What Does an Interior Designer Do?

So you have been wondering whether or not to hire an Interior Designer to help you pick a colour palette, choose some cushions and tell you where to hang artwork. You can do most of it yourself and you just need some help with the finishing touches.

If this is the case then I am here to tell you, you don’t need an Interior Designer for that, you need an Interior Stylist.

“Whats the difference?” I hear you say. “What does an Interior Designer actually do?!”

In my 7 years working as an Interior Designer, I have come across so many people who don’t actually know what an Interior Designer does…and that’s okay, it’s not your job to know. It is our job, as Interior Designers, to explain what exactly we do and why you need us.

So without further ado, let me demystify this once and for all by telling you exactly what an Interior Designer does, why you need to hire one much earlier than you think and why our input is so valuable.

Interior Designer Collaboration

First, let’s start with a couple of definitions to make sure we are allon the same page:


An Interior Stylist is primarily concerned with the aesthetic of a space; that is paint colours, loose furniture, soft furnishings, lighting, artwork and accessories. Their goal is to work with what you have and make it look as amazing as it possibly can do. They are always up to date on current trends and styles, they know what looks good and they do a fantastic job at giving your home a new lease of life, without the large commitment to major works being carried out.

It would not present any major issues to have an interior stylist come in mid-way through a project or at the end of a project to help you complete the space and add those all important “finishing touches” that make a space feel like a home.

This is what most people think an Interior Designer does.



A Interior Designer is primarily concerned with how the space functions and the aesthetic comes in a close second. An interior designer takes into consideration sociology i.e. how people will use the space, psychology i.e. what effect the space will have on the people who are using it and oftentimes, ecology i.e. the effect the building will have on the environment.

Of course an inteiror designer also works with the “final layer” of the design i.e. all of the things listed above…but this is only one piece of the puzzle.

If you leave it too late to involve an interior designer in your project then you run the risk of having a poorly functioning space, with electrical points in the wrong places, inadequte lighting and at the very least, furniture that is not proportionate to the space.

An interior designer is as integral to the success of a building as an architect (although you will never hear an architect say that).



There is a saying by … that I feel conscicely sums up where an interior designer’s skillset truly lies.




Where a Stylist chooses light fixtures, a Designer creates out lighting plans based on what will be going on in the space. Where a Stylist picks out new furniture, a designer plans out space and selects/position furniture to enable the best flow of traffic through the space.






Using raw, unfinished materials like wood and natural stone in your home will create a subtle feeling that is reminiscent of the outdoors…somewhere that, whether you know it or not, your body likes to be. This rustic look is very on-trend at the moment and is the perfect pairing for some funky industrial fixtures or some casual bohemian style soft furnishings. Lush!

Personally, I have always loved nature and it influences me in my design choices. I gravitate towards textured natural finishes over manmade, bright, bold patterns and the result is a wholesome and calming feel. So why not give biophiic interior design a try and welcome some natural elements into your home? It could be just what the doctor ordered, check out this Psychology Today article if you’d like to read more on this fascinating topic!

Hi, I'm Melissa

In this space I cover all sorts of topics that I am passionate about; from design to yoga & meditation, to Psychology to travel and lots more. My hope is that I can provide something of value for you that will have a positive impact on your life.

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