Interior Design vs. Interior Decorating: What’s the Difference?

Interior designers and interior decorators are both professionals who can make positive changes to your home, making it a better, more beautiful and comfortable place to live. Both can help you create the home of your dreams! Good interior designers and decorators are aware that there is no “one size fits all.” They are mindful of trends, but their main goal is to create a space that reflects your one-of-a-kind needs.

Sometimes, there’s overlap between the two professions. Some interior designers will also provide decorating services to meet your needs.

Interior Designers: Focusing on Function & Fixtures

Interior designers work closely with contractors and architects to create and execute plans for a functional, beautiful space. They work on all the permanent features of your home renovation. A good interior design will help you:

  • Work closely with architects to make layout decisions
  • Select cabinets, countertops, and other finishes
  • Choose hardware, tile, lighting, appliances, and fixtures
  • Suggest functionalities for your family while retaining your personal style

Home renovations are difficult and expensive to reverse if you make the wrong interior design choices. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to have a professional interior designer working with you. They can eliminate a lot of headaches and save you money in the long run.

An interior designer will work with you to understand what you want and need from your remodel. They will work with your architect to make sure the architectural design incorporates it. Your designer will narrow down your choices allowing you to pick from a reasonable number of items. Otherwise, you would be swimming in industry catalogs!

Interior Decorators: Focusing on the Final Touches

An interior decorator will help make your home a more beautiful place to live by making aesthetic changes, not structural ones. They are great at making furniture and decor decisions to give your home a unique style. Unlike interior designers, their work begins after the structural work ends.

An interior decorator can help you:

  • Choose color schemes and style for your home
  • Suggest wallpaper, paint colors, and other finishes
  • Shop for furniture and decor that looks great and meets your family’s needs
  • Arrange the furniture, art, and accessories
  • Align the overall aesthetics of a space

Your interior decorator’s goal is to give you an aesthetically beautiful home that reflects your personal taste and needs. It’s the finishing touches – rugs, artwork, pillows, furniture, window treatments – that make a house feel like home.

Do You Need a Designer, a Decorator, or Both?

It’s rare that one firm provides both services, so the answer may be – Both! First, you’ll need an Interior Designer to help you wade through the many choices of tile, cabinetry, lighting, windows, handles, knobs, faucets…well, you get the idea. In addition to our Interior Design services, our staff also provides Interior Decorating services. Get started by checking out our interior design services. 

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