Interior Designer Vs. Interior Decorator, what is the difference?
Updated: May 27
What is the difference between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator? We get asked this a lot, and we totally get why it’s confusing.
Read on as we explain the differences.
Many people use the terms “interior design” and “interior decorating” interchangeably, but these professions differ in critical ways. Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Interior decorating is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things*.
In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design. Interior designers apply creative and technical solutions within a structure that are functional, attractive, and beneficial to the occupants’ quality of life and culture. Designs respond to and coordinate with the building shell and acknowledge the physical location and social context of the project. Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability. The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology—including research, analysis, and integration of knowledge into the creative process—to satisfy the needs and resources of the client. (Source: NCIDQ page “Differences Between Interior Design & Decorating“.)
Interior decorators generally focus solely on decorative details, while Interior Designers focus more on the overall planning. This process includes conducting an in-depth analysis of how the current space is being used, the client’s behavior as well as any functional changes that should be made in a redesign. For instance, when it comes to floor coverings, an interior decorator will probably be responsible for choosing the type, color, texture, and pattern. The interior designer, on the other hand, will make the selection based on those criteria, with an additional eye towards the appropriateness of type, usage, sound transference, acoustic properties, flammability, off-gassing properties, static electricity requirements, and flammability. (Source: Caitlin Campbell)
As professional Interior Designers at By Design Interiors, we have an in-depth knowledge of products, materials, and finishes. In addition, we have the training and expertise to plan, schedule, execute, and manage your project from start to finish. It is our job to work closely with remodelers, builders, contractors, vendors, and other service providers to coordinate and orchestrate the entire design process.
When you hire a designer, you receive the benefit of an experienced professional who can solve problems, help you avoid costly mistakes, and most importantly, create an attractive space designed specifically to meet your lifestyle needs.
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Want to know more? Head on to our portfolio section to see how we’ve helped our clients with planning and design their spaces.