Difference Between Interior Decorator and Interior Designer

Interior Decorator

When it comes to home improvement, you often hear the terms interior decorator or interior designer. These terms are often used interchangeably, but did you know that these two are actually different from each other? Let’s learn and differentiate the two, if you are interested in a career in either one.

First, let’s take a look at what an interior decorator does. It is the creative professionals who work on the architectural side of a home. They have to design, sketch, plan under strict codes and safety standards. But for that, an interior designer needs to take classes to earn at least a degree, better yet a bachelor’s degree, or even a master’s degree. After that, they are still subject to licensing exams, which would allow them to work especially in certain states. Some interior designers who receive adequate training and experience can also work as certified architects.

An interior decorator, on the other hand, doesn’t need as much formal training or a license to work. Their educational requirements are less strict. Some decorators are self-taught as long as they have the right aesthetics to beautify a space, while others choose to take short training programs or a community college associate’s degree.

The nature of their work also varies in that an interior designer is primarily concerned with the appearance of a space. They can even change the floors or the cornice, but they can’t change standing structures. As their title implies, they only make cosmetic tweaks and improvements.

Interior designers work more closely with architects, although designers cannot change or move load-bearing structures, they can change non-load-bearing fixtures in a space.

For this they need a design, which can vary from a sketch to a blueprint that you can also render in 3D. They also work with other elements such as lighting, doors or windows. It is also your job to ensure that a design complies with safety regulations.

When an interior designer chooses the type of furniture to place in a room, the interior designer goes further because he knows how to design.

It is another thing for an interior designer to focus on one area, while an interior designer can work with multiple spaces.

These differences make it clear that interior designer and interior designer are two different professions. Although they are in the same stadium, they both play different games.

If interior decorating sounds like your dream career, here are 10 steps to get into this amazing job, based on the FabJob Guide to Becoming an Interior Decorator, published by FabJob.com:

  1. Train your eye

Since you’re interested in a career as an interior decorator, chances are you already have a “good eye” for design. In other words, if you look at a room, you can see what looks good and what could be improved. But no matter how naturally talented you are, you can “train your eye” by constantly studying what people consider good design.

Look for beautifully decorated interiors to look at. You can find countless examples of beautiful interiors in design magazines or in your own community by visiting show homes, open houses for sale in affluent neighborhoods, furniture showrooms, historic homes, art galleries, and the offices of professionals such as interior decorators and corporate lawyers.

  1. Get informed

Interior designers are expected to have knowledge of the various elements involved in decorating, such as: spatial planning (how to arrange furniture and other items in a particular space), use of color and light, furniture and interior styles. , Colonial or Southwest), floors, wall coverings, window coverings and use of accessories such as pillows and art. You can learn the basics of decorating through courses, books, websites, and even talking to retailers of products used in home decor (paint, rugs, lighting, hardware stores, etc.)

  1. Practice at home

Most interior decorators get their first decorating experience working on their own home. Even if you only have a small room to experiment with, you can gain hands-on experience with a variety of decorating techniques. This way you can quickly and cheaply change any room by simply rearranging the furniture or giving the walls a new color. Give it a try! Experiment with techniques you wouldn’t normally use. Think of this space as your “research lab” where you can try things out before recommending them to a client.

  1. Volunteer for your services

Your friends and family may have already asked you for decorating advice, but if they haven’t already asked you to decorate their homes or businesses, why not offer it?

Sometimes your family or friends want to redecorate something, for example when they are going through life changes such as: marriage or cohabitation (help them merge two houses into one), moving to a new house, giving birth (offer to decorate the room, baby shower), organizing a special event such as a wedding or dinner, starting a home business (you could furnish your new office), and selling a house (explain how a well-appointed home can attract buyers).

  1. Create a portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of samples of your work, plus any other documents that can help demonstrate why someone should hire you. The most important part of an interior designer’s portfolio is the photos of the interior they’ve decorated, so be sure to take “before” and “after” photos of any space you’re decorating. Pick 15-20 photos of work you’re proud of and put them in a photo album or portfolio.

Your portfolio may also include letters of recommendation and “design boards” (posters to which you’ve pasted photos and samples of materials such as fabrics, floors, wallpaper, etc.) to show clients what you recommend for decorating a room in particular.

  1. Find a job

Even if you are planning to start your own interior decorating business, you can learn about the business and meet potential clients by starting a job in the industry. Companies that hire people with decorating talent include home builders, furniture and household goods manufacturers, hotel and restaurant chains, retailers (furniture stores, hardware stores, antique dealers, the home, etc.), as well as decorating and interior design companies.

To get a job, you must prepare a resume that emphasizes your decorating experience, in addition to any other skills the employer is looking for, such as customer service or organizational skills.

  1. Start your own business

Many interior decorators dream of being their own boss. If that’s your goal, you need to decide on business matters like your company name and whether or not you want to include it. Free basic business advice is available from organizations such as the US Small Business Administration.

  1. Build supplier relationships

Vendors are companies that provide you with the products and services you need to decorate. This concerns manufacturers of furniture, wall coverings, floors, fabrics, etc., but also contractors engaged in painting, carpentry, installation, etc. When you shop as a professional interior designer, you are entitled to “designer discounts” of up to 50% on the normal retail price that can be passed on to customers.

While some decorators charge an hourly or flat rate, others charge “cost plus.” For example, if the cost of a product is 40% less than the normal retail price, you can charge the customer the cost plus 20%, saving the customer the other 20% they would pay to buy the same item in a store. † This opportunity to save money on decoration can convince customers to hire you.

  1. Get Customers

Your potential clients may include home builders, new home buyers, high net worth homeowners, professional couples, advertising agencies, art galleries, bed and breakfasts, boutiques, corporate headquarters, hotels, law firms, restaurants, spas, and many others.

One way to market your services is to network with professionals who can recommend businesses to you, such as real estate agents, architects, antique dealers, art dealers, home renovators, and business owners who sell home furnishings. Other marketing techniques include posting a web page with photos of the interiors you’ve decorated and getting publicity in the housing section of your local newspaper.

  1. Grow as a professional

Successful interior decorators continue to learn new decorating techniques. Once you’ve started a business, you can continue to develop your skills by attending trade shows, adorning magazines and books, and joining professional associations. You can also impress clients and gain an edge over your competition by getting certified as a professional interior decorator.

Recent Posts