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What's the Difference Between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator?

So, you have a home makeover project and you don’t think you can handle it alone. Your first thought is, “I should hire someone to help with the redesign!” followed by “Do I need an interior designer or interior decorator?” Though the titles may be similar and some job tasks the same, the differences between these two home improvement professions is critical when deciding who would be better suited for the tasks at hand.

Interior Designer

Of the two professions, interior design is the only one that requires schooling and formal training, and licensing in some states, to practice as a professional. Areas of study for interior designers include color and fabric, CAD (computer automated design) training, space plan drawing, furniture design, and architecture. After they’ve received their education, interior designers often work apprenticeships under established designers before venturing out to work on their own.

Interior designers are capable of much more than designing the aesthetics of a room. Job tasks include space planning, drawing up floor plans, designing a space to enhance the function of a room, and designing and renovating interior spaces. They often work closely with architects and contractors.

Interior Decorator

No schooling or formal training is required to begin a career in interior decorating, though a number of programs and courses are available to help aspiring decorators authenticate their credentials.

An interior decorator’s main task is to create or improve the visual shape of the room. Unlike interior designers, decorators are not qualified to make decisions about structural changes or changes in electrical and plumbing setups. Interior decorators mostly work with homeowners or business managers to decide the style and color scheme of a room, along with choosing furniture, paint and accessories to bring their vision to life. They also work with furniture builders, upholsterers and other interior decor industry professionals to complete projects.

How to Choose the Right Professional for Your Home Project

If you’re looking to remodel or renovate a room and require structural changes or changes to the plumbing or electricity, you need an interior designer. But if you’re simply looking to change the look of a space, an interior decorator is all you need.

Ready to redesign your home? McCarley Cabinets will work with your interior designer to create a space that’s both stylish and functional. Get started today with a free quote.

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