Secrets About Interior Designers

Being an interior designer is one of the most entertaining jobs! We get to use the creative part of our brain and the hyper-organized part of our brain every day to make spaces work harder and smarter. We get to see the physical impact of our work come to life in front of our eyes and that is just too fun! It’s a great position for anyone who is particularly tactile, since we play with texture and feel all day every day. Want to know some more secrets about interior designers? As a full time, professional interior designer, I thought I’d dish!

Interior Designer ≠ Interior Decorator

Most interior designers loathe being called interior decorators. Within the industry the meanings differ greatly person to person, but generally an interior designer is someone formally trained in interior design and interior architecture (either through school or on the job) who has a good grasp of knowledge on industry standards, works in and with architectural drawings, and is familiar with the advantages of different types of materials. An interior decorator, on the other hand, is someone who works more on styling a space. They generally have no formal training and often work alone. They may or may not work with furnishings and usually do not do architectural drawings.

We Don’t Do It For the Money

Most interior designers make less than and have fewer benefits than the average school teacher, until they make it to the senior level. Yup, it’s true! In fact, many firms offer no health or retirement plans whatsoever. Larger firms and those who work on super high end luxury projects are the exception to this rule. Interior designers aren’t in this field to make a ton of dough, we do this because we really love it!

Interior Designers Don’t Judge Your Home

If you’re friends with an interior designer, don’t worry! We’re not looking at your home and judging your choices; we shut off that part of our brain at the office. In fact, unless you specifically ask for an opinion, you’re not likely to hear us commenting on your space.

Don’t Ask For Our Help Unless You’re Willing to Listen

Most designers will help out a friend or family member with items for their space on the side, but remember good design relies on a wholistic look at a room. If you’re not willing to listen to all our advice about the space, it’s probably not a good idea to ask for help. We can work within budgets, but if you piecemeal our designs, they fall flat. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing 2-3 elements of your design mixed with a bunch of poor design choices and we certainly don’t want “credit” for working on those spaces. That said, we always love to help our friends and family bring their homes to life.

Interior Designers’ Homes Aren’t Perfect

Stars they’re just like us! And interior designers too! We live with the same daily messes as you. Our kitchens aren’t always clean and we don’t always have the laundry put away and we probably haven’t swept up the dog hair off the floor since last Tuesday. Actually, interior designers are often more apologetic for their spaces, since they spend so much time in high end, completely designed spaces and see the contrast in their own homes sharply. Also, see above on our income. We probably didn’t buy that expensive sofa we really wanted for our living rooms. In fact, that cool chair in the corner? It was probably intended for a client, but arrived at our warehouses damaged and was then replaced. It’s situated that way so you can’t see the huge gouge in the leg!

Interior Designers Style Their Spaces

That kitchen shelfie is on point at all times, on the bathroom counter are some “decorative” jars, and those coffee table books are placed just so. Interior designers love styling their spaces and often mix it up just for fun. Our homes might not be magazine ready, but our shelves are! We’re always on the hunt for the perfect, unique, decorative object to make our side tables shine.

We’re Fast Shoppers

Want to peruse the new West Elm store? We already know their entire inventory. Target launched a new home goods collection? We already bought everything in it to style out a client’s space last week. We are on top of the current trends and we don’t need to slowly walk the aisles to decide on our purchases. We can hunt through a flea market like a cheetah chasing after its prey, you better walk fast and keep up!

We’re All About the Details

Did you notice the pillow wasn’t fluffed in the hotel lobby? Or that the bowls in the kitchen cabinet were moved over 6 inches? An interior designer did. We’re highly trained to see all the little details on everything. We know where all the lamp switches are and we can tell if you picked up our coffee table book, because you certainly didn’t put it back in the exact place we left it. We can tell if that image isn’t perfectly aligned with the text in the company presentation and we know if someone sat on our sofa. Our eyes pick up every little detail, which is why you’ll often see us zushing spaces as we walk through them. We can’t just walk by a pillow tossed flat on the seat cushion of the sofa after all; we simply must pick it up and place it correctly in the corner with a karate chop.

Toilets Are the Enemy

Interior designers hate toilets with a passion. There’s probably something wrong with us, but all we want to do is never see a toilet. And don’t get me started on the inside of a toilet! PUT THAT TOILET LID DOWN PEOPLE. We adamantly do not want to see the inside of a toilet unless we absolutely must. There’s a reason we’re always designing separate toilet rooms and various bathroom partitions. We hate seeing toilets.

We Get To Do All The Fun Parts

Interior designers think we’re having more fun than our architect friends. We don’t get bogged down in code and the parts of buildings you don’t actually see. We get to play with texture, fabrics, lighting, and the spaces as you interact with them. In fact, we dictate how you interact with a space! Think you’re going to walk from the entry doors straight to the elevator? Nope, we’re going to make sure you pass by the bar first, just in case you might get a drink enroute. We think our job is all the fun parts of design and less of the boring, but don’t tell the architects!

Anything else you want to know about interior designers? Let me know in the comments!

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