The GHID Blog

Welcome to our blog, here we go in depth with our design projects and hopefully we teach you a bit about interior design and our industry. If you're looking for a specific blog post, check out our archive here!

What Is Interior Design? (From a Newcomer’s Perspective)

what is interior design, good modern interior design blogs, interior design vs. interior decorating Hi everyone, my name is Mason Lindblad and I am interning here at Garrison Hullinger Interior Design. My specialty is in marketing, but I've landed myself in a marketing internship at an interior design firm. I didn't really fully understand what interior design was, but I'm here to shed some light on what I believe interior design is in simplified terms.

Interior design is more than just strategically slapping a couple paintings on the wall. It’s a long process full of planning and organizing, so that every single design element in a room works with every other item to look great. But it’s more than just looking great, because interior design tries to optimize both form and function. I am a newcomer to this whole industry, and I know that like I was, most people are unaware of what interior design really is. In the next few paragraphs I am going to try to answer the question “what is interior design?” without using any confusing industry jargon, so that anyone and everyone can get an understanding of what interior designers have to offer for them!

It's All About The Form And Function

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Essentially, interior design is the planning and layout of a space. However, this is more difficult than it sounds, as even a single room that needs to be worked on will have plenty of pieces of furniture to add in, lots of wall space to cover, and a myriad of spots for fine details and accents to go. Sometimes the big centerpiece is what counts but other times it is the tiny details and surprises that give a room its personality. In the end, a room has to look good but also function. No matter how amazing a kitchen may look, if the homeowner cannot move around and cook better than in their old kitchen, the interior designer failed.

What's The Difference Between An Interior Designer And An Interior Decorator?

interior decorators, house decorations, interior design in your living room

With so many perfectly looking magazine covers that show off flawless rooms, it seems like everyone must have design talent in them somewhere. An interior design sense may be a talent, but someone with the talent cannot just start working as a professional. Believe it or not, this is a career in which you need to be educated and certified. A designer also needs to have a wide knowledge of materials and products, how all of the factors of a room will interact, and things like building codes and health and safety regulations. One of the biggest areas of confusion around interior design is the distinction between it and interior decorating. The big difference is the education and licensing. Many states have licenses for interior designers but interior decorating is an unregulated title. Decorating is an aspect of a designer’s job but they must also know codes and regulations as well as how lighting and acoustics work. Interior decorators focus on wall coverings and paint, furnishings, and lighting, but are not professionally trained to do so and may not know any relevant information other than how things look together.

Good Interior Design Doesn't Happen Over Night

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An interior designer may seem like they know magic when you see those amazing before and after pictures, but no design is completed overnight. After a client decides to hire on a designer, the designer will get an understanding of what the client wants out of the room, and then what kind of interests the client has that should be reflected in the finished product. After that, there is a ton of planning, development, and sketching concepts, followed by selection of furniture, accessories, and anything else that is going to go in the space. Then the design is implemented, which again, is no easy task. There is a massive amount of organization between suppliers and other professionals, not to mention the formation and approval of construction documents to make sure that all of the changes are still within code. Eventually though, everything comes together, and the client is hopefully pleased with their new design! If the planning process went well then the client should know what to expect when the project is finished.

So what is interior design? It is a lot of things! I hope that this gave you a better idea of what an interior designer does. As an outsider, I would have found this very helpful to read, but instead I found it all out by working with a company whose industry I knew nothing about! Now tell me, are you ready to hire on Garrison Hullinger to design your next new room, now that you know what he is qualified to do?

Read more about why you should hire an interior designer.