Decorating & Furniture/decorating/design


What is the difference between interior decorating and interior design. I know with the design you have to know something about fire codes, CAD programs?, etc. also, what exactly is space planning?

Thanks so much!!

Hello Tracey,
There is a standard of education for interior designers which is mandated by FIDER or Foundation of Interior Design Education and Research.  This organization sets testing standards and education requirements for all FIDER colleges.  They also endorse ASID or American Society of Interior Design.  Any college with FIDER accredidation undergoes strenuous reviews and takes years to receive the endorsement.

When you receive a FIDER education you're qualified for licensing in all states and must take the NCIDQ test.  This test is somewhat similar to an architect's licensing test and does include building codes etc.  

Auto-CAD is taught by FIDER design colleges and most interior design schools as a mainstay.  Most commercial firms require interior designers to be proficient in Auto-CAD.

Space Planning is the layout of interior spaces for either commercial or residential use.  Space planning is not as simple as it seems and for interior designers, it is a major asset to be trained as a space planner.  

Yes, there are licensing rules for every city.  In some states, residential space planning is only allowed by licensed interior designers or residential designers.  Commercial space planning is typically only allowed for licensed interior designers.  As a Certified Kitchen/bath designer living in Nevada, I can provide whole house "space planning" for these areas, offices, home theatres etc.

FYI:  Lawfully, designing cabinetry for these areas is still a specialized field and cabinetry is deemed a "component" and not a fixed structure. Typically, space planning is an essential element of the design process and crucial to the success of any project.  

Hope this helped!
Alicia Valair, CID, CKD, Allied Member ASID  

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Alicia Valair, CID, CKD, Allied Member ASID


Whole house interior space planning and decorating; kitchen layout, and design trends; residential themed environments; selecting furnishings and accessories for your lifestyle.


12 years experience as an interior designer, FIDER graduate and business owner for 5 years. Speciality area: residential interior designer, NKBA certified kitchen designer, and home office designer


Homes of Color magazine, Las Vegas Life magazine, Tucson Home and Garden magazine.

B.A. Interior Design, Marymount University, Arlington, VA

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