Katchart DIY DVDs
For Design and Decorating of Homes and Property
Staging to sell  /  Defining to set up  /  Redefining to make over

Katchart Design & Decorating Articles
© 2012. 2013 Katchart LLC   

Introduction: This article explains the difference between "design" (principles or rules) and decorating (choices and options) as used in Katchart's Design & Decorating DVDs: STAGING FOR SELLERS for staging houses and other properties; DEFINING PROPERTY for new home set-up and decorating; and REDEFINING PROPERTY for room and space makeovers.  


In the world of property design and decoration, we are talking about what how a room, space, etc. is furnished and presented. We are not talking about the size, style, shape, etc. of the rooms, spaces etc. That is what we call architectural design. Thus, design and decorating is what one does with an existing property, room or space.

Having clarified that, then, the difference between design and decorating can be simply stated as follows: design is done by a set of rules and decorating is a matter of personal taste.

Design refers to how a room or space is laid out or defined by the large furnishings (e.g. tables, chairs, sofas, desks, etc.). There are guidelines for design which are universal and never change. These guyidelines include such things as balance, overcrowding and focal point set-up. They are guidelines or rules rules because everyone’s brain will process the data it receives from the senses (sight being the most important sense for “design” purposes) the same way, even if they are not cognizant of there reaction. So, if, for example, one enters a room with all or most of the furnishings on one side (an unbalanced room), then that person’s brain is going to process that as a negative thing, whether or not the person is aware of what is happening.

Decorating, on the other hand, is very personal and depends on the tastes of the individual. Decorating includes wall coverings, accessories, flooring, rugs, art work, lighting (task and accent lighting), style and color of the furniture, window treatments and even re-modeling.

Of course, one can design however they want and without following the guidelines if they so choose, except when it comes to staging (and selling property). Why? When it comes to staging property for sale, personal tastes are not relevant because they may not be the same as potential buyers. This is why we do not re-commend that sellers get into things like re-modeling, new window treatments, etc. (excluding needed repairs), when staging. As a general rule, they will not get their money back and further, they run the risk of creating negative first impressions with potential buyers because of differing personal tastes.

The other guideline that should be followed is to “design” the room or space first and then “decorate” it.