Being called a decorator is somewhat of an irksome old issue for many of us interior designers. Most people are unaware of the difference or that it matters.
If you Google ‘what is the difference between an interior designer and a decorator,’ the first thing that comes up in the search results page is:
“INTERIOR DESIGN is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building. DECORATION is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.”
After perusing through a few more of the top rated search results, I think this page does the information justice.
As an interior designer, I always approach each project as an exercise in the art of “solving the puzzle” ….. making space function to meet the unique needs of its occupants. I passionately believe that every space has potential and solving the puzzle means maximizing the functionality of areas that were previously under-utilized while introducing a smart cohesive design. A mouthful to be sure but truly what an interior designer does.
The interior designer should be involved with a building project from the beginning, even working with the architect in the developing aspects of the design. The designer’s job is to help create functional interior space by understanding how the inhabitants will use each room. They consider light, sound along with many other design aspects and are also well versed in building codes and structural considerations. Because of this, in most states, designers need certification and/or a license.
An interior decorator isn’t involved with the design of the building or the layout of the interior space. They are focused entirely on the furniture, colors, textiles and textures of a room. Their job is to capture the personality and style of the residents then express it in their space. A decorator doesn’t need any official training to adopt the title. Any painter
or window treatment fabricator can call themselves a decorator.
While there are marked differences in what they do, both decorators & designers—good ones—hone an expertise in sourcing appropriate materials and products to creatively utilize them within the project.
Of course the cost of the project is always of importance and there are many types of fee structures used by both designers and decorators. ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) does a terrific job explaining the different types of methods both designers and decorators use. The type of project generally dictates which type of fee the professional will apply.
So there you have it. Hiring a professional should simplify your process not make it more confusing. And while others may get a little fast and loose with the differences between the two interior professions, now you know the truth so go forth and hire the appropriate professional for your project.
We would love to be the appropriate professional for any of your design needs. Call to schedule a consultation at 856.269.0707 or email at [email protected].