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Interior Designer Vs Interior Stylist

interior designer vs interior stylist blog graphic

When we talk about interior design, we hear so many terms being thrown around; architect, interior designer, interior stylist, decorator. It’s no wonder that people get confused about whom they need to be involved in the process of building their dream home. This blog aims to highlight the key differences between an interior designer and an interior stylist. 

interior designer vs interior stylist

Generally, there are a few overlaps between these two roles, however, both require a unique and specific skill set which can bring different elements to the interior of your home. 

When looking at the two entities, ’style’ and ‘design’, we often use them to mean the same thing or consider that style is, in fact, part of the design process. However, when it comes to interiors, they are separate.

Let’s delve into the roles of an interior designer and interior stylist to further understand these titles and highlight the contrast. 

what does an interior designer do?

An interior designer’s role is multi-dimensional. Sure, the stereotype of somebody fluffing up cushions exists but in actual fact, an interior designer is so much more than these cliches (although, who doesn’t love a fluffed-up cushion?!).

Exploring the client’s space, budget, taste and vision alongside them, is one of the main ways in which an interior designer goes about their work.  Interior designers focus on making the clients’ space both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

So, what does an interior designer’s day-to-day generally look like?

An interior designer makes sure the vision of the client is satisfied and makes several steps in order to create their ideal space.

  • Discuss design ideas
  • Portray design ideas and “creative direction” for the space
  • Present designs, drawings and plans to meet budget requirements
  • Advise on colour, fabrics, furnishings, fixtures and equipment, down to the fine details such as textures, shapes and styles
  • Source furnishings, fixtures and equipment from a diverse range of suppliers
  • Provide project specifications and proposals
  • Purchase all specified scheme items
  • Oversee project installation, including liaising with trades, contractors and suppliers
  • Style and dress the space ready for handover
Melissa looking at interior design plans
stylist added final touches

what does an interior stylist do?

This role is often confused with the role of a designer. An interior stylist’s main focus is the end result. This is different for an interior designer, the end result is the icing on the cake of an enriching process.

Interior stylists, generally work as part of a ‘styling team’ in numerous settings, whether it be domestic or commercial buildings.

With the final result being at the crux of an interior stylist’s work, they often strive to make the building picturesque, focusing predominantly on the aesthetics and finishing touches of each room. Styling products within a home for shoots or dressing show homes. Positioning furniture, lighting, artwork and accessories are just some of the several responsibilities an interior stylist has.

Now, this isn’t to say that a stylist is only held accountable for how Instagram-worthy each room is, their day-to-day consists of much more.

  • Working alongside photographers and magazines
  • Designing spaces for shoots or viewings
  • Working with client briefs for marketing purposes
  • Meeting with property developers to create show homes
  • Working along side interior designers to add the finishing touches to their projects

Let’s go back to that metaphor of cake. A building requires structure, planning and embellishing to serve its owner, both aesthetically and for their wellbeing.

An architect is responsible for the structures, in this instance, the cake moulds. An interior designer’s duty is to bake – gathering the appropriate ‘ingredients’ (furniture, decor, colour schemes etc) and an interior stylist’s role is to ice and decorate the final result – add the final touches and make the house feel like a home.

Although we have highlighted some key differences between an interior designer and an interior stylist, an interior designer

what do i do?


I like to consider my approach to interior design as ‘medicine for your soul’. Through my experience with psychology, I tend to lean more toward an interior design process that not only develops the building but develops the client too.

I target my efforts on holistic interior design, which focuses heavily on creating a space that creates a calming effect on your nervous system and balances your energy.

Sure, I go through the processes that we have explored in this blog, but I lean my efforts on design choices that feed my clients’ souls. Working closely with them in my bespoke journey of interior design, home styling, and consultancy. The end result is different for each client as my approach is person-centered and focuses on bringing to life my client’s own signature style.

I combine my passion for health and wellbeing with interior design and my interests in spirituality psychology and creativity.

Sure, not all interior designers follow this motive, but I find the most important aspect of my work is the creation of space that serves my clients in reaching their highest potential (as well as ticking all their aesthetic needs boxes too of course!)

Visit my About page to learn much more about me and my core values when it comes to interior design.

image of Melissa with mug

get in touch

Exploring the many roles that play a part in transforming your home or commercial building into a sanctuary that you love, I appreciate, can be complex. Now that the difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist has become clearer, let’s work on a project together!

Looking for a person-centered interior designer? Someone who will put you at the forefront of all design choices? Let me know!


Image of Melissa interior designer

Hi, I’m Melissa

I offer a friendly, high-end holistic interior design experience for my clients so they can feel supported and guided towards interior design that takes them out of their comfort zone yet still reflects their personal style, fulfils their needs and improves their well-being.

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Meet Melissa interior designer, yoga teacher and lover of nature.

hi, i'm melissa and i work with clients who are ready to elevate their interior design & transform their space in to a calming sanctuary.

Every space I design, I believe in the profound power it holds to influence your mental and physical health.

I believe in thinking differently about interior design.

I design spaces differently by drawing on knowledge I gained while completing a BSc Hons Degree in Psychology and yoga teacher training. I then blend this with my natural creativity and eye for design.

The result is a space that not only looks impeccable, reflects your style and fulfils your needs but also evokes a sense of calm and soothes your nervous system. 

Are you ready to transform your space?