Interior Decorator or Interior Designer?

Hi sweet lovelies,

Do you ever wonder what the difference is between an Interior Decorator and an Interior Designer. Some believe they are the same, but they are actually very different.

Let me share the differences with you;

Interior Decorator:

It's exactly how it sounds, we decorate or guide people to decorate the interior of their home.We help choose accessories, fabric, materials, furniture, appliances, window coverings, flooring, among more! Now if you want to hire us for a renovation & reconstruction, we would need to hire out. We would need contractors & planners for any construction or architectural elements. This is because we have no architectural backgrounds. We usually decorate mostly residential spaces, but some do branch out to clothing stores or set décor.

You do not need formal training or schooling to become a decorator, nor do you need any licenses and there are no government regulations to follow.

Interior Designer:

An interior designer is similar in the sense that can also do the same as an interior decorator. They can help with material, furniture, appliance & accessory choices. Now designers have more of a background in architecture and the bare structure of a space, so they won't need to hire out help (not true in all circumstances). Designers have a background in construction and building codes and is able to do commercial spaces, residential spaces.

You do need formal training and schooling to become an designer. You will need a degree and to become fully registered. There are licensing you need to acquire & government regulations you need to follow.

Where to start, who to hire:

Interior Decorator:

  • Furniture choices
  • Accessories
  • Materials
  • Fabrics
  • Window coverings
  • Color Swatches
  • Finishing's
  • Home staging

Interior Designer:

  • Kitchen renovation
  • Bathroom renovation
  • Structural changes
  • Acoustics
  • Lighting plans
  • Furniture placement/plans
  • Commercial spaces
  • Office spaces
  • Interior decoration
  • Whole home renovations

Those are just some examples of different projects for each.

Next step:

Research, research & more research! Read what services they offer, compare pricing, read testimonials & read about the decorator and/or team.

Check they're credentials (for both interior designers and decorators). Make sure if your hiring an interior designer they are an accredited interior designer. For an interior decorator, you don't need to check for licensing or schooling, but if they are apart of any well known interior décor group (like IDECA) that's a bonus.

Ask to see they're portfolio, see past projects and what they can offer you. You can get a taste of they're style and see if it fits you and your needs.

First impressions, arrange a meeting get a feel for them, and see if you mesh. Choosing the right person for your project is huge, if you don't get a long with your client/designer/decorator then it can be a disaster.

Budget, make sure if there is a budget speak up right away. They need to know if they're are rules to follow and you need to know if they can adhere by them.

Ask questions! Ask as many questions as you can. This can help you get comfortable with each other and really get to know each others wants, needs & process.

Don't cheap out! Don't go for the first one you find, or the cheapest you find either. It can have a reflection on the finished product and you can end up hating it.

Contract. Once you've decided on the person you will choose, make sure there is a clear and concise contract to sign & follow. You don't want to get caught at the bad end of the stick.

That's it!

Phew! That was a long one, hopefully this helped you. Just remember to follow your gut and go with who & what you love. This is after all your space and you need to be happy in it! Make sure they hear you and are feeding your style. But helping with making the correct & functional choices as well, not trying to steer you to something that isn't a reflection of you or your family. Keeping that in mind, you'll find the perfect fit for you.


As always thanks for reading! Like this post? Please share it!