July 21, 2024

The terms “interior decorator” and “interior designer” are frequently used interchangeably. Every one, though, has a unique role and job description. What distinguishes the two occupations from one another?

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The basic explanation is that decorators embellish a room with ornamental components, whereas designers develop practical areas within buildings. Discover which traits distinguish the two and which career path best fits your needs by reading on.

What’s Meant by Interior Design?

Interior design is described as “a multifaceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment” by the University of Iowa’s School of employed Human Sciences. When designing a client’s workspace or living area, interior designers take into account their demands and available resources by using a methodical and well-coordinated approach.


Formal training is necessary for interior design, usually obtained from a two-year or four-year program at an approved institution. The study of color and fabric, instruction in computer-aided design (CAD), sketching, space planning, furniture design, and architecture are all included in education.

Before starting their own business or working for a design firm, many designers even do an apprenticeship with more seasoned interior designers.


Certain states mandate that interior designers need a license or registration in order to practice as designers. In order to verify their credentials and expertise, several jurisdictions additionally need the NCIDQ Certificate, which is the industry-recognized mark of competency in interior design concepts. Many interior designers choose to become credentialed and certified in order to distinguish themselves from decorators, even if it is not required everywhere.


An interior designer creates interior layouts to make spaces physically, socially, and artistically useful after researching and analyzing their client’s demands. Using technology, they draft virtual designs, then work with construction teams to implement the concept.

In addition to having excellent problem-solving abilities, interior designers follow regulatory regulations and construction codes. In addition to designing, many interior designers also provide interior decoration services.

Who Interior Designers Work With

Designers frequently collaborate closely with developers, architects, and constructors to produce their client’s design plans. Some could deal directly with company or residential owners.

What Is Interior Decoration?

Furnishing a room with visually acceptable furniture, wall coverings, accessories, carpets, and other items is known as interior decorating. Interior decorators adorn pre-existing interior spaces; they do not collaborate with architects to design entirely new interior spaces.


Since interior decorators prioritize beauty above everything else, professional training is not required. They don’t organize or take part in structural planning or remodeling. A decorator concentrates on how a room appears on the outside. Numerous interior designers are graduates of associated universities, job changers, or entrepreneurs who converted their passion into a company.


It is not necessary to have credentials or a license in order to work as an interior decorator professionally. On the other hand, other courses provide decorators official credentials to verify their training and are concentrated on color and fabric, room layouts, space planning, and furniture types. Courses and certification are provided by groups like Certified Interior Decorators International (C.I.D.).


Decorators assist their customers in selecting a look, picking a color palette, and buying furnishings and accent pieces. They are frequently used to freshen up an old area that needs to be renovated or modernized.

Who Interior Decorators Work With

Decorators collaborate directly with management of businesses or households. They don’t work with architects or contractors, but they frequently collaborate with painters, furniture manufacturers, upholsterers, and other tradespeople who offer home d├ęcor services.

Do I Hire a Decorator or a Designer?

It is up to you what kind of decorator or designer you need to hire. A designer is a better option if your area needs structural modifications, such removing a wall, rerouting electrical or plumbing cabling, or adding new windows or doors. On the other hand, an interior decorator may easily tackle jobs like painting, flooring, or new furniture if your area just needs a cosmetic upgrade.

The Final Word

Selecting a designer over a decorator is mostly based on the professional’s qualifications, not merely their title. There are many decorators who have been in the business long enough to develop their design abilities, as well as many talented designers who are also skilled decorators.

Prior to engaging a professional, consider your goals, requirements, and financial situation. Before making a choice, review the expert’s portfolio and obtain references.