The Ongoing Designers V Decorators War

ongoing designers vs decorators war

What in the hell is this hatred of decorators that continues to permeate the interior designer community?

I'm an interior designer who passed the NCIDQ and the CCIDC. I was once a professional member of ASID. I was of the thought, back in the day, that by being a "professional" interior designer, I was better than a decorator. Not anymore. When we start to look down our noses at decorators who we deem not to be as good as us "designers", based on the education we have paid for, we are not better people.

We are assholes.

Frankly, I'm not sure where the hatred starts. Does it start in college? Where we are all led to believe that this education we're getting instantly makes us better because we will have the title "Interior Designer"? Does it start when we seek jobs where we must have a degree to get our foot in the door? Does it start when we join professional design societies and are surrounded by like minds who also paid through the nose to get the degree and certifications? When we start to think we are better than decorators, that's when we fall into a shitty trap.

The trap that by simply getting the degree and certifications that we are better than decorators. The trap that by decree we know so much more and we are the Supermen (or Superwomen) of the profession.

When I fell into the trap that I was superior to decorators, I wasn't any better. Could it be that we need these degrees to actually feel better about ourselves? That what we really are saying in these times is "Damn, that decorator has more talent in her pinky than I do in my entire interior designer body naturally and that scares the shit out of me?" I'm the first to admit that when I first started my design business I was jealous of the home decor bloggers that had a bazillion followers. I was also jealous of the decorators that had more raving fans than I did. Then I figured out what made me so damn jealous. I wanted that type of fame, I wanted that income, I wanted that success. Except it's not like they hand that out when you start your career when you get your degree. There's no grand wizard who decrees who will be the "chosen" ones in the design field.

The Designer vs. Decorator War needs to end.

Let me also say this, your clients in general, don't know the difference between a decorator and a designer. But they do know the difference between being humble and being an ass. I also discovered that being a professional interior designer and having my own opinion online subjected me to the other elitist interior designers who felt they are better than me. I simply didn't hold the same opinions they did. I  just didn't have the blanket hatred for interior decorators.

Will you feel better about yourself if you belittle a decorator for their seemingly lack of education?

Will you get more clients by knocking down another person? Will clients like you more because you have a degree or a license? Will you have made a difference by holding on to this belief? If you wanna keep harping on how superior you are because you got the degree, the special letters to put after your name and continue to look down your nose at those who don't, go ahead. Be my guest, but I find it unbecoming. But you might also want to read this post, too. But only if you're not offended by cursing.

Alycia Wicker

Alycia Wicker is an interior design business coach specializing in helping soulful interior designers attract clients with clever marketing strategies. Celebrity gossip whore.