What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?

The terms Interior Designer and Interior Decorator sometimes are used synonymously, but the two are quite different. Each has its own job description and function. Interior Designers study and understand his or her clients’ needs to create functional, structural living or workspaces to satisfy respective demands. On the other hand, Decorators furnish interior spaces with furniture and accessories, creating an aesthetic environment. An interior designer must obtain a license to practice, but an interior decorator isn’t required to do so. As a result, interior designers may decorate, but decorators are not permitted to design.

Interior Designer

The Interior Designer, like Creative Touch Interiors, creates an interior living or workspaces to accommodate our client’s needs. The designer problem-solves difficult structural living arrangements to create spaces that enhance the client’s overall quality of life.  An interior designer researches, analyzes and plans interior layouts to make them physically, socially and aesthetically functional. Students in Purdue’s interior design program develop analytical skills to plan commercial, institutional, health-care, retail, and residential interiors. Modern technology and advanced computer programs allow interior designers to create virtual living areas before finalizing them for development or construction.

Interior Decorator

Interior Decorators do not create interior spaces; they embellish and enhance interior spaces that already exist. This is an important distinction. The National Council for Interior Design Qualifications, NCIDQ, states, “Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with fashionable or beautiful things.” An interior decorator often paints walls, hangs wallpaper, selects and places furniture, installs window treatments, and adds accessories such as throw rugs, lamps, throw pillows and wall art to a room. An interior decorator doesn’t knock out walls or structurally change the layout of an interior space. An interior decorator often uses her skills to adorn a living space once an interior designer has made necessary structural or functional changes.

Check out some of our projects by visiting our design portfolio.

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