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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Wolfrom

What Is An Interior Designer...Really

Mott 32 by Architect Joyce Wang

Hello Internet!

After a lot of saying "I want to get back into writing my blog again," here I finally am. I figure I will use this first post to reintroduce myself and give you a little perspective what it is I do.

I am an Interior Designer and Project Manager for a multi-family (a fancy way to say apartment buildings) ownership and management company in Philadelphia, PA. I've pretty much explored every facet of the design industry in the few years (okay, fine. 8 years. Are you happy?) since I've been out of college. I am happy to say that my love and passion is design, although I'm still trying to figure out exactly what that means.

Now, here comes the rant...

When I was in college, people would ask what I was studying. As soon as I said Interior Design their eyes would light up and these dreaded words would come out of their mouths, "Oh! Will you come decorate my house?" I cringed just typing that now. While paint, furniture, and accessories are all part of what I do, I AM NOT A DECORATOR!!!!! If I could be remembered for just one thing I would want it to be as the woman who educated the world that Interior Designer and Interior Decorator are not the same thing:

Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive. Designs are created in response to and coordinated with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements, and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability. The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.- Council for Interior Design Qualification

Yes, I know it is a long definition. The lesson I am trying to impart? The words decorator and designer have become interchangeable when really they mean two different things. I went to an accredited university (go Dragons!) for 4 years and graduated with a Bachelor of Science so that I could be called an Interior Designer.

So next time someone tells you, "I'm an Interior Designer,” for your own health and safety, don't turn around and call them a decorator. You’ll thank me later.

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