September 26, 2019

Decorator & Designer Differences – Misconceptions

POSTED BY Truspace

This is the third in a three-part series on the differences between Interior Decorators and Interior Designers.

With their job titles being similar, there are a lot of assumptions made about what Interior Decorators and Interior Designers do; mainly, that they do the same job. As we explained in the first two parts of this series, there are many differences between the two positions. Required education and upkeep, client responsibilities, day-to-day tasks, and general skill sets, just to name a few. To wrap up this series, we thought we’d shed some light on common misconceptions regarding this topic.

Aren’t Interior Decorator and Interior Designer different titles for the same role?

Not at all! While there is some crossover in their job description, the bulk of their work is extremely different. Interior Decorators will spend the majority of their time helping their clients pick finishes, furnishings, and equipment for their space, while Interior Designers will spend the majority of their time creating comprehensive construction drawings for permit, tender, and construction.

Why become an Interior Designer and go through school when you can become an Interior Decorator faster?

In short – time vs. experience. An Interior Designer can find work immediately upon graduation, as they essentially have 2-4 years of experience with the programs they will be working with (AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, Adobe Creative Suite, etc.). An Interior Decorator, however, will have a harder time starting out because of that. With no formal education required, Interior Decorators usually find their work based on experience and reputation, neither of which they will have when they first start out.

Aren’t Interior Designers and Architects basically the same thing with some throw pillows added in?

Interior Designers and Architects are two sides of the same coin. An Architect will design the exterior architecture of the building (concrete/steel/wood framing, roof, windows, etc.), along with selecting the finishes that go along with it (siding, mullions, facades, etc.). An Interior Designer will do the same, but for the interior architecture (standard walls, plumbing walls, glass walls, HVAC & Electrical design, etc.) and the corresponding finishes (paint, flooring, accent tile, wall bases, window coverings, etc.).

Do I need an Interior Designer or an Interior Decorator?

This depends on the scope of your project. If you solely need a refresh of finishes and furniture with no architectural changes, then an Interior Decorator will likely meet your needs. If you need to do a renovation (no matter how small) that involves the removal or addition of walls, glazing, and doors, an Interior Designer will be required.

Can I save cost by just using an Interior Decorator?

The cost of the person you hire is very much dependent on the scope of your project. A small refresh of your space will definitely cost less than a full renovation, but the renovation will require an Interior Designer, while the refresh could be done with an Interior Decorator.

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