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Interior Designers vs. Interior Decorators

Interior design and interior decorating are often mistaken as the same profession, but the terms are not completely interchangeable.Though there are some obvious similarities, there are key differences that distinguish a decorator from a designer. Those key differences can have a large impact on the end results of your project. Keep reading to learn what sets the two apart and to discover which best fits your needs!

Interior Designer

 

Education. Interior design is a profession that requires specific training, education and extensive experience in the design field. Alder & Tweed designers are required to have a thorough understanding of all elements of interior design, while providing their clients with a personal and professional design experience. Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create beautiful yet functional spaces. Accordingly, it is important that our designers have a deep understanding of environmental and behavioral factors. Education in architectural elements and experience working with the construction industry are also beneficial.

Skills. First and foremost designers should have a creative eye and keen artistic ability. Designers should be able to create a stunning space while simultaneously meeting their client’s needs and embracing the client’s style. Beyond artistic ability, interior designers typically work closely with architects, civil engineers, and have a substantial amount of technical experience within the construction industry. Experienced designers are able to easily draw, read, and edit architectural plans. It is also common for designers to use computer-based design programs to create visual representations of their conceptual designs.

Interior Decorator

 

Education. Interior decorators are not required to have formal education to practice professionally. Because decorators primarily focus on the aesthetics of a space, rather than the renovations or structural planning, a degree or certificate is not necessary. Because there are no education or experience regulations to practice interior decorating, it is important to do substantial research before hiring a decorator.

Skills. Decorating is the furnishing and adorning of a space. Decorators help clients decide on a design style, a color scheme, furniture, and accessories. Often times, decorators are hired to spruce up an existing space that needs to be updated. Decorators should have a keen eye for home furnishings and trend identification.

To summarize, designers may decorate but decorators may not design. An interior designer is your best choice if you’re working on a remodel or new build and need guidance beyond aesthetics. If you are looking to redecorate a space, a designer may still be the best option if credentials are important to you. We recommend that you examine designer and decorator portfolios as well as read reviews before selecting someone to design your dream home!

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