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Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator

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Are you thinking of redecorating your home? Are you looking for someone who can help you? Well, before diving into the many personalities, portfolios, and design styles of many professionals available, you should determine the kind of assistance you need. 

You want to redecorate, but you don't know if you need an interior designer or interior decorator. Many homeowners believe that these two terms are synonymous, but that's not the case. Interior designing and interior decorating are not similar as you may believe. Keep on reading to understand their difference.

What is an Interior Designer?

Interior designers are trained professionals who have a degree in design and experience with creating floor plans, specifying materials, choosing furniture and lighting, and overseeing the installation of it all. Interior designers have an understanding of human behavior that allows them to create functional spaces for their clients. 

What is an Interior Designer?
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They do not typically provide labor for installing the items they specify or purchase on your behalf. Instead, they will recommend contractors who can perform these services for you at an additional cost. Here are some of the things to look for in an interior designer:

Education

Interior design is a profession that requires specific schooling and special training. The work of designers includes studying color and fabric, computer-aided design training, drawing, spacing design, furniture design, and architecture.

Upon graduating, the interior designers apprenticed with a registered interior designer before setting up their own companies.

Credentials

In some states and provinces, professional designers are required to pass an exam and become registered with a governing council before they're called designers.

However, there are some places where credentials are not an issue. So, it's a good idea to know the situation in your area before starting your search for a designer.

Functions of an Interior Designer

The main focus of interior designers is space planning, and they can help design and renovate interiors. Their special skills range from drawing floor plans to placing the last decorative accent. They enhance the look and enhance the function of a room. 

Functions of an Interior Designer
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Most designers deal with furnishings and decor and building plans, the social context of the project, codes and regulatory requirements, and environmental sustainability. Interior designers are squares, while interior decorators are rectangles. 

The designers work closely with architects or a design firm to create interior designs and space planning ideas beyond helping a client select a piece of furniture.  

When Should You Hire an Interior Designer?

Designing a home is a tough job that you can't only leave to interior architecture to make decisions in terms of style and convenience. It's not easy to stand with your architect and explain how you want your house to look, especially when you don't know what you want.

That's where you need a designer to help you. Aside from being able to help you with ideas and concepts, they already have a wide range of items that they sell under their brand. They'll be able to work more closely with architects, designers, or contractors to create your dream home.

What are Interior Decorators?

Interior Decorators are individuals with no formal education who offer their unique style and taste for your home decor. They source products from various sources, including wholesalers, discount stores, and online retailers like Amazon, and often mark them up. 

What are Interior Decorators?
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They may also assist with some project management duties such as scheduling contractors or handling other details involved in finishing a room over time instead of all at once.

Schooling

As mentioned before, interior decorators are not required to have any formal training. They focus solely on decorative details, meaning they don’t require standardized education to provide their skills. They provide an artistic eye and a flair for creating design magic in your home. 

However, if you want to pursue a career in decorating, you will need to obtain an education from an accredited school. Interior Decorating Schools offer programs that teach you how to design and plan interior space, as well as the history of interior design and furnishings.

Decorators focus primarily on aesthetics and don't participate in renovations and structural planning. An interior decorator comes after the structural planning and execution are completed to focus on the surface look of the space.

Credentials

Even though no formal education is required to become a decorator, many programs and courses are available. The courses often focus on color and fabric, room layouts, space planning, and furniture styles. 

Special Skills

When selecting beautiful furniture and home decor, interior decorators are specialists. They can understand what will look right in a space, how much you should pay for when buying furniture, and how to make it all come together. Experienced interior decorators have experience with paints, fabrics, furniture, window treatments, and accessories. 

They also provide fantastic direction for selecting a color palette, arranging space layout, hanging wall art, and selecting items to give your home the personality and style it needs. Interior decorators do not require professional training like interior designers. All they need is their imaginative eye and experience.

When Should You Hire an Interior Decorator?

People hire interior decorators for various purposes. Many look to them for inspiration, especially if they are unsure of their style or how best to achieve it. Others seek help with creating a theme for their home, such as welcoming and cozy. Decorators don’t work with contractors or architects. Their structural work is usually complete before they come on board.

Eventually, you need to bring them when you completely need to redo the design of your existing space in a chic and savvy way. They'll help you with interior decoration, take your dream designs, and bring them to life. A decorator will sit you down if you don't know how to decorate your room.

The decorator will look at your space and listen to your concerns, then give you recommendations on how to transform it into the house of your dreams. An interior decorator is an expert in design and style and uses their expertise to help you select paint colors, floor coverings, window treatments, and furniture that will perfectly suit the needs of your family as well as enhance the beauty of your home.

Which One Should You Hire an Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator?

The difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator is that an interior designer has a more comprehensive understanding of architecture, engineering, and construction. They collaborate with architects to develop interior structural changes and go through building codes and have a lot of building expertise.

If you are looking to make significant changes to your home – such as adding or renovating rooms or changing the layout – you need to hire a designer. They will work with you to create a plan tailored to your specific needs and ensure that all the necessary permits are obtained, and the work is completed to code.

On the other hand, an interior decorator can help you with smaller changes such as paint colors and new window treatments. An interior decorator will not be responsible for the structural changes of your home. Still, they can help you select all the finishes – such as flooring, countertops, and cabinets – that will go into the final design.

FAQs about Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator

Who should you hire when you're planning to add changes to the structure of your home?

Consider hiring an interior designer in this situation because they are licensed professionals who have the necessary training and experience to carry out the job safely and properly.

What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?

Interior design is a comprehensive planning process that integrates art, architecture, furnishings, fabrics, and accessories into one seamless concept or theme for a specific space, building, or neighborhood.

On the other hand, decorating focuses on layout, space planning, and what furnishings go where. An interior decorator will not necessarily be skilled in color palettes or artwork selection from an objective viewpoint.

Final Thought about Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator

Whichever professional you choose for your next design project, it's important to make sure they understand both the creative and functional aspects of interior design. Make sure you choose the design specialist you feel comfortable with and the one that speaks to your design needs. After all, choosing the right professional depends on the skills of the particular professional and not the job title.

 

Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

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