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What’s the Difference between an Interior Designer and Decorator?



When considering help for a room or home renovation, it’s normal to get confused between interior designers and decorators. Interior decorating and interior design sound like substitutable terms for the same task, and in fact, some similarity exists. Both deal with the property’s inside, making it a habitable, functional, and attractive space.

There’re significant differences between these two services. In a nutshell, European interior design services primarily deal with structural issues and focus on more than surface-level aesthetics. On the other hand, interior decorating services are mainly concerned with the style, feel and look of space.

Understanding the differences between interior design and interior decorating services and knowing which one to hire over the other can save you time, grief and money while boosting your successful home project’s odds.

Who’s an Interior Designer?

An interior designer deals with interior work or living spaces to accommodate the needs and requirements of clients. A designer helps solve challenging structural living arrangements to provide spaces that improve people’s quality of life.

Designers follow building codes as well as regulatory requirements while encouraging environmental sustainability. They research, analyse, and plan interior layouts to ensure they’re aesthetically, socially and physically functional. They’re trained to work with things you can see, including the layout, size and shape of rooms.

However, they also deal with things like placement of electrical, plumbing and HVAC, as well as other functional systems, equipment and fixtures. Interior designers usually work closely with general contractors and architects on new buildings. They specialise in different niches, including residences, green spaces, hospitality, and office buildings.

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Who’s an Interior Decorator?

Interior decorators don’t work alongside architects to create interior spaces. Their main work is to embellish interior spaces that exist. Interior decorators paint walls, hang wallpapers, pick and place furniture, install window treatments, and add accessories like lamps, throw rugs, wall art, and throw pillows.

They don’t structurally change the interior spaces’ layout; they simply use their skills to adorn living spaces after interior designers have made necessary functional and structural changes. Interior designers work closely with tradesmen like carpet layers and painters to make sure they create attractive spaces for their customers.

Key Differences: An Interior Designer and Decorator

Unlike interior decorators, who learn and perfect their craft on the job, interior designers have formal and academic training. Many interior designers own bachelor’s degrees (BS or BFA) in the field or related industry.

Several courses are available for interior decorators, but they’re not essential, including Diploma in Interior Design and Decoration or Certificate in Interior Decoration. These pieces of training only help develop and refine an array of design and decorating skills.

Final Thoughts: Do I Need a Designer or Decorator?

The type of job you need to be done is the main factor that determines whether to hire an interior designer or decorator. An interior designer can handle any project type regardless of its complexity, including functional and structural improvements. They’re a perfect choice for new buildings and extensive or additional remodelling since they can work alongside contractors.

Interior decorators only come in when the spaces are a reality, focusing on room furnishings, home accents and colour selection. Interior designer services are a perfect choice if you want to solve a space problem and the solutions you need involve improving the quality. But interior decorating services will be a perfect fit if you only need to enhance style and aesthetics.

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