Difference between interior designer and interior decorator

The major difference between interior designer and interior decorator

In this blog, we are going to cover the differences between interior designer and interior decorator. How both these interior designers and interior decorators are different from each other.

Most people think that interior designing and interior decoration are interchangeable terms for the same profession. In reality, this is not the case though, these two terms are different from each other.

The major difference between interior designer and interior decorator

Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building. The decoration is the furnishing or embellishment of a space with fashionable or beautiful things. In short, interior designers may decorate and design, but decorators do not design, This is the first difference between an interior designer and an interior

The biggest difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator is that the interior designer typically has several other issues on his/her mind and uses a lot of creativity and sees all technical aspects for designing the outlook of any place.  For instance, when it comes to floor coverings, an interior decorator will probably be responsible for choosing the type of colors, textures, and pattern. This is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator.

The interior designer, on the other hand, will make the selection based on those criteria – perspective points, usage, sound transference, acoustic properties, flammability, etc. In short, we can say interior decorators will not see minute symmetric or technical aspects but an interior designer will consider all these points.

You Must Read This Article–  Top Interior design myth and misconception we love to explode.

What are the differences between interior design and interior decorator

Schooling:  Interior design is a profession that requires specific schooling and professional training.

Scholling of interior desinger

Their study usually includes studying colour and textile, textures,  patterns, computer-aided design (CAD) training, drawing, sketching, perspective design, planning, furniture design, architecture, and more. After completing graduation, designers often apprentice with registered and established interior designers before moving on to establish their own companies.

Credentials:  In some states and provinces, professional designers are required to pass an exam and become registered with a governing council.

NCIDQ Examination
By the council for interior design qualification

(which depends on what country and state/province he or she is in) before they can be called interior designers.

What they do: Interior designers firstly study the desires of a client then use his/her design ideology by drawing up the initial floor plans to placing the last decorative accent.

What interior designers do

Designers don’t just enhance the look; they also enhance the function of a room and they know what to place, where to place, how to place. This is another major difference between interior design and interior decorators.

Who they work with: Interior designers often work closely with architects, decorators, and contractors and help them to achieve the look the client desires, whether that client is designing a residential home, an office, a hotel, or any other interior space. They collect information from architects or contractors then they create customers desired outlook by using their specialization and creativity. They prepare digital blueprints, colour swatches, colour palettes, arrange fabrics for curtains or other supplies required for interior designing.

License and certificate:  According to the NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification) many U.S. states and Canadian provinces have laws that require interior designers to be licensed or registered before they can practice interior designing professionally.

License of interior designer

These laws require designers to provide documentation of their formal education, including degrees diplomas,s, and training certifications. Some even require practicing or internships under interior designers to earn an official NCIDQ Certificate to demonstrate their expertise and qualifications in the industry.

Interior designers duties:  An interior designer solves the problem of negative space or knows how to use the space for storage or building symmetrically perfect view for room and also keep encouraging environmental sustainability.

An interior designer researches:  analyze and plan interior AutoCAD 2d layouts to make them physically, socially, and aesthetically functional. Modern technology and advanced computer programs allow interior designers to create 3d designs virtual living areas, bathrooms, bedrooms, and modular kitchens etc areas before finalizing them for development or construction.

The main responsibilities or duties of an Interior Designer :

Duties of interior desinger


  • Undertake home and office design projects from concept to completion.
  • Determine the goals and requirements of the client’s project
  • Interpreting and translating client’s needs into rough plans
  • Set costs and project fees according to the budget of the clients.
  • Research and decide on materials and products sourcing
  • Makes 3d designs to give a realistic look to the project.
  • Place orders for materials and oversee installing the design elements.
  • Work closely with interior decorators, professional architects as well as constructors.

Salary of an interior designer:  For an entry-level interior designer, the average pay is around 4 lakh per annum, while an experienced residential interior designer /commercial interior designer could earn up to 30 lakh per annum. Receiving a proper salary depends on a lot of factors, such as education, location, work experience, and size of the company, or the structural requirements of the company, building, or house. More importantly, one needs to win the favor of the potential employer by impressing him/her with the exposure and experience one cherishes, and also one must have specialized skills working on turnkey projects.

Also, read this article – Why the cost of hiring an interior designer is an important factor

Why Interior Decorators are different from Interior Designers.

Interior designer vs interior decorator

Schooling:  Interior decorators aren’t required to have formal training or schooling. because they focus primarily on aesthetics and don’t participate in renovations or structural planning.

Scholling of interior decorator

A decorator comes into the picture after the structural planning and plotting. Many professional interior decorators have college degrees in related fields, but it is not a requirement for the same profession. We can say that interior decoration is a part of interior design. So now we can say this is the third major difference between interior design and interior decorator.

Credentials:  Even though no schooling is required to become an interior decorator, many programs and courses are available. These courses often focus on color and fabric, room layouts, space planning, drawing, sketching furniture styles, and more. Certifications from organizations like C.I.D. (Certified Interior Decorators International) offer coursework and certification to help decorators authenticate their practices.

What they do: Good decorators are skilled at coming into a room and creating visuals for that room. They can help clients decide on a style, choose a color scheme, textures patterns, or they can make modular Kitchens, customized furniture, and accessorize, etc.

Who they work with: Interior Decorators don’t generally work with any contractors or architects, since structural work is usually complete before they come on board. They do, however, work with furniture maker service providers/carpenters, upholsterers, and other industry professionals. Most often, though, they work directly with homeowners or businesses.

License and certificate: No formal license from NCIDQ or training and internship
is required.

Interior Decorators’ duties: Interior decorators generally don’t work with architects to create interior spaces; they embellish existing interior spaces.

Duties of interior decorators

An interior decorator often paints walls, hangs wallpapers, 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 does not have any structural change in the layout of interior space.

Salary of an interior decorator:  A high-end decorator may charge either on an hourly basis or a commission basis and also it depends on the charges or wages payable to laborers, carpenters. A decorator may earn from 20000-50000 per month. The salary of a decorator is comparatively less than an interior designer because designers work on the structural design too but decorators only come in action after work of structural engineering.

You should read this Article – For interior decoration, getting a reliable interior designer is the key

Who should you hire an interior designer or interior decorator?

Now comes the real question: Who should you hire an interior designer and an interior decorator? If you are still unsure of the type of interior design help you need,

Ask yourself these simple questions if you want to hire an interior designer or an interior decorator

Are you thinking of adding any changes to the structure of your house? Or do you completely want a renovation service?
If structural changes are needed (such as removing a wall, moving to plumb or wiring around, or adding new windows or doors), and you answered “Yes, ” an interior designer is a way to go. Are you only planning to change the color scheme, decoration, or lighting of your house? If you answered “Yes,” you can opt for an interior decorator to get the job done.


As we have already covered the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator In the end, however, choosing the right professional depends largely on the skills of the particular professional, not the job title. A great interior designer may not have much experience or idea of the market but on other hand, that may be the decorator is more experienced and have an idea of the market and material.

When hiring a professional, firstly clearly understand your own needs and look for a pro who has a proven reputation for meeting those needs, no matter what the formal job title is, always research your end about the designer or decorator.

It’s generally true that designers for space planning and structural execution and also charge higher, while decorators are the final aesthetic decisions and charges are less than a designer. If you know what changes you want and you don’t want to invest much, hire an interior decorator, if you want professional high-end renovation then hire a professional interior designer.




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