Interior design and interior decoration are quite often believed to be one and the same. It is however two distinctly different aspects of the design and décor of a building. The clue is in the title – interior design takes places mostly around the design and structure of a particular building, whereas interior decoration governs the manner in which the designed and structured space is decorated.
Interior design is more technical of nature and in most cases can only be performed with the required qualifications and professional standard. The harder concepts of architectural design principles, building rules, the nature of fittings are important here. Interior design is involved with the building, the planning, the drawing and the plotting of the space, and has a key purpose throughout the construction process. Interior design would consider the nature of the building, the size of the space, the functions of the space, and the interior and exterior requirements of the building. Hotels will be designed and furnished differently to an office block, and in a lot of cases interior design specialists are used for particular buildings.
Interior decoration is softer and more fluid of nature, and mostly based in the artful creation of ambience and atmosphere in a space, while still ensuring that the functionality is optimized. The challenge quite often lies in working with a space which has not been particularly well designed, and creating an opportunity to maximize the character and function of the place. Interior decoration would be more concerned with soft furnishings, illumination, furniture styles and colours, coverings of walls and surfaces, and anything which lends colour or aesthetic balance to the area. Textiles and textures have to be balanced with colours and lighting.
Functionality is also a big factor and interior decoration has to take place in such a way that the practicality of the room is not disturbed or undermined. For instance, the lighting in a library has to illuminate the correct focal points for reading or studying, and furniture and light fittings have to be arranged in accordance.
Interior design is structural of nature while interior décor is seen more as the artistic manipulation of a room.