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Difference Interior Designer And Interior Decorator

Interior Decorating In Detail

Interior Designer Vs. Interior Decorator: Getting straight to the point

While an interior designer has a broad scope of practice, an interior decorator tends to focus more on the aesthetic of a space, with less thought towards the functionality or technical elements things like paint colors, flooring, furnishings, and accents. In this way, the work product of a decorator differs greatly from that of a designer and distinguishes them in terms of job function.

Additionally, there are significant differences between the education, certification, and experience levels of designers and decorators:

Interior Design In Detail

Its understandable that people are easily confused by the terms interior design and decorating because few people outside of these professions have insight into the details of how they differ, beyond their work product. Understanding the difference between the two is quite simple, however, once you break down each professions main components.

Whats An Interior Designer

An interior designer will have formal education, most likely in the form of an Interior Design degree, or theyll have at least five years experience working in a related field such as Industrial Design or Architecture. Theyre also often a member of an industry association, which allows them to remain up-to-date on industry developments.

If its a new build, an interior designer will often work with the architect or building designer from the beginning of the project. Theyre focused on not just creating aesthetically pleasing spaces, but also highly functional rooms for the inhabitants. Theyll consider elements such as light, acoustics, accessibility, materials and structural considerations.

Interior designers will have an in-depth understanding of building systems, sustainable design, project management, construction practices and Australian Codes and Standards. If theyre registered, the interior designer can apply for building permits. This is because theyll have the appropriate insurance and accreditations. Theyll also be able to prepare plans and renders which can be later interpreted by contractors on the job.

If youre renovating, an interior designer wont hesitate in moving walls or entirely gutting an interior if it means improving the function and overall aesthetics of the space. Theyll also play a role of an interior decorator in choosing finishes, colours and furniture for each room.

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Qualifications Of An Interior Decorator

Interior decorators do not require any formal training as like Interior designers their imaginative eye and experience are all thats a requirement. A certificate in decorating software that may include the fundamentals of design certified interior decorators international or that may be used by certain decorators can suffice or a college qualification in similar areas, although it is not a matter of rigorous training of this specialty. Many interior decorators are certified. Whether you choose to be or are willing to take a course, seek programs that have been approved by CID and/or the Interior Design Society is a great start.

Interior Decorator Education Requirements

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Unlike their counterparts in the design profession, interior decorators are not required to have formal education or training. With no such requirements or licensing system in place, anyone can call themselves an interior decorator with little or no training, experience, or certification.

This is not to say that decorators lack merit or that they are not knowledgeable of the industry. In fact, many decorators have a great deal of experience and knowledge about their craft its just not typically in conjunction with design.

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What Is An Interior Stylist

It’s a little murky, but ‘interior stylist’ is the generally accepted name for someone who does interior decoration without having any formal qualifications or education in this field. Interior stylists can be as talented, knowledgeable and professional as decorators, of course – but this is something you may need to judge based on their previous work and references.

Interior stylists are specialists at ‘styling’ interiors, and as such they’re often employed by real estate agents to temporary style, furnish and decorate homes in preparation for their sale . Stylists may also specialise in styling and arranging interiors for magazine shoots.

What Skills Should An Interior Designer And An Interior Decorator Have

Interior designers and interior decorators often differ in their hard skills, such as business and design. Interior designers tend to have more construction and architectural knowledge. Both interior designers and interior decorators use financial skills to keep within clients’ desired budgets. Both use adequate computer skills to create quality designs using specific software.

Although their technical skills differ, both roles employ similar soft skills to complete their jobs. Here are a few soft skills both roles utilise:

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What Does An Interior Decorator Do

An Interior Decorator works with clients to select décor elements for a new or old space. An Interior Decorator could be consulted to help choose furnishings, colour palettes and textiles for an existing space. It could be a clients house that needs a fresh look or a restaurant that wants to create a very specific atmosphere with their choice of décor.

In your role as an Interior Decorator, youll need to work closely with clients to find out what their wants and needs are. Your days will be busy and varied, as you oversee different projects, manage design budgets, coordinate with suppliers, sketch up new ideas and research the latest trends.

Wait Arent Interior Designers And Decorators The Same Isnt The Job Of An Interior Designer To Decorate

Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator – What’s the difference?

We use the terms interchangeably in everyday language. Yes, both are involved with making spaces more beautiful, but there are distinct differences between an interior designer and an interior decorator. Each focuses on a different aspect of the project.

If youre thinking of hiring an interior designer vs. decorator, it would be useful to know what they each do.

What is an Interior Designer?

Lets look at what the New York School of Interior Design, one of the top interior design schools in the world, has to say about the field:

Designers craft spaces that anticipate our needs and appeal to our emotions while pulling from a broad set of skills and technical knowledge.

What is home interior design, then? Interior design is all about creating beautiful, safe, and functional spaces. Of course, part of their job is to make prettier rooms with the use of decorative elements, but aesthetics is only a small piece of their role in the design process.

So, is interior architecture the same as interior design? A big part of an interior designers role is about space planning. They take into account what the space is for and design accordingly. They might suggest changing the layout or, in some cases, even completely remodeling. They also make sure that the area adheres to environmental or building codes.

What is an Interior Decorator?

Interior Designer vs. Decorator: When Do You Need One?

Now that you know the difference, you might ask: When do I need one over the other?

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Whats The Difference Between Interior Design And Interior Decorating Anyway

A career in the design industry as an Interior Decorator or Interior Designer can be hugely rewarding. If you have an appreciation for art, a flair for creativity and a keen eye for detail, then working in design could be the perfect place for you to flex those creative muscles.

But whats the difference between interior design and interior decorating?

At first glance, maybe it doesnt seem like theres a big difference between an Interior Decorator and an Interior Designer. But while these two professions are similar, they are not the same. The easiest way to distinguish between these two professions is that Interior Designers can also make architectural changes to a space whereas Interior Decorators do not.

In this blog, well take you through the subtle differences of these career paths and how you can get started in the industry as a Designer or Decorator.

On Being An Interior Designer

Being an interior designer involves more personal interaction and deep psychological understanding.

Designs must adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability.

The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodologyincluding research, analysis, and integration of knowledge into the creative processto satisfy the needs and resources of the client.


Beginning with CIDQ’s definition of interior design, a second rebuttal article outlined the author’s feelings on the assumption of many that interior design is no more than decoration.

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Interior Decoratingvs Interior Design

If youre a creative person who enjoys working with color, developing inspiration boards, and bringing your ideas to life, then a career in decorating & design could be for you! To get started in this exciting industry, you need to know which role best suits your interests and career goals.

Contrary to what most people think, interior design and interior decorating are two very different roles. In very simple terms, an interior designer can modify the actual structure or architecture of a space. A decorator, on the other hand, focuses on just that: decorating an existing space.

Follow along to learn about the differences between interior decorating and interior design, from education, to salary, to what the job entails!

How Much Do Interior Designers And Interior Decorators Get Paid

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The average annual salary of an interior designer is $78,387 per year. The average annual salary of an interior decorator is $86,975 per year. These salaries are largely dependent on your experience. Whether your clients are residential or commercial, the location and types of projects you work on can also influence salaries. Self-employed interior designers tend to have a larger salary range, earning more or less than the average, depending on a fluctuating customer base.

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Laura U As An Interior Designer

The architecture, flow, and function of a home is equally as important as the way it looks. The homes physical space, natural lighting, and structure play an important role in our interiors. We take a wholistic approach to every project. Our process is highly collaborative and deeply personal.

Because each clients project is singular, theres not one specific time we start working with clients. If theyre doing construction, well work with their architect and builder to create a design thats perfect for them. We help develop floor plans, electrical, and plumbing plans. We work with our clients to select the architectural materials, like tile, plumbing fixtures, and lighting. Each element of the design is thoughtful and serves a purpose.

We work to make sure our clients design intentions are clearly communicated to the construction team through plans, elevations, presentations, and finish schedules. This is crucial for new construction or large-scale renovation projects. Once the construction or renovation is complete, we begin working on the interiors.

But we also take on projects that focus on the furnishings only. In these collaborative projects, we conceptualize a curated interior that restores and welcomes you home. We love these projects because they push the boundaries of color and pattern.

How Do I Become An Interior Decorator

According to the Australian governments Job Outlook website, the majority of people working in this industry hold a VET qualification . While it is possible to find work in the industry without a qualification, a VET course can help you stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. Considering that this is a relatively small industry and competition can be fierce, a qualification can make all the difference to your career prospects.

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Interior Decorator Vs Interior Designer

After giving the definitions of a designer and decorator, now Im going to show you some of the things which make them different from one to another.

  • The designer plays a key role in transforming your entire residence dramatically. A decorator, on the flip side, decorates your house, from arranging the pieces of furniture to wall-covering and stuff like that.
  • An interior designer has to be certified and well-educated to make the job done. But talking about interior decorators, they use creative skills without having any certificates.
  • From structural changes to space planning, a designer works really hard with the help of architects and contractors. When we talk about a decorator, he/she can decorate the entire house without taking anyones assistance because his/her main job is to arrange the items and choosing the right colors for your home.
  • In most cases, a designer charges a pretty penny , while most interior decorators can decorate your house without draining a lot of dollars from your pocket.

The Difference Between Interior Designers And Interior Decorators

Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator

When it comes to renovating ones house, people hire specialists, such as interior designers and decorators. However, a lot of people dont know what is the difference between interior designers and interior decorators. This makes it impossible to hire one. This doubt stemmed from some of the underlying similarities in their work.

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How To Find The Right Interior Designers And Decorators

Its not hard to find interior designers and decorators, but if youre keen to hire a talented and committed professional its worth doing your homework. To find a good designer or decorator, you should:

  • Look for professionals whose prior work you like
  • Get at least three comprehensive quotes itemised quotes will help you to ensure you understand what youre paying for
  • Check credentials, qualifications and insurance ensure youre employing someone with the right qualifications, and with current professional indemnity insurance.
  • Find someone who shares your vision this cant be stated strongly enough. Good communication with designers and decorators is vital.
  • Check for membership of the Design Institute of Australia while association membership isnt necessary, it does indicate that an interior designer or interior decorator has the necessary qualifications and experience. DIA members also undertake continuing professional development to ensure theyre up on the latest technologies and trends.
  • Looking for an interior designer, decorator or stylist? Use our Get Quotes page to get 3 free quotes from certified design professionals in your area.

    The ideas gallery

    What Are The Difference Between Interior Designing And Interior Decorating

    Interior design means the art and science of recognizing the behavior of people to construct usable spaces in a house, while interior decoration is the decoration or embellishment of a room with decorative elements to achieve certain esthetics. In short, decorators will decorate, but they do not design the interiors.

    An interior designer collaborates with architects to develop interior structural changes and go through building codes and has a lot of building expertise. Decoration or decor, instead, is the decoration of an area or living space that works with lovely or fashional objects they work with color schemes of existing space to make it aesthetically pleasing.

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    What Is The Process Of Working With An Interior Decorator

    Working with decorators is a hands-on process. They present clients with multiple options, mood boards, and get their clients feedback in order to finalize the decor. The next step is shopping, either in person or online to select the pieces that represent their client. After the final selections are made, a decorator organizes the transportation and installation of all the furnishings. Theyre often the ones doing the actual project install.

    Whats The Difference Between A Designer And A Decorator


    Designers study peoples needs to create functional, structural living or work spaces to satisfy those demands. Decorators furnish interior spaces with furniture and accessories, creating an aesthetic environment. As a result, interior designers may decorate, but decorators are not permitted to design.

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    Schooling Of Interior Designers

    An interior designer is taught subjects that they require to develop their analytical skills, which Interior designers can then use to design commercial spaces, hospitals, and different types of living spaces. Moreover, they also learn to use modern machinery and computers- which is required to use computer-aided design- to create fabulous interior designs. This technology also allows them to plan out a 3D image of the interiors that they present to clients before starting their work.

    When Should You Hire An Interior Designer

    Designing a home is a tough job, and you cant always leave it up to your architect to make the right decisions in terms of style and convenience. It is close to impossible for you to stand with your architect or contractor and explain each and every detail of how you want your house to look, especially when you dont know quite what you want either. Interior designers can handle the day-to-day dealings of your home with the architects and contractors, and design your dream home from your vision.

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    Differences Between Interior Designers + Interior Decorators

    I shape up office space. I am an interior designer. Often I am asked what are the differences between interior designers and interior decorators? As an interior designer, I have a high regard for many decorators. Many are talented creative individuals but there is a difference. Here is a link to see how the National Council for Interior Design Qualification describes these differences between Interior Designers and Interior Decorators

    EXAMPLE: Lets pretend you need a new conference room


    create a certain look based on aesthetics. This work is usually done AFTER construction is completed. The word AFTER is critical. In many cases AFTER means too late to make changes that would have improved the function of the space. An interior decorator specifies things like colors, finishes, furniture and window treatments.


    do all of the above PLUS. This PLUS is the big difference. In this new conference room, a designer BEGINS with walls, windows and doors. Do the locations and sizes of these create an efficient layout? Do they require acoustic considerations? What is the traffic flow and important adjacencies? Are all data, power and telephone requirements met and in correct locations? Are all storage and presentation needs met? Is the seating appropriate for the use? What about appropriate lighting and locations?

    Langton Designs creates offices that work well and feel right.

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