior Decorator than an amateur Interior Designer.  I know very little about construction.  If I had to handle a complete remodel or determine if a wall was load bearing, I would be lost.  And the truth is, there are a lot of amateur Interior Decorators out there.  Many of whom are much more talented than me.  In the past, I have been told that I should consider being an Interior Designer or Decorator.  And part of me thinks I would love it.  But part of me has alway been hesitant.  There are so many people out there more talented than I am.  And the field is overrun with competition.  Plus, does doing something you have loved as a hobby lose some appeal when it becomes a job, like how a friendship can be ruined when you decide to become roommates?

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do with myself long-term.  I know that at some point I will probably want or need a full-time career.  My challenge has been in nailing down what that should be and how to make it a reality.  I have toyed with becoming a professional organizer, a professor at a junior college (probably in English), or starting my own business of some kind.  Why is it so much easier to identify the things I definitely don’t want to do (anything requiring massive amounts of travel, farmer, radio DJ, photographer, nurse) than to figure out what I would love to do?

Thanks for letting me free flow with my thoughts today.  Any suggestions from those who know me best or those observing from a distance would be appreciated.

~ Anne

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    June 22, 2010 9:53 am

    If you feel strong enough to step out into the field you love so much…….take that step. Trust your talent and passion. I would not leap into this without family support but I think you would have it. After all, you know best.

  2. Keryl permalink
    June 22, 2010 11:12 am

    OK, listen to me, missy! When you look at ANY field, not just interior decorating, there will always be someone who is smarter, better educated, more talented, or more experienced than you are. However, you don’t always have to be the best at something to become successful at it or to find it fulfilling.

    If you want to know what it’s like to be an interior decorator, try it for awhile. Maybe it’s just what you are looking for, and maybe it isn’t. But you WILL miss 100 percent of the chances that you don’t take!

  3. Linda permalink
    June 22, 2010 1:21 pm

    Maybe you’ll find your calling. Many career fields to choose from now

  4. steven permalink
    June 22, 2010 2:53 pm

    If you go down that path, and I think youd be really good at it, you need to do it like dodgeball……go balls deep 🙂

  5. sherry permalink
    June 22, 2010 4:04 pm

    Words of wisdom from Keryl!! I would add to that, that I hope you find something where you could also use your gift of writing. But if you reach for something you love, I strongly believe success will follow.

  6. Lily permalink
    June 22, 2010 7:35 pm

    In my experience everyone has a talent and I think yours in definitely creativity. My only advice is don’t limit yourself to just interior decorating. I could really see you doing stuff that is around decorating but more project based. For example if some saw something in a magazine They could send you the photo and you could recreate it on a budget. Just some thoughts. You would charge for supplies and labor. You definitely should be in a creative job

  7. August 13, 2010 12:36 am

    I was one of those people who would use designer and decorator interchangably! whats more, i work in this field – so you finally cleared that up for me. Thank you

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