No, these titles are not used interchangeably.
Interior decorators and interior designers both come into your home to change up a space. Sometimes, interior decorators even work under interior designers. But understanding the difference is key to shopping smart, and ultimately to getting what you want out of your home refresh. You don’t want to go looking for one thing and come back with another…
So, really, what is the difference between a decorator and an interior designer?
Interior decorators come into your home to change up a space on the surface. They can help with layout and furniture, colors and themes. They can help you visualize a new design and come up with an overall new “look.” Put simply, decorators add beautiful things to your home. Sounds charming!
Interior designers come in with more schooling, credentials and experience, and the depth to which they change a space reflects that. They have the eye and the expertise for colors, themes, layouts and furniture, but can also maximize space in sometimes radical ways. They can renovate and change the whole appearance, including consultation around walls, windows and more permanent fixtures. In other words, they MAKE your space beautiful.
And did we mention that interior designers have specific credentials and formal schooling?
If you’re ready to make a change to your home, in most cases an interior designer is the professional to look for. If you’re thinking of doing more than shaving off the top layer of “been there, done that” and putting some new pieces over the rest, you’ll want to know how to find the right interior designer to do the job.
Take a look at our hot tip cheat sheet for finding the right interior designer for you!
- Your designer will know how to find inspiration, and help YOU find YOUR inspiration. Interior design requires more consultation than almost any home concierge service because it relies so much on HOW you use a space and what YOUR tastes are. Finding the inspiration to get that right look in a new space is key.
The right designer will know where to guide you and will be able to identify what it is that you like about a space even when you’re still struggling to articulate it. Most of all, your designer
will talk to you about your lifestyle inspiration. What does a space need to do for you? What is its functionality? What is its purpose?
- Your designer will not only help you find your inspiration but will help you SEE your new space and visualize it more than just in your “mind’s eye.” Digital renderings are more popular (and more accessible) than ever, and any designer who doesn’t help you visualize and breathe in your new space this way is behind the times.
- Your designer will have the credentials, with a formal education. This is actually one of the things that makes a designer more than a decorator! That said, not all designers are on even footing. Ask about the education and background of any designer you talk to so you can be sure you know what knowledge and expertise you’re being billed for.
- Most importantly, you have to LIKE your interior designer! Having rapport with your designer means you’ll be able to work together to make something truly beautiful out of a space. You have to confide in your designer, trust your designer, and feel good when you’re with your designer. You’ll figure this one out on your own, just be sure this factor is one you do not cast aside.
So, does your project need a decorator or a designer? Erring on the side of more education, more experience, and more flexibility will always mean working with an interior designer. And if there are ANY structural changes like moving walls, windows, or changing floors, a designer will be the one with the credentials to make that dream a reality.
And, really, so much of it comes down to how you get along with the person. Never doubt the importance of this factor! You need someone you can work with, who will help you answer your “why,” and help you find your inspiration. The only way you can know is by calling us today! You can speak directly to our head interior designer by calling 817-753-6668.
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