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Interior Design vs. Interior Re-design vs. Interior Decorating vs. Home Staging

There are differences among Interior Design, Interior Re-Design, Interior Decorating and Home Staging but these can become confusing since they are closely related as you may feel these pictures depict at a glance, but when detailing them, the differences become clear.

I purposefully created these assorted shelf settings to explain the (4) categories besides breaking them down by meaning, my interpretation and further relevant details that each entail.


The art or process of designing the interior decoration of a room or building.

I interpret this as personalized decor to live in, which mostly involve construction, electrical or architectural changes whether on a residential or commercial project.

To accomplish such, an Interior Designer is fully prepared to review all of the aspects of a building and based on the desire of the client, the Interior Designer makes key decisions upon reviewing and editing floor plan and/or specifications to address with architects, general contractors or electricians for example to suit the space for particular needs.

Left - Personalized wall leaning shelf. Right - Staged Client's existing built-in shelves.

These two pictures are from different projects, but I intentionally wanted to use them to exemplify that an area with a leaning shelf can be further personalized by an interior designer, architecturally modifying the area to create a built-in or niche that serves as a shelf with storage. Both shelf options have a display purpose in different ways; it all relies on what the client prefers or can afford.

If your plan is to make core changes in the structure of your building, a licensed Interior Designer is highly recommended.

On average, an Interior Designer will cost $2,000 to $5,000 excluding furniture which usually involves an additional fee (15% to 30%) to use the designer's particular lines of furnishings which they mostly get at wholesale. In many cases, customers end up saving money by purchasing an item with design expertise help rather than buying the item at retail with no design help. Once again, it boils down to client's needs, budget and complexity the home improvements may require.

I am leaving here a couple of links for interior designers in South Florida (not sponsored) who have done work across the United States of America:


To revise design in appearance, function, or content.

In other words, home decor re-done to improve living in it, re-personalized on a residence or commercial place.

With daily happenings in your surroundings, you discover that whatever changes were originally implemented need some improvement for practicality purposes. It may be a simple change, like the need of two shelves instead of only one for additional display/storage, to something more complex.

For simple improvements, an interior designer may exceed client's budgets since major changes on structure of the house may not be required as shown on the picture with two wall leaning shelves (a non-fixed item improvement).

You have the option -nowadays- of “online“ interior design services available with fees that are typically flat and considerably affordable. On link below, you'll find the best (5) ”online“ interior design services among others


The layout and furnishings of a livable interior, embellishment or ornamentation.

Which translates as beautifying an existing personalized home with adornments to please client's taste as portrayed on this sample picture showing a couple of more decorative items to personalize the area even more. Although if can be performed on a commercial space, it is mainly done on residential projects.

Most people have their own taste where they do not feel the need to hire a decorator to implement their own taste. And some other people (trying to avoid exceeding in decor), search for the help of a decorator, to create the ambiance they aim for without overloading visually their home.

When in comes to rates, interior decorators are more affordable than interior designers, but do not overlook at their knowledge. The majority of decorators are very resourceful and can achieve a similar high end styled home look at a fraction of the price from high end stores.

It is important to note that interior decorators are not interior designers but interior designers are interior decorators, the latter at a higher rate.

The average interior decorator gets around $25.00 to $75.00 per hour, depending on the project’s size and location. Here is a great guide regarding rates for interior decorators.


The practice of styling and furnishing a property for sale in such a way as to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers.

Simplifying it... decor to sale a house; de-personalizing it to appeal buyers and -in consequence- selling it faster and at a better rate.

A space staged is pleasant visually and not necessarily realistic in comparison to the actual furnishings a client may have. That is why designers, decorators or stagers themselves (who are redesigners as well) are hired for.

This is how this shelf looked originally. Upon staging it, the shelf display got decluttered, depersonalized, simplified, to entice a prospect buyer with the idea of a potential look he/she may want to achieve if the building was purchased.

How much does home staging cost? Usually, the pricier the home, the more it costs to stage it. As a general rule of thumb, most certified stagers charge $150 to $600 for an initial design consultation, and $500 to $600 per month per room desired to stage to sale. The trend is to have at least (3) rooms staged which usually are the kitchen, living or dining room and the master bedroom.

For further details on home staging costs, check out this article

Relevant to these explanations, I wanted to also point out that after being involved in the interior design field for over 15 years, some interior designers may take offense if called decorators by customers unknowing the difference and the preparation interior designers go through to get their degree. Just like a Chef may be offended when called a cook, or a Doctor if called a nurse; it is a ranking system that many may be unaware of and may need a brief clarification.

And just like in many other fields, patience with customers in the interior design field is key. Without clients (big or small), jobs would be non-existing.

There is a wide range of prepared interior designers, re-designers, decorators and stagers available to accommodate best the needs of a wide range of clients taking into consideration the details each service includes.

I hope everything described above clears out the confusion among these professionals. Otherwise, please leave any comments or questions, and I'd be more than glad to address them.

Until next time ;)

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