A designer or a decorator, Which one do you need?

What’s the difference between an Interior decorator and an Interior designer? I’m coming up with this post to clarify this question. An Interior decorator and an Interior designer are not exactly the same job however because of the many similarities between the two jobs, people can often faced the question, What’s the difference? 

So with nearly as many opinions on the subject as there are people to express or hear them, here is a brief comparison of the two that can help you make the distinction for yourself and decide which one you really need to help in your home. So you’ve decided to make a few changes at home, and you realize that you’re going to need a bit of help. Which one do you need?


What is an Interior Designer?

Interior design is a profession that requires specific schooling and formal training. The work involved is usually computer-aided: drawing, space planning, furniture design, some architecture and more.

In some states these professionals are required to pass an exam, become registered and get a license in order to be able to practice. Why? Because they work with permanent structures to the property, spatial planning and renovating interiors.This includes obtaining permits, adhering to local building codes, working with an architect or contractor, painters, plumbers, and electricians etc. Most of them work commercial projects. 
What is Interior Decorating? This is where I take place. After everything is built, Interior decorators focus on the surface look of the space.An interior decorator doesn’t knock out walls or structurally change the layout of an interior space and we don’t do commercial, only residential.

Do we need schooling? Even though no schooling is required to become an interior decorator most interior decorators, including myself, go to school and get credentials. Decorating schools (often named as Residential interior design courses) are usually focused on color schemes, fabrics, room layouts, space planning, furniture styles and accesorize.

We also get an exam however we do not need a license. Our job is to capture the personality and style of the residents and express it in their space in the most beautiful and functional way possible.
Should I Hire a Designer or a Decorator?

Who you should hire will depend on your needs. If structural changes are desired (such as removing a wall, moving plumbing around, or adding new windows or doors) definitely an interior designer would be a better choice.
 On the other hand, if there are no structural changes needed but you need help deciding on a style; choosing wallpaper, paint, and furnishings; picking window treatments, and choosing lighting or accessories, a decorator is perfectly capable to do that job for you. Specially if she or he has credentials or some formal training. The decorator will transform a room to suit your needs and desires.
Whichever one you choose, you should take care to review their portfolio and speak with a few of their past clients to make sure their aesthetic meshes with your own. Remember No school can give them good taste. Another huge difference can be how do their costs compare, expect to pay more for an interior designer for obvious reasons. 

At the end of the day if you ever get to hear someone bashing an interior decorator saying that we are not capable to give you a functional and beautiful design because we don’t have formal training please do me a favor and enlight them. Not every decorator is the same and some of us do have formal training.

 Some amazingly talented autodidact designers that don’t own an interior design degree are: Joana Gaines from Fixer Upper HGTV, Vicente Wolf (one of the most famous in the industry according to House Beautiful magazine). Martha Angus, she has been featured in ELLE Decor, House Beautiful, California Home + Design, and more. Johnathan Adler and Kelley Wearstler, they both already have a design empire and many many more. 

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