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Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator


Welcome to our design blog!

Today, we will discuss the difference between a designer and a decorator.


To someone who is unfamiliar with design lingo, the distinction between "interior designer" and "interior decorator" might not be distinguishable. In many cases, the two titles are even used interchangeably. According to the Council for Interior Design Qualification, designers may decorate, but decorators do not design. In order to find someone with the appropriate skill-set to help you with your project, it is important to understand the difference between interior designers and interior decorators.

Interior Designer

By definition, interior design is the art and science of enhancing the interior of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the people using the space. Interior designers are involved with a wide range of projects that take place in both commercial and residential settings. This profession requires formal, technical training from a university, college, or trade school. Interior designers are trained to thoroughly analyze a space and understand its functionality, its effect on the health of its users and its aesthetic qualities. In some states, a license is required in order to practice in the field. In addition, interior designers must have an understanding of other building systems such as structural and architectural details, building materials, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work.

Do you need an interior designer? An interior designer might be necessary if your project includes functional changes like adding or removing walls, relocating fixtures, or any other heavier construction work in addition to aesthetic selections. An interior designer can help you plan the entire project in advance as well as assist in the project management during construction.

Interior Decorator

An interior decorator specializes in working with soft furnishings like rugs, fabrics, furniture, and accessories in order to aesthetically unify a room or entire home. Most often, interior decorators work in the residential design industry. This profession does not require formal training, and many interior decorators are self-trained. Interior decorators are skilled at understanding the lifestyle and tastes of the client in order to create a space that feels complete and reflects their preferences.

Do you need an interior decorator? If your project needs primarily involve selecting furniture, arranging accessories, or choosing paint colors, an interior decorator might be right for the job. An interior decorator can assist you in bringing your aesthetic preferences to fruition. They can also assist you with planning the details of your project, ordering items, and correctly applying or placing these items in your space.

It is important to remember, however, that every interior design or interior decorating firm may offer overlapping services. This blog post is meant to highlight the technical differences between the two professions. Hopefully this guide will help you in the future to select a design firm whose expertise aligns with the needs of your project.

Have you worked with an interior designer or decorator? Share your experience below!

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