It’s a common misconception that the terms interior designer and interior decorator are interchangeable. While there are definite similarities and crossovers in the roles, there are also distinct differences.
So what is the difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer?
Let’s cut right to it – designers can decorate but decorators don’t design.
Let’s take a closer look at the definitions:
Interior decorator: experienced in improving the aesthetic qualities of your home – making decisions on colour schemes, wallpaper, flooring, lighting and other accessories.
Interior designer: understands how such aesthetic features match the structure and layout of the building and are fully trained to re-design and oversee construction work and hire contractors. Therefore they can offer a more cohesive scheme for the entire property.
Another misconception is that the major difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer falls on the degree of education undertaken. Many conclude that interior designers must be formally qualified while decorators can take a less formal approach.
While specialised skills and knowledge are a must to be a successful interior designer, a degree is not a necessity. You do however, need to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk – with clients, contractors, architects and builders. Therefore it’s a good idea team further studies with the experience that generally comes from being in the game.
What about interior stylists I hear you ponder. To clear this one up quickly, stylists and decorators most definitely belong to the same family. The term will generally come down to the type of personality owning the title.
While each plays a vital role in creating an ultimate interior for a particular space, it is important to establish what exactly someone is talking about when referring to an interior decorator/stylist/designer, especially if they are hiring you for your services.