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  • Writer's pictureLucia De Biasio

Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator: What’s the Difference?

When you set out to have any space remodeled, it is often tempting to use the term “interior decorator” interchangeably with “interior designer.” However, there are some important distinctions between the two terms. Before you start looking for someone to design the space, you should understand the differences between these two types of workers in the design field:

  • Interior designers work with the entire space, while interior decorators only work on the surface of any space they decorate. This is the most important distinction on the entire list. In fact, it’s so important that the other four points on this list all play into this first one. Designers are able to work with complete remodels, including things like moving walls or doors or changing the general shape of the room. However, decorators do not work with the space as a whole. They only work with it on the surface, just as it is. They don’t typically work on major remodels.

  • Interior designers must go through special training and schooling, while decorators don’t need to. Although some interior decorators choose to take programs or courses in their field of study, an education isn’t technically necessary. However, designers are held to a much higher standard, so they are required to have more of a traditional education. Most interior designers must know not just the basics about fabrics and colors but also computer-aided design (CAD) programs, the way various types of furniture are designed, special planning, and other details that require an education in order to master.

  • Often interior designers are required to have a very specific set of credentials, while interior decorators are not held to such high standards. Designers often have to pass a test and then become registered before they are required to practice. This may not be true in all locations, but the fact that it is true in many places should indicate to you how much more difficult it is to become a designer. For decorators, requirements for credentials are more lax than they are for designers, although they might choose to take some courses in design if they desire to do so.

  • Designers often work with contractors and architects, while decorators usually work only with clients. Because the overall design process is so much more involved than simply decoration, designers often work closely with contractors and architects. They may provide some insight into the shape of the space before the walls actually go up. Having a designer involved starting with the beginning of the process can be very helpful because he or she will be able to provide input on the end result you are looking for. On the other hand, a decorator won’t be able to do much but hang curtains and pick out colors after the space is already finished.

In short, designers offer the complete package, while decorators focus more on organization and just the general appearance like colors, types of furniture, and accessories. Of course it’s up to you whether you decide to hire a designer or a decorator, but it’s easy to see why a designer is the better choice most of the time. If you really want a space that’s both functional and looks great, then a designer is the way to go.

Let the designers at LDB Design handle all of your design needs. They specialize in institutional and commercial interior design. Their designers understand all of the finer points of designing a space, from the spatial aspect of it all the way to the final result. Give LDB Design a call today and start moving toward the space you have always wanted.

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