Is there a difference between interior designers and decorators? The answer is Yes!
When looking to hire an expert to help update your home, it’s vital to know what each profession involves. Many people aren’t aware there’s a difference between what stylists, decorators and designers are trained in.
Of course you can be excused for thinking a designer and decorator are just different names for the same profession. Some ‘decorators’ advertise themselves as ‘designers’ however their services are very different.
So what expert best suits your needs?
Designers are qualified
A designer will hold a Degree or Advanced Diploma from years of training and study. Awarded only to those with the proven skills and ability to perform the tasks required. Certain skills are vital for creative and technical solutions for built interior spaces.
The role of a designer is to create a functional, practical and safe environment. As well as being comfortable and visually pleasing.
Designers have the skills to provide complex details of space planning for residential and commercial buildings.
Interior design skills
Interior designers will have a sound knowledge of:
- Materials, finishes and colour
- Theory and history
- Building systems and technologies
- Project management
- Codes and Standards
- Construction and documentation
- Plumbing, electrics and data outlet placement
Designers create computer aided drawings
Hand drawings and computer aided programs are used by designers to create plans and renders. Builders and trades people then follow these plans to install and construct their designs.
Often a designer will be involved in all aspects from planning to completion. They work along side other trades to ensure that their designed spaces are properly implemented.
Interior designer versus interior architect
A designer is like an architect but who only deals with internal spaces, rather than both inside and out.
To confuse things, some designers will call themselves architects but this again is different.
Interior architects will typically specialise in the architectural side of a space. They can be either trained architects who choose to focus only on interior projects or graduates of an ‘interior architecture’ degree.
In general, they will handle the design structure and technical aspects of a building. So they focus more on what a space can do rather than how it looks.
What is an Interior Decorator?
Decorators hold a qualification in interior decoration, normally a diploma or certificate.
They’re main purpose is to upgrade what’s already been built. Selecting different colours, flooring, fabrics and furniture in order to change a room. A decorators focus is on how a space looks instead of how it functions.
It’s all about aesthetics.
Interior decorators don’t move walls
Decorators may study and work on many of the same things as designers but what they provide will differ. A decorator won’t be involved in any major plans like moving walls and installing services.
Because of this, it’s not necessary for them to have any knowledge of the architectural space. Decorators only need to be creative regarding the surface level finishes and aesthetics.
A stylist is similar to a decorator. However, they tend not to hold formal qualifications or have sound education in this field. They’re typically hired to style properties or magazine shoots.
3 Tips on how to hire an expert
Do your homework to find a good designer or decorator. And then make your decision.
- Check credentials, qualifications, insurance and references.
Employ someone with the right training and with current indemnity insurance.
- Get at least three detailed quotes.
Quotes with listed items will advise what is and what isn’t covered.
- Look at the designer’s work .
The expert you choose should share your vision and be able to communicate it well. Most will have a specialty so check what that is before you hire them.
So to summarise
Designers have to be able to understand peoples needs and how they behave. This helps them to to create a space that functions well for their client. Whereas decorators will furnish and style a space for it to be visually pleasing.
Designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.
We hope this has explained the difference between interior designers and interior decorators. At Inspired Spaces we a can assist you with all your design and decorating needs.