Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator

Seldes Tampa Designer Master Bath Remodel

What is the difference? Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator

In my profession, I am often asked what the difference is between an interior designer and an interior decorator. Most people are not aware that there even is a difference in the two professions. Interior design and interior decorating are often mistaken for being the same thing,  But, there are in fact, several key differences that are important to note when making a decision to build a new home, remodel an existing home, or give your current home a ‘decorating facelift’!

Your specific decorating or designs needs will dictate which of the two might be a better fit for achieving your goals.

Interior Design – Interior design is a profession that requires specific schooling and formal training. The curriculum followed for interior design often includes studying color and fabric, computer-aided design (CAD) training, space planning and drawing, furniture design, architecture, and more.

In most states, interior design professionals are required to pass an exam in order to use the title designer. Also, most interior designers are members of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID), the country’s largest and oldest professional organization.

Interior designers are comfortable with spatial planning and can assist in designing and renovating homes from the conception (drawing phase) to the completion (decorative furnishings). They don’t just make a room look pretty, they enhance the overall function and livability of the room or home.

In addition to working with private clients, interior designers often with architects, home builders, and professional remodelers to help achieve the look and feel the client desires.

Interior Decorating – Because interior decorators focus primarily on the aesthetics of a home, they are not required to have any formal training, schooling or certification. They typically work with clients after the home is completed.

They can assist clients with selecting a style, color schemes, furniture purchases and accessories. Most decorators work with clients who have already built or remodeled their home and are looking for assistance in decorating an existing space that needs to be updated, refreshed or furnished.

Who you should hire depends on your needs. If you need help in deciding on a style, selecting wallpaper, paint or furnishings, an interior decorator would probably suffice.

If there are structural changes, technical work or space planning that is needed, an interior designer is the better choice.  In addition, an interior designer is also able to assist in the aesthetics as well. From color selection and finishes to furniture and installation.

Ready for an interior designer?

Contact Johanna today for your initial consultation.

Johanna G. Seldes, ASID IDC/Interior Design Consulting is a full service, award-winning Tampa Bay interior design firm that works with custom home builders, remodeling companies and individual clients. We provide interior design project management services throughout the entire construction process, including preconstruction design, selections, and installation.


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She was passionate, patient and professional throughout the entire process!  

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