Difference between Interior Designer & Interior Decorator


When you are planning to shift to a new home or renovate your old one, you might realise that you may not have the time or expertise to create the perfect home interiors. Do not worry! There are many professionals who provide various services that will allow you to create beautiful home interiors. While some people call them interior designers, others call them interior decorators. So, which one are they? And, more importantly, which one do you need?

People often confuse interior designers and interior decorators and mistake them for the same thing. However, these terms cannot be used interchangeably. Although there are plenty of similarities in both these jobs, they are quite different from each other. While some differences are very subtle, others are quite distinctive. Hence, depending on your needs, you must either hire an interior designer or an interior decorator. If you are not sure about the difference between the two, mentioned below are a few that will help you to understand:

01 of 04 Schooling

Interior designer: In interior designing, you will require proper schooling and training. There are specific schools that will teach you about colours, fabrics, planning layouts, choosing the right furniture, architectural designs, etc. Training for computer-aided design is provided as well. Also, newly graduated interior designers often practice with senior designers before starting their own firm.

Interior decorator: Unlike interior designers, interior decorators do not require specific schooling and training. This is possible because the primary task of an interior decorator is focusing on the aesthetic appeal of the interiors and renovation or structural planning is not a part of their job. You will require the services of an interior decorator after your structural planning has been executed. In other words, they only focus on the look of the surface. Although many degrees related to this field are available, it is not mandatory to have one to become a successful interior decorator.

02 of 04 Credentials

Interior designer: In many countries across the globe, you will have to pass an exam and be registered with a governing council depending on where you are located. Only if you meet both the requirements, you can become an interior designer. In India, you will have to pursue an interior designing degree from any recognized interior designing institute, which is a four-year degree. Also, you have to pass the National Council for Interior Design (NCIDQ) exam.

Interior decorator: You might not require specific schooling to become an interior decorator but there are lots of courses available that you can consider. All these courses will teach you about colours and fabrics, layouts, furniture designs, etc. and can benefit you significantly. Also, certifications are offered so that interior decorators can authenticate their practices.

03 of 04 What they do

Interior designers: The work spectrum of an interior designer is quite broad. They can offer you a 360 degree interior designing solution. Right from preparing the initial floor plans to positioning the last accent piece in the room, an interior designer can help you with almost all home designing needs. Besides focusing on the aesthetic beauty of the room, interior designers focus on the functionality of the space as well.

Interior decorators: The task of an interior decorator slightly varies from an interior designer. While interior designers can help you with all home designing needs, interior decorators can only help you to enhance the aesthetic beauty of the interiors. They can help you to style a space and choose the right colours, fabrics, accent pieces, furniture designs, etc. By choosing the right items, an interior decorator can completely update your entire home interior design.

04 of 04 Who they work with

Interior designer: To help you create the perfect interior decor that matches your taste and preferences, an interior designer closely works with contractors and architects. Whether you are designing a home, an office, or a hotel, an interior designer will create the entire plan, closely work with other people, and deliver the entire project within the deadline.

Interior decorator: An interior decorator is only hired when the construction part and structural work is over. Hence, an interior designer will not have to work with any contractor or architect. However, they have to work with other industry professionals to create the perfect interior decor like furniture makers, upholsterers, etc. Most often, they work closely with their clients.

The aforementioned points state the differences between an interior designer and an interior decorator very clearly. Before you make any decision, you have to first understand your requirements. Once you know the services you require, you can make a better decision.

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