Interior Designer versus Interior Decorator

The terms interior designer and interior decorator sometimes are used synonymously, but each has its own job description and function. That’s far from true as there are a number of very important differences between an interior designer and a decorator. Probably the most important difference is education and training. Anyone can claim the title “decorator” as there is no formal training or degree to become one.


Interior Decorator

An Interior Decorator is someone who primarily deals with colors, finishes, and furniture and typically stays within the residential boundary of interiors. Interior decorators don't need to have formal training or schooling because decorators focus primarily on aesthetics. Even though no schooling is required to become an interior decorator there are many programs and courses available

An interior decorator isn't involved with the design of the building or the layout of the interior space.  Decorators don't generally take part in renovations or structural planning. They come in after that part is complete and focus on the surface look of the space. Decorators don't generally work with any contractors or architects since structural work is usually complete before they come on board. They do however sometimes work with furniture makers, upholsterers, and other industry professionals.


Interior Designer

A good interior designer will have a minimum of two to three years of formal education, or five years of professional experience in a related discipline such as Architecture, Industrial Design or Building Design.

An Interior Designer is someone who can complete an interior design project from start to finish, including preparing construction documents for bidding and permitting, as well as supervising the construction and installation of the work.  An Interior Designer can play the role of a decorator as well as having a thorough knowledge of construction, project management, documentation and the Australian Codes and Standards that relate to these areas of expertise.

Interior designers cover all types of projects from commercial (offices, medical facilities, retail shops, resto/restaurants, cafe', hotels, hospital) to residential. Typically an interior designer has a lot of education and experience, as well as possibly having sat for one or more examinations in order to test their competency and to attain state recognition of their profession.

Again, just because someone uses the title “Interior Designer”, it doesn’t mean they are any more qualified than an “Interior Decorator”, or any one who chooses to use either title irrespective of their qualifications or experience, which may be none at all.”


Interior designers do it all

The interior designers also do all the same work that decorators do – this is definitely not an “either/or” proposition. Furniture, finishes, etc. are all integral parts of a quality interior design. It’s just that designers can do so much more, including manage the entire project, coordinating the work of all other design and construction professionals such as architects, contractors, lighting designers, landscape designers, and many specialty trades.

The very best interior design jobs happen when the designer is either hired first or at the same time as the architect and contractor, because then you get the input from all sides from the beginning, and you end up with a much more cohesive project than you would if you just hired a designer or decorator once the architect was finished.

Both interior designers and interior decorators create beautiful and functional spaces, but they are separate professions. Assess your needs before deciding which one to hire.

  17 Apr 2021
Kontak Kami