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Decorators vs Interior Designers

What is the Difference Between a Decorator vs Interior Designer


When it comes to creating beautiful and functional spaces, there are professionals who can help bring your vision to life. Two common roles in the design industry are decorators and interior designers. While these terms are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to different skill sets and responsibilities. In this article, we will explore the differences between a decorator and an interior designer.


Decorators focus on the aesthetics and visual aspects of a space. They specialize in selecting and arranging furniture, accessories, color schemes, and other decorative elements. Decorators work closely with clients to understand their preferences and create a cohesive design that reflects their personal style.

Some of the tasks performed by decorators include:

  • Choosing paint colors and wallpaper
  • Selecting furniture, lighting, and accessories
  • Arranging furniture and decorations
  • Providing recommendations for fabric and materials

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Interior Designers

Interior designers, on the other hand, have a broader scope of responsibilities. They not only focus on the aesthetics but also consider the functionality and safety of a space. Interior designers have a deeper understanding of architectural elements and building codes.

Interior designers may perform the following tasks:

  • Space planning and layout design
  • Collaborating with architects and contractors
  • Creating detailed floor plans and 3D renderings
  • Selecting finishes and materials
  • Ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations
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    Education and Training

    While both decorators and interior designers have a passion for design, their education and training differ.

    Decorators often have a natural talent for aesthetics and may have completed a short-term certification or diploma program in interior decorating. They typically stay up to date with the latest design trends and styles.

    Interior designers, on the other hand, usually hold a bachelor's degree in interior design or a related field. They undergo rigorous training in space planning, building codes, sustainability, and other technical aspects of design. Many interior designers also pursue professional certifications to enhance their skills and credibility.

    Legal Limitations

    Another important distinction between decorators and interior designers lies in legal limitations. Interior designers often have a deeper understanding of building codes and regulations, allowing them to take on more complex projects. In some jurisdictions, interior designers may be required to pass licensing exams and obtain professional liability insurance.

    Decorators, while highly skilled in their craft, may have limitations when it comes to structural changes and other architectural modifications. They mainly focus on enhancing the existing space using decorative elements.


    In summary, the main difference between a decorator and an interior designer lies in their scope of responsibilities and level of expertise. Decorators specialize in the visual aspects of design, while interior designers consider both aesthetics and functionality. Both professionals play important roles in creating beautiful spaces, and the choice between the two depends on the complexity of the project and the specific needs of the client.

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