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Interior Designers: Perception vs. Reality

Interior Designers: Perception vs. Reality

Interior Designers: Perception vs. Reality


As an interior designer, I’ve noticed the enchanting allure of the profession in most people’s mind. The mere mention of my job title conjures images of elegant spaces, harmonious colour palettes, and the magic touch that transforms ordinary rooms into extraordinary havens. But let’s peel back the layers of perception and delve into the gritty reality that defines our day-to-day existence.

 Here’s the Perception vs. Reality breakdown for interior designers:


The Perception: Design Wizards with Wands

Perception: Interior designers are like wizards, wielding their creative wands to transform spaces effortlessly. They sprinkle fairy dust on drab rooms, and voilà! Instant beauty and harmony.


Reality: While we’d love to have magical wands, our toolkit is more practical. It includes measuring tapes, mood boards, and a hefty dose of caffeine. Our creative process isn’t instantaneous; it involves research, brainstorming, and countless iterations. We’re not just decorators; we’re problem solvers, space planners, and visionaries.

Interior Designers: Perception vs. Reality Speaking of Interiors

Traditional English Living Room with a modern twist. AI-generated image based on Speaking of Interiors prompts.

 The Perception: Aesthetic Artists

Perception: Interior designers spend their days surrounded by swatches of luxurious fabrics, choosing between velvet and silk, and debating colour palettes. It’s all about aesthetics, right?


Reality: Yes, aesthetics matter, but there’s more to the story. We’re also spreadsheet aficionados, tracking budgets, costs, and timelines. We juggle client preferences, project constraints, and the delicate dance of form meeting function. Our days involve equal parts creativity and pragmatism.

The Perception: Fluffing Pillows and Picking Paint

Perception: Interior designers fluff pillows, arrange flowers, and select paint colours. It’s all about the pretty details.


Reality: Sure, we fluff pillows (and we’re very good at it), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the scenes, we draft construction documents, collaborate with architects, liaise with builders and ensure that every light fixture aligns perfectly with the overall design vision. We’re masters of the mundane and the magnificent.

Interior Designers: Perception vs. Reality Speaking of Interiors

A sample moo board for one of Speaking of Interiors’ projects.

The Perception: Glamorous Showrooms and Photo Shoots

Perception: Interior designers sip champagne in glamorous showrooms surrounded by plush furnishings. Their Instagram feeds are a visual feast of styled spaces.


Reality: While we appreciate a well-curated showroom, our days are more about site visits, client meetings, and negotiating with suppliers. We’re the unsung heroes who troubleshoot delivery delays, handle unexpected design hiccups, and occasionally spill coffee on our mood boards (true story).

Interior Designers: Perception vs. Reality Speaking of Interiors

A project site photo showcasing the installation of an upholstered headboard for one of Speaking os Interiors’ projects.

The Perception: Creativity Reigns Supreme

Perception: Interior designers spend most of their time immersed in creative bliss, dreaming up innovative concepts.


Reality: Creativity is our lifeblood, but so is practicality. We balance aesthetics with functionality, safety codes, and ergonomic principles. We’re fluent in CAD software, zoning regulations, and fire-rated materials. Our brains switch seamlessly between “colour theory” and “load-bearing walls.”

The Perception: Solo Artists

Perception: Interior designers work alone, sketching their visions in solitude.


Reality: Collaboration is our secret sauce. We liaise with contractors, electricians, and plumbers. We negotiate with vendors, interpret blueprints, and ensure everyone’s on the same page. Our designs are symphonies, and we conduct the orchestra.

Interior Designers: Perception vs. Reality Speaking of Interiors

Quick hand-sketch by Johanna Endres-Castillo to illustrate a utility design intent.

The Bottom Line

Being an interior designer isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about orchestrating a symphony of creativity, business acumen, and meticulous execution. So the next time you see us fluffing pillows, know that we’re also balancing budgets, coordinating deliveries, and weaving magic behind the scenes. Our wands may not be visible, but our impact is undeniable.


Here at Speaking of Interiors, we can help you design the interiors of your dreams. So, why not get in touch with us and learn more about how we can help you to love your home, inside and out?

Looking for more tips about how to make the most of your home? Book your free online consultation call and let’s talk!

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