Interior Designer vs Decorator: What's the difference?

Are you one of the many people that seem to mix or just don't know the difference between these job roles? If so, keep reading because in today's blog I'm going to be explaining all about these two creative jobs.

Generally, an interior designer deals from putting down walls and completely design kitchens or bathrooms to style a room to the very last detail. Interior decorators do not deal with renovations, they will be the ones that furnish and adorn the room once it’s already built to make it visually more appealing.

In other words, interior designers can design and decorate, while interior decorators deal only with the decorating part.

Here’s a bit more specific information:

Interior Designer:

  • Understands people’s behaviour and needs, and focuses in creating functional spaces with a specific aesthetic.

  • Has an excellent knowledge about materials, space planning and trends.

  • Has a formal education. In some countries a minimum of a Bachelor degree is required.

  • Knows building codes and local laws as well as the principles of architectural drawing and the standard requirements for technical drawings (to be able to properly communicate the design to architects and contractors when dealing with renovations.)

  • Knows AutoCAD, Sketchup, 3D Max, Illustrator among other design programs.

  • Rarely works alone. As mentioned above, contractors and architects will be working closely on renovations. If no renovation is required, certain designers will have an assistant to help with the daily tasks.

  • Works on new builds as well as renovations.

  • Generally charges more than an interior decorator.

Interior Decorator:

  • Understands people’s behaviour and needs, and focuses mainly on the aesthetic part of the interior by furnishing and adorning spaces to achieve a specific style.

  • Has an excellent knowledge about trends and enjoys paying extra attention on the details of the decoration.

  • Formal education is not required. Some interior decorators might have studied diplomas or other related courses to gain more knowledge about the power of colours, lighting, textures, how to work with clients, etc etc, but it is possible to be an interior decorator without any degree.

  • Since they are not dealing with renovations, they can work alone and deal with the entire process by themselves.

  • Mostly works to re-arrange existing possessions, refresh a room or decorate interiors once a renovation has been completed.

  • Generally charges less than an interior designer.

Hope this helped to differentiate these two job roles! Don't hesitate to write me if you have any further questions :-)