So, you are thinking of renovating your home this year and you realize that you can’t do it alone. You need a bit of help in embarking this project. You start looking for possible services and find that the professionals that provide the services of home renovation describe their work as interior designing and interior decoration. This is where you are faced with another tricky question, “What is the difference between Interior Designing & Interior Decoration” and more importantly, “Which one should I need?”
The terms interior designer and interior decorator are often mistaken as the same thing and used synonymously, but the terms are not completely interchangeable and each one has its own job description and function. Of course, there are some similarities in both the services but there are also some differences – some subtle, some significant. When you are faced with the challenge of which kind of help you need when going for home renovation, it makes more sense to understand the differences between interior designers and decorators.
There are varied explanations explaining the differences. Let’s describe their roles in detail….
Interior Designing –
• Formal Education& Degree- Interior designing is a profession that requires specific schooling and formal training. This formal education of Interior Designing includes scientific method of planning the aesthetic and functional beautification of the space which transforms user’s lifestyle with more comfort, convenience and new technology up gradation. Also, it often includes studying about design tools like computer-aided design (CAD), color and fabric, space planning, furniture design, drawing, architecture, Vastushastra, shapes & styles and many more aspect with logical reasoning. Hence, getting certified as an interior designer from a reputed organization is vital for one who is planning a career in this field.
• Scope of Work – Interior designers chalk out elaborate plans and designs for the room which suits customer need & lifestyle. They plan interior features like workspace distribution, user’s convenience, modern trends and natural light optimization which can provide best possible look to space. Being a recognized degree holder, they could have their own business or function as a professional interior designer. As a professional service provider, they stand by your home renovation or a construction or designing project from start to finish. In a simple words, they don’t just enhance the look of a room; they also enhance the function of a room scientifically & logically to improve lifestyle.
• Unique Differentiator – Interior Designer can create complete customized designs for your space which can become your signatures style, with applications of science & logics.
Interior Decoration –
• Formal Education& Degree- To be master in the art of interior decoration, the experts need not go for specific schooling, formal training and degree. Interior Decoration skills are generally developed by experience & knowledge of the industry. The skill mainly includes about improvement in aesthetics & looks of the space. Since they just focus on aesthetics and don’t participate in scientific & logical planning of the space, special schooling is not needed for them. However, many professional interior decorators have college degrees in related fields but degree is not indispensable to make career in this profession. While no special schooling is needed to become an interior decorator, there are many courses available to teach the candidates about the nitty-gritty of the profession. These courses often focus more on room layouts, space planning, color and fabric, furniture styles, and more parameters which are important for look & feel of the space.
• Scope of Work- Interior decorators deal with matters like aesthetic improvement, space decorations, upholstery and furniture placement. For new spaces, they help their clients to decide on a style& looks, purchase furniture, choose a color scheme and accessorize the area. In simple word, interior decorator can visualize the best aesthetics for your space without any scientific approach. The services of interior decorators are brought in to spruce up an existing space that needs to be revamped or redone. These professionals can be hired by an interior designer or can be a freelancer too. As a matter of fact, an interior designer himself can work as an interior decorator also.
• Unique Differentiator – Interior decorator can bring good looking aesthetics which can be changed frequently to give new looks to space.
Should I Hire an Interior Designer or a Decorator?
Ultimately, who you should hire is a matter of personal preference. If renovation is to be done scientifically for structural changes such as adding new windows or doors, removing a wall, moving plumbing or wiring around along with perfect beautification, an interior designer is the better choice. On the other hand, if structural changes are not the demand of your home renovation project on the contrary you just require aesthetic help such as choosing wallpaper, paint color, deciding on a style and furnishings, choosing lighting and accessories, picking window treatments and so on, an interior decorator will do the trick well.
If you are still hovering in the dilemma of which one to choose, I have compiled here a list of questions that will help you sort out which pick is right for you. So, just read them out before making any hiring decisions:
- Are you looking for unique signature design which will be customized for you?
- Are you planning to make any functional or structural changes right off the bat?
- How important are scientific approach, education and credentials to you?
- Are you looking for someone to manage the project from start to finish or just want a little suggestion in styling the space?
In the end, choosing the right professional for your home renovation task depends on the skills of the particular professional not the job title. There are many professional designers with formal schooling who spend most of their time doing the task of decorating since it involves no renovation or structural work. So, when hiring a professional for your home renovation project, start with clearly understanding your own needs and look for a pro who has created a niche in the industry and has proven his expertise for meeting those needs, no matter what the formal job title is.
One Thing to Keep In Mind –
It’s true that designers are for space planning and structural execution and decorators are for the final aesthetic decisions but fear not to cross lines to hire a designer with a flair for decorating or a decorator with a reputation as a good designer, provided that their skills are proven. Every decorator and designer is different. It is just a general guide. Make your own research and look for the professionals in your area to see what services they offer. As always, I will advise you to do your best to read reviews,look over design portfolios and get your questions answered before finalizing your choice who can be the best fit for the job.