So you’re planning on updating your home, or possibly looking to buy new, and you’re started researching ideas and options to be able to bring your vision to life.
You consider working with an interior designer, possibly a decorator, but upon further research, you find that the differences between the two services aren’t quite clear. So, are they interchangeable? And, if not, what’s the difference? How do I know which one I need?
Despite the many similarities between the two jobs, there also exist more than a few differences. Below is a brief comparison between the two that aims to eliminate the confusion, and help you best decide which one you need to work with.
*Requires specific schooling, and formal training, either a Diploma Program or Bachelor Degree. In addition, some provinces require that interior design professionals pass an exam and become registered with a governing council. (Be sure to research the requirements in your area first!)
*From start to finish they are comfortable with spatial planning and can design & renovate interiors (and exteriors) from drafting up the initial floor plan to adding the final decorative touch. They are capable of enhancing more than just the look of a room; they improve the function.
*Often work with architects and contractors to help you achieve the look that you desire.
*Many programs and courses are available, however, no formal or specific training is required, because an interior decorator’s main focus is aesthetics. An interior decorator is usually involved post renovations and structural planning to only enhance the surface look of the space.
*Can help choose color scheme, buy furniture, accessorize, and are great to work with when sprucing up an existing space.
*Don’t generally work with architects or contractors as they are often involved after structural work has already been completed.
Who should I hire?
If structural changes are desired I.e.) removing a wall, moving plumbing, adding new windows or doors – interior designer is the better choice. However, if you’re only looking to update colour scheme, flooring, textiles and without changing the structural layout of a room; an interior decorator would be a great fit. Ultimately; start by assessing your specific needs, and then choose the service that is best aligns with what you’re trying to achieve.
**There are many different associations that Interior Designers and Interior Decorators can be a part of, such as the NKBA, IDC, and CDECA. All of these are great resources to find Decorators or Designers who have invested into their businesses and are required to take continuing education courses to stay up on codes.