Sheron Cardin's Input...: Be Careful What You Call Yourself!

I have been an interior designer for over 27 years and I have always taught my clients the principles I used while decorating their home so they may enjoy decorating too. The home staging trend in residential real estate is a great way to reach more people every day and what I enjoy the most is they are learning the basics of good design through staging. It is my dream for every person to know the joy and pride of living in a decorated home.

Be Careful What You Call Yourself!

stampHome Stagers are not alone in the struggle for regulation/non-regulation in their industry as witnessed by RESA and all professional stagers; the interior design industry is fighting to maintain its reputation also. There has been a surge of self proclaimed designers in recent years and consumers have no way of knowing what they are really getting. Seems anyone can call themselves Interior Designers.

The subject has been brought up here in Active Rain as well, expecially in the Stage it Forward group and I am not going to go into that right now but I do suggest that if you are intersted in knowing more about the struggle going on for interior designers and other formal interior design groups, click here; Interior Design Protection Council

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Comment balloon 14 commentsSheron Cardin • October 17 2008 04:01PM


Great information to share!  I receive e-newsletters. 

Posted by Cathy Lee, ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA (CL Design Services Home Staging) almost 12 years ago

Signing up for their e-newsletter.  Good to follow, thank you.  

Posted by Jenny Kipp (8z Real Estate + Expert Staging) almost 12 years ago

Hi Sheron, Here in Canada there are laws that prohibit anyone who is not an accredited Interior Designer from calling themself such. Still, many people don't know the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator (or home stager). I have so much respect for interior designers. After completing a bachelor's degree they have to work for 4 years in the industry before gaining this coveted designation.

Posted by Kimberley Hawley, Hawley Interiors & Staging (Hawley Interiors & Staging) almost 12 years ago

It really is a fine line between decorator and designer and knowing the difference is important for all of us in the field. Be informed.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) almost 12 years ago

In our area, if you advertise with media such as Yellow Pages and Dex it is really difficult to be a stager.  When online, if you type stager, it takes you to the interior designers category.  I continue to go round and round with them but haven't made headway!

Posted by Margaret Oscilia, Home Stager, Salem Oregon (Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon) almost 12 years ago

I too have struggled with "what to call myself."  Some advertisers put us in the Real Estate services section; others under Interior Design.  Sometimes people ask me if I'm an interior designer, and I have to stop and think - decorator or designer?  Oh yeah - decorator.  I do ReDesign as well, so it goes beyond Home Staging. 

I wasn't aware of this legislation.  Anyone know the status in California?

Posted by Beth Lester, Home Staging & Interior Decorating (Beth Lester Designs) almost 12 years ago

I'm constantly asking for a Home Staging category when I sign up on new directories, what other choices do we have sometimes??? Maybe we should let the IDPC know we could use some help in getting our own category with on-line directories so we don't step on there turf

Posted by Ronelle Schroeder-Hill almost 12 years ago
  • Thanks Sheron, you are always on top of things.  Thanks for being our watchdog.  And for sharing.
Posted by Terrylynn Fisher, HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc. (Dudum Real Estate Group - almost 12 years ago

If someone calls me an interior designer, I always correct them and explain the difference.  Good info.

Posted by Cindy Bryant, "Houston Home Staging Pros" (Redesign Etc. Home Staging) over 11 years ago

Hi all, appreciate your comments and for stopping by.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago

In Ontario Canada we can now be listed in the yellow pages and other directories under Home Staging. Finally.

I also correct people when they call me a designer or interior decorator. I explain that I prepare properties for sale and market them to appeal to the widest range of buyers for their listing. A designer has spent many years in school and apprenticed to be able to call themselves a designer.Thanks for the eletter info.

Posted by Michelle Finnamore, Preparing your property for sale (Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket) over 11 years ago

Hi Sheron,

It seems in today's world everyone wants to be everything to everybody.  It's a battle that every profession has to fight sooner or later.  With people like you the battle will be won and then you will have your National designation.  Good post and good luck.


Posted by Roberta Lee, Norco Corona Riversid Homes For Sale (Century 21 Olde Tyme) over 11 years ago

Hi Sheron..funny you should mention this as I clearly define myself as a HOME STAGER and NOT AN INTERIOR DECORATOR. I will use what the clients owns to enhance their property and in a vacant home we will bring in furniture and accessories to create warmth and show buyers how to use the space.

An interior decorator does so much more than that and OFTENTIMES a Home Stager will have to UNDO what the interior decorator did because the space was designed to suit the homeowner.


Happy Staging

Phyllis Pafumi

Posted by Phyllis Pafumi, ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ (ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey) over 11 years ago

Asleep at the wheel here...sorry about that.

We are all right. Our experiences dictate how we see ourselves and with so many creative people stirring the pot, we need to make sure we don't claim to be something that we are not. We are just as guilty if we do not speak up and clarify any misperseptions by our clients.

Thank you for all your comments.

Posted by Sheron Cardin, ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend! (California Moods Inc) over 11 years ago