The key difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator is quite simple: a degree. An interior designer is a position closer to an architect than a decor expert. A designer generally requires two years work experience under an architect and a bar exam to qualify for the degree. Meanwhile, an interior decorator does not require a background in the field and simply assists you in selecting furniture, decor, and wall art.

“Interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.” - Anonymous

What Does an Interior Designer Do?

Interior designers help guide you with practicality and function
Interior designers help guide you with practicality and function. Source: Home Designing

Essentially an interior designer reads from blueprints to make home spaces functional, safe, and beautiful. Objectivism subsides to form practical layouts for home interiors. This is contrast to a decorator, who is adhering to the client’s wishes alone, with the architecture all but being ignored.

For example:

Interior design courses generally teach the importance of balancing safety and functionality with visual aesthetics and furniture. This means you get the absolute most out of your living space. An interior designer would usually handle the following tasks on a job:

  • Searching for a bid
  • Working with the client
  • Interior design
  • Preliminary sketches
  • Gathering materials and fixtures
  • Establish timeline
  • Orders and installation
  • Construction administration
  • After-construction visit

What Does an Interior Decorator Do?

Interior decorators can really help spice up the interior
Interior decorators can really help spice up the interior. Source: HGTV

Decorators working in new-home construction help clients select furniture, wall art, decor, and the like. Decorators are much more artistic in expression. Also there is more room for creativity.

For example:

When you’re satisfied with the architectural layout of your home and you’re only focusing on the look of your interior, that’s when you’ll want to hire someone with an eye for colors and design, which is the interior decorator definition. Essentially this just means the furnishing or adorning of a space or room. What do you do as an interior decorator? This can include helping a client choose the following:

  • Chairs
  • Couches
  • Lighting
  • Light fixtures
  • Tables
  • Coffee tables
  • Colors
  • Paint
  • Wall decor
  • Art
  • Odds and ends

What is an Interior Stylist?

Interior decor is the key to creating a home you'll love
Interior decor is the key to creating a home you'll love. Source: HGTV

In the home improvement industry, many photographs are taken of not just rooms, but furniture and decor as well. An interior stylist is the person who decides the placing and style of said props for a photoshoot . An interior stylist would also be beneficial if you’re looking to stage your home for sale.

When Should I Hire a Decorator or Designer?

Interior decor can work wonders on changing up your living space
Interior decor can work wonders on changing up your living space. Homedit.

Because the two terms are so often found interchangeable, these is still a bit of confusion as when homeowners will require the services of one over the other.

An interior designer has an education in the matter and it is unlawful to impersonate someone with an architectural degree. Use designers when planning to furnish a living space for maximum practicality during a construction.

On the other hand:

Interior decorators hold no formal education and can simply point you in the right direction when arranging the furniture you already have in your home or when looking to purchase some new items.

Hire an Interior Designer IF:

  • Your interior is not complete
  • You’re looking to maximize the space, function, and design of the indoor space
  • Your house is unfurnished

Hire an Interior Decorator IF:

  • Your home is complete and furnished
  • You’re looking for new ideas to customize your interior
  • You want another opinion on furnishings and decor

Thinking of hiring someone to help you decoratingRequest a free quote today!

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