Are you ready to overhaul your decorating scheme and give your home a fresh perspective? Maybe you want to make a few small changes, but you want a professional’s opinion. Either way, knowing whether you need an interior designer or an interior decorator is essential. 

There are critical differences between these two professions, and knowing which one you need can make your decorating process easier. 

What an Interior Designer Is and Does 

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Image by Jesse Bridgewater from Pixabay

An interior designer goes to college and has a lot of formal training. Their areas of study can include things like CAD training, colour and fabrics, space planning, drawing, architecture and furniture design. Once an interior designer graduates from college, they usually take an apprenticeship with a more experienced interior designer. 

They have to pass a state or territory exam and register with their governing council. An interior designer can help you design and renovate your home. This includes drawing up initial floor plans, picking out and placing decorative pieces and improving the room’s flow. Interior designers usually work closely with contractors and architects to ensure they fulfil the client’s vision. 

What an Interior Decorator Is and Does 

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Image by Laura Shaw from Pixabay

An interior decorator doesn’t have to have any formal schooling or training. The reason behind this is that interior decorators focus their energy on a room’s aesthetics and they don’t deal with structural planning or renovations. An interior designer comes into the picture after you renovate your room or home. They can take courses on room layout, fabric and colour, CAD and space planning to get a certification from Certified Interior Decorators International. 

An interior decorator has an eye for detail, and they’re great for pulling your room together. They can help decide on new styles, accessorise, pick out a colour scheme and pick out furniture. If you want to spruce up your room without any significant changes, they can help here too. Interior decorators usually work with upholsterers, furniture companies, business managers and the homeowners themselves. 

Do You Need an Interior Designer or an Interior Decorator?

Whether you need an interior designer or an interior decorator depends on what you want to do to your home. For example, adding new doors, windows, plumbing, walls, or putting in new timber flooring usually requires an interior designer. They can help you pick out the best flooring or structural accessories, and they work with the contractors who install them. 

If you want to paint, update your design scheme, pick window treatments, pick furniture or choose new lighting or accessories, an interior decorator is a good choice. As long as you don’t need anything structural done to your home, they can breathe new life into your space. 

Can You Have Both?

Yes. It is possible to have both an interior designer and an interior decorator working with you on your project. However, this will typically be more expensive. 

Another option you have is to reach out to several interior decorators and interior designers in your area and see which one can fulfil your needs the best. Many interior decorators can work alongside architects and contractors, and many interior designers can handle a project with no renovation requirements. 

Ask to see a portfolio of their work before you settle on one person. This is your home you’re going to work on, and you want them to live up to your expectations. The end product should be fresh and look either exactly or close to what you imagined when you started your project.