What’s the difference between a stylist and a designer, & which one do I need for my home?

People often refer to me as a designer which isn’t exactly true. I am a stylist or a decorator.  I don’t have much interest in where the walls and floors of a house go, I much prefer coming into a finished home and working with my clients on the furniture, soft furnishings, the finishing touches for their home.

So what’s the difference between the two? The way I see it is we work together to make each other look better. 
  • A designer reworks the bones of the house to make the space work
  • The stylist waves a magic wand and provides the finishing touches to make a well designed house look like an inviting home.
Stylists do presentation and the finishing touches, such as:
  • Sourcing soft furnishings such as fabrics for curtains or cushions, rugs and linen. 
  • Refreshing your furniture layout and suggesting new pieces to suit the room
  • Accessing trade suppliers and often passing on their trade discounts to you
  • Suggesting paint and colour options throughout the home
  • Presenting you with fresh ideas for your home that you can execute in your own time.  This is something I’m big on.  I like my clients to have input so the final result is a reflection of the households personalities, it’s not about my ego and portfolio.  You need to be happy with where you live, after all I’m not going to be living there!
  • Events styling - bridal and baby showers, dessert tables for a dinner party or birthday celebrations
  • Magazine or catalogue shoots 

Designers do design concepts, detailed drawings for trades:
  • New kitchen or bathroom designs
  • Full renovations
  • Custom joinery design and finish specifications
  • Detailed CAD drawings for trades to use
  • Space planning for each room of the home
  • Advice on working within council guidelines so your renovation plans are approved faster
Designers are a bit like the undergarments of an outfit for the house and a stylist is the statement jacket, scarf and accessories - you need both to create a harmonious and balanced look. 

So if you’re about to start major renovations where you’re moving walls, knocking out the kitchen and bathroom or completely demolishing the house a designer is the right person for your job. If you’re happy with the functionality of the rooms in your home but just need to give the home a refresh and some loving then a stylist/decorator is who you need. 

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