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Interior Design Myths

From Pinterest to Instagram along with home design shows on television, there is quite a bit of interior design content at our fingertips. As with a lot of social media, we often only see the highlights and the best of the best projects. While we love using these resources to share ideas and look for inspiration, it can occasionally create a few misconceptions about the interior design industry itself. With television shows, it may seem like you get to see the whole project from start to finish with every step in between, but that is simply not reality as some parts of the process just don’t make for good TV.

Whether you are curious about getting into the interior design industry or considering beginning a home renovation, you may want to debunk a few myths first:

Myth #1: Interior Design is Only for Large, Extravagant Homes

It’s not uncommon to assume that interior design is reserved exclusively for high-profile homes with limitless budgets.  However, the reality is that interior design is for EVERY home. The purpose of interior design is not to make your home seem unattainable, but rather to make your home look and function the way you want it to. All homes deserve to feel reflective of your personal style, no matter the size or budget. In fact, working with an experienced designer is actually a great way to make sure you maximize your square footage as well as your budget! Interior design projects can range from a full home design to a simple mudroom storage solution. No room is too small or insignificant to warrant not treating it with intentionality.

Myth #2: An Interior Designer Only Creates Stale Spaces That Are Not Livable

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We see comments all the time on gorgeously designed kitchens that say things like “There is no way kids or pets live there” or “That kitchen probably never gets used.” It’s funny how more often than not, these are the homes that do have a few young children and at least one pet living there, if not more! It is obvious that these comments likely come from a quick judgement about how pristine the kitchen looks in a specific photo or video. What people don’t realize is that if you’re seeing a professional photo of a custom kitchen, the home is obviously prepped for that photoshoot including cleaning and potential staging. That doesn’t mean this home is “fake” or “unlivable,” it simply means the kitchen was styled for the shoot just as you might prep yourself if getting a professional photo taken. Not every photo you see online or in a magazine is how the home looks all the time, and that’s okay! Plenty of clients are ready to hop right back into their kitchen to prepare lunch after the photos are completed.

Myth #3: The Average Person is Just as Capable as an Interior Designer

Some of the best clients come in knowing exactly how to communicate their style and how they want to achieve it in their home, and if that is you- that’s awesome! While this definitely makes a designer’s job easier as it’s likely the consultation will go much faster, it is still on the designer to develop the project and execute it accordingly. The design process is much more involved than most people realize; Once that first consultation is over, the designer now has to check measurements, draw up the design on a digital platform, create elevations of the space, provide 3D renderings to the client, communicate with contractors and other vendors, prioritize budget, manage a timeline…shall we go on? While some of this can potentially be done by the average person, nothing will compare with the industry knowledge of an experienced designer. Not to mention interior designers have access to exclusive resources, starting with special vendor discounts and access to online design programs, just to name a few. If you don’t have a background in interior design, one look at a custom cabinetry order summary or detailed floor plan and you’ll be left feeling thankful that designers do this for a living.

Myth #4: Interior Design Is Just Decorating Spaces

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Let’s get one thing straight- interior design and interior decorating are not the same thing. An interior decorator focuses solely on decorative elements while an interior designer is involved with the main structures of the space. While there can be a bit of overlap between the two, the difference between a decorator and a designer is a notable distinction. We use the analogy that our interior designers focus on the parts of the house that would remain intact if you were to flip the house upside down. Typically, interior designers have a four-year degree and are well-versed in design principles, industry standards, and building codes. We have worked with several clients that are incredibly talented at decorating their homes, but they still recognize the value that an interior designer brings to the table when it comes to creating your dream home. If you want to read more about the benefits of hiring an interior designer, check out our recent blog post that highlights why you should hire an interior designer.

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Want to learn more about the interior design industry or our design process? We currently have a team of five designers who are eager to chat design and answer any questions. Visit the Meet Our Team page to check out our Gravel Lane Design team and get in contact with one of our designers.

For anyone interested in the field of interior design as a career, we do offer internship opportunities for students looking to gain industry experience. Contact us if you’d like to learn more!

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