What is the Difference Between an Interior Designer & an Interior Decorator?

The titles Interior Designer and Interior Decorator are often used interchangeably, causing confusion as to which profession is qualified to do what exactly.

What is an Interior Designer?

A Designer will usually have a Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design or Interior Architecture; this qualification together with further training, experience and licensing(such as a Builder’s License) where required, qualify your Designer to make structural changes to your property (together with a qualified Structural Engineer and Licensed Contractor). An Interior Designer can organise a home’s spacial layout: for example, where to put the Bathroom or where should the Laundry go. A Designer will also plan, design and document all cabinetry and built in fixtures such as: Kitchens, Bathrooms, Built in Robes/Walk in Robes, custom designed furniture, etc. This includes decisions on specific types of hardware, fittings, appliances, etc. An Interior Designer must also adhere to strict Codes and Standards set out in the Building Code of Australia and maintain a documented continued knowledge of the design and construction industry.

What is an Interior Decorator?

A Decorator on the other hand will take charge of the decoration of your property. Colours, textiles, rugs, furniture placement, all are part of a Decorator’s tasks. A Decorator will give you the best advice in terms of how to best layout your furniture, which colours, fabrics, accessories and textures will work best together, and much more. In most areas, there is no set qualification, training or licensing required to be an Interior Decorator however, most good Decorators are formally trained in either a private college or TAFE.

So which do I need for my project?

If you are looking to make internal structural changes, renovate or build a brand new kitchen, bathroom or laundry, or need help with how to best layout the floorplan of your home, then an Interior Designer is what you need.

If you are needing assistance with styling your home accessories, selecting the right furniture, choosing a colour scheme, etc then you would need to hire an Interior Decorator.

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