Not sure whether you need to hire an interior designer or an interior decorator?
While there can be some overlap between the two professions, there are also some clear differences. Knowing these differences can help you determine which services you might need for your home or business.
Let’s look at a few of the biggest differences between an interior designer and an interior decorator—from their roles and everyday duties to their education and credential requirements!
Simply put, the role of interior designers is to plan, design, and renovate space. They are primarily concerned with making sure that home and business spaces are functional and that they improve the quality of life of those who use them. As they are often involved with design on a structural level, they must understand and meet local building codes and regulations.
The role of interior decorators, on the other hand, is to help the client with a space’s aesthetics—including room layouts, furniture arrangements, wall décor, colour palettes, and more. They usually become involved once the space has already been designed, built, or renovated.
While these roles are distinct, there are times when an interior designer may also take on the duties of an interior decorator.
Interior designers will sometimes work directly with homeowners and property managers; but more often than not, they coordinate with architects and other contractors in developing plans for the project.
Interior decorators typically work with homeowners, business managers, and property managers directly. They may coordinate with vendors—such as furniture and paint companies—when decorating a space.
Interior designers and interior decorators have very different educational requirements. To become an interior designer, one will typically need to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, or their equivalent. Coursework should include subjects such as colour theory, materials and applications, computer-aided design (CAD), and more.
To become an interior decorator, however, formal training is not typically required. With that said, a degree in a relevant field may prove helpful—both for landing a job as an interior decorator and for performing the job itself.
While there are no credential requirements at the federal level in Canada or the United States, certain provinces and states require interior designers to be licensed and registered. This will typically involve passing an exam, and subsequently, earning a certificate through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).
As for interior decorators, there are no credential requirements at the federal, provincial, or state levels. With that said, there are organizations—namely, Certified Interior Decorators (C.I.D.)—that offer all types of courses, programs, and certifications for interior decorating.
Direct Interiors invites you to explore, create, and redefine your living spaces with a touch of luxury and a splash of creativity. Visit our showroom or connect with our designers to infuse your home with the magic of patterns and textures.
For more inspiration, visit our website to see our portfolio, read testimonials or get in touch.
“Rob and I just wanted to let you know how HAPPY HAPPY we are with Miriam. She is absolutely amazing – she truly knows what she is talking about and her EXPERT advise helps with the decisions and what pieces we want to order. She does care about her customers and making them have a very nice look in their home. Simply something that I thought would be nice to share.”
“My wife and I have been working with Kevin for over 3 years. He is attentive to every detail and has helped bring our vision into a reality. He also helped us select items for our office. Highly recommend him for his interior design services.”
“Absolutely love my experience at Direct Interiors. From the day I walked in, to the delivery of the furniture, everything went smoothly! I’ve been working with DeeDee. Her attention to details is second to none. I’ve had many ideas and pictures for my furniture and lighting selections. She was able to source pretty much every piece at unbeatable prices.”
“Excellent patient sales people full of knowledge and not pushy see Dee Dee she was great and got me exactly what I wanted and showed me spending more money is better long term having a piece that is a statement and built solid so you will have it in 20 years.”
“Best place for high quality furniture. Vanessa decorated my entire house, I couldn’t be more pleased!”
“Excellent prices and quality designer assistance. Bring several pics of the room and any samples of colours you can (eg wall paint, flooring, etc) … Many of the items come in a variety of wood types and stain colours so this is essential to help you chose.”
“Vanessa and her team are fantastic, their service and design expertise are phenomenal. “
“Great customer service, timely delivery, excellent quality”
– Nataile Froom
“Excellent service with Mani! Very helpful and pleasant”
– Anita B
“My salesperson, Lina, is the soul of patience. I am a decorator, and frequently bring my clients to Direct Interiors because of their wide and beautiful selection. For my most recent shopping excursion, Lina readily provided multiple quotes while my clients weighed all options. She researched alternatives for pieces that weren’t available. She was a fantastic resource as usual.
I have always found the sales and support staff at Direct to be very accommodating and service oriented. I highly recommend Direct Interiors to design professionals and anyone who is interested in creating a beautiful home.”
– Mary Bannet
“I worked directly with Kevin Chiu who is a great designer. He has excellent product knowledge and knows all the options available through various different brands and manufacturers. Kevin is very attentive, provides excellent customer service, and my experience from start to end was fantastic! I am very pleased with all the items we selected and I would highly recommend!!! “
– Anita Pastor
“Thanks so much for helping redecorate our home! Worked closely with Vanessa, Tessa and Katie who were all fantastic throughout the entire process. Very highly recommended!”