The Difference Between an Interior Stylist and Interior Designer

November 25, 2020

When it comes to finding a professional to make a room or space as perfect as possible, you might be wondering: what’s the real difference between an interior designer and an interior stylist?

Here’s a hint: when you walk into a space and say it has “great bones”, you’re admiring the work of an interior designer. You can think of interior designers as room scientists, who follow architectural and design principles to plan and enhance interior spaces.

Interior designers focus mainly on a combination of function, layout, and aesthetics. Will this room actually work as a living room or a corporate office? Is the structure aesthetically pleasing? Is it to code? This is why you’ll often find interior designers working predominantly with a team of other building professionals, such as architects, engineers, and contractors.

Now, imagine an empty room in a newly built home. The interior designer can tell you where each window should be positioned, how large they should be to meet code, what walls you definitely should not knock down if you ever renovate, and so on.

If, however, you’ve just moved into the house and your questions are more along the lines of “what curtain styles will show off this window in the best light” and “what furniture arrangement will make my living room feel welcoming and cozy”…you need an interior stylist!

An interior stylist takes any room and gives it a vivid personality tailored to the specific client at hand. In other words, a stylist takes those “great bones” of design and function and decorates them with colors, furnishings, lighting, fabrics, and other aesthetic touches. They will work directly with home or business owners to elevate your space into a beautiful place to live or work.

It’s like the difference between a clothing designer and a fashion stylist. Both are equally important to the fashion industry—after all, you want clothing that’s well-designed so it doesn’t come apart at the seams. However, when actually shopping for yourself, you’d probably prefer the help of a fashion stylist to suggest clothes and accessories that fit your taste.

Why not take the same approach to dressing up your home? An interior designer will make sure your home is safe and functional before you even walk through the door. But once you’re all moved in and need to make your vision pop, seek out an interior stylist for the essential personal touch.

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