Interior Decorator vs. Interior Designer; What’s The Difference?

Interior Decorator vs. Interior Designer; What’s The Difference?

Looking to fix a couple of things in your home to make it look perfect? You have two options: hiring a home designer or a home decorator. Since the line between these two professions is blurry, what are the differences between an interior decorator and an interior designer?

Interior decorators and designers may seem like very similar professions, but an interior designer deals with structural design fixes, while a decorator doesn’t. While you won’t be needing a designer in most cases, you’ll be shelling out quite a bit whenever you need them.

In this article, you’ll learn whether to hire an interior decorator, an interior designer, or both. You’ll also learn the detailed differences between the two careers and the costs of hiring a professional for either career.

What Exactly Does an Interior Decorator Do?

Interior Decorator vs. Interior Designer; What’s The Difference?

An interior decorator works with various home furnishing materials to create a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing room or home design. They usually don’t have any say in how the house or room was constructed; they only make the room look better after construction.

A decorator works with several design items, including furniture pieces, curtains, carpets, and even paint. As long as they don’t alter the fundamental structure of the apartment they’re working with; they’re still in the scope of an interior decorator.

Interior decorators are usually excellent in money management, especially when it comes to furnishing a home. While most people see hiring a decorator as an “extra cost,” the fact that they can work with any budget to make your home look appealing will help you save more money than you’ll lose.

An interior decorator does more than just choose curtains and sofas for your home. They try to get to know you and your specific aesthetic style to help you create a style that you’ll grow to love.

If you hired an independent decorator, you should be relieved of the stress of having to buy your furniture and accessories. While this will make the work easier on your part, it will also enable you to get the items at a lower price, as these professionals work closely with retailers to get better prices.

What Exactly Does an Interior Designer Do?

Most people tend to confuse the functions of an interior decorator with that of an interior designer. However, you may be surprised to learn that they have pretty different functions, as you’ll learn in a bit.

An interior designer is the correct professional to help create the perfect home design from the ground up. Unlike decorators that only decorate finished buildings, designers work with architects to recommend specific building styles and dimensions for maximum aesthetic benefits.

If you’re trying to build your home from the ground up, an interior designer will work with other professionals involved in the construction to ensure it’s up to your design taste.

If you’re trying to change up the look of a completed house, however, hiring an interior decorator will be quite sufficient. This approach is logical, as only a few people are willing to reposition their doors and windows every few months to create a svelte look.

Just like an interior decorator, an interior will spend more than enough time trying to learn your specific design interests and style. This will help them theme your home in a way that looks excellent to both you and outsiders alike.

In addition to creating a beautiful space, an interior designer will also try to ensure that your home is optimized for comfort and functionality. If your kitchen looks great, but the utensils you use frequently are always out of reach, you’re compromising on comfort and functionality.

While an interior designer will also work according to your budget, you must have a pretty handsome budget to hire a designer. Unlike decorators, they refine your apartment fundamentally, making them a bit more expensive to hire.

Should You Hire an Interior Designer or an Interior Decorator?

Interior Decorator vs. Interior Designer; What’s The Difference?

Even with the extensive explanations above, you must have already noticed that there is a bit of an overlap between the functions of an interior designer and an interior decorator. However, how do you choose which of these professionals will fit your needs better?

In most cases, an interior designer will also offer interior decoration services and vice versa. In short, you wouldn’t need to figure out who to hire on your own, you can simply hire either, and they’ll switch promptly if need be.

But in the case that there are no differences between these two professionals, the exact task you need help with should determine who to hire.

As I hinted earlier, interior decorators are your best bet if you only need a professional to help you change the basic theme of your home’s design. Their services are limited to changing your curtains, furniture, artworks, and all other items that are a characteristic part of your home’s design.

If you want a more extensive change to your overall home design, you should reach out to an interior designer. Designers are trained to plan and execute structural changes in conjunction with architects and other related professionals.

If you’re not sure about who to hire, you should probably get an interior designer. In most cases, interior designers will also offer interior decoration services, but the reverse isn’t usually the case.

If you end up hiring the wrong professional for your task, you should get a referral to the appropriate professional for the kind of home improvement professional that’s best for your case.

Who Gets Paid More: Interior Designers or Interior Decorators?

Interior Decorator vs. Interior Designer; What’s The Difference?

Interior designers earn slightly more, thanks to the more demanding nature of their job compared to that of interior decorators.

A qualified interior decorator should expect an average salary of $45,000 per year in the United States, while interior designers make around $53,000 on average. That seems fair, especially when you consider that interior designers need more training.

In either career, you have the potential to earn as much as you want, deepening how many clients you handle. The averages just paint a realistic picture of what you should expect by working as a decorator or designer. 

Gui Hadlich

Hi there! I'm Gui. I've had to move 12 times in the last 6 years, and I've learned a thing or two about moving, decorating, and buying and selling furniture. I've started Budget Friendly Furnishing with the intent of helping people furnish their homes in style without having to break the bank!

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