Many people will use the terms “interior designer” and “interior decorator” interchangeably, but the two professions are actually very different. The titles may seem similar at first, but there are a few key differences that can have a major impact on your project. This is why it’s important to understand the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorate so you can determine which one will be best suited for your project.
What is an Interior Designer?
In order to earn the title of interior designer you need to go through formal training. This is usually accomplished through a two-year or four-year educational program. In certain states designers will need to pass an exam in order to become registered with their local governing body and earn a license. A large part of the education for an interior designer is based on space planning. This include a very in-depth analysis of how a space is being used as well as any functional changes that should be incorporated in a redesign. This can include things like changing up a layout in order to achieve better functionality or usage throughout a room or space. An interior designer is responsible for understanding the behaviors of property owners so they can create a functional room within a building, which includes walls, floors and more. An interior designer will have experience in the construction field and can work closely with an architect to design an interior space so that it is looks good and is structurally sound.
When to Hire an Interior Designer
An interior designer is your best choice if you are working on a remodel or redesign that requires guidance beyond décor and aesthetics. This person can help you redesign a room from the ground up, as well as navigating day-to-day details like working with contractors and architects. Your interior designer can draw up the initial floor plans as well as place the finishing touches on your décor – they don’t just come in to enhance a room and make it more beautiful, they design it from start to finish and make it functional.
What is an Interior Decorator?
An interior decorator primarily focuses on furnishing a space with beautiful or fashionable items while working within the functionality. For example, this person could recommend changing up the layout of the furniture in your living room and assist in reorganizing a bedroom. Interior decorators generally focus on decorative details, so there’s less of a need for them to go through standardized education. Most will have gone through some sort of training to learn about the basic principles of interior design, but it is not a two-to-four-year education program. Interior decorators are all about aesthetics and can handle tasks like selecting color schemes, purchasing new design items, arranging furniture layouts and hanging wall art. Think of them as experts who can help you bring a fresh new look to an existing room, or help you consolidate all of your design ideas and Pinterest boards into one cohesive, beautiful project.
When to Hire an Interior Decorator?
Working with an interior decorator is the right choice for you if you need an extra set of hands to help you bring your design ideas to life. Or if you’re looking for a major interior makeover including paint, furniture and décor, but don’t have time to handle it all on your own. Decorators won’t work with contractors or architects since any structural work should already be completed before they are called in, but they will work with furniture makers, upholsterers, designers and other industry professionals related to the field.
Who Should I Hire?
Whether you work with an interior designer or interior decorator depends on the needs of your project. If you require structural changes like removing a wall or adding new windows and doors, then you should work with an interior designer who can collaborate with your contractor. If there are no structural changes required with your remodel project, but you are in need of aesthetic direction like selecting paint, wallpaper, lighting and accessories then an interior decorator is the perfect solution. Every designer and decorator is different, so it’s important that you do your own research before hiring anyone so you know what services they offer, what training they have and how they can help you. Ask for reviews, testimonials and look over design portfolios before you decide who will be the best fit for your project.
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