Fort Lauderdale Perla Lichi Design: Award Winning Interior Designer | Interior Designer Vs Interior Decorator: What’s the Difference?

People often think that an interior designer and an interior decorator are the same person and thus, use the ‘job title’ interchangeably. Both interior designer and interior decorator work in the decorating industry, but their activities and duties are different. The confusion is because of the similarity in job names.

Understanding the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator is necessary. The reason being that, if you don’t know the difference, you will never be able to figure out which one you need for your home project.

Let’s go over how they differ.

Job Role

The role of an interior designer is to create a living or work space according to their client’s needs. Interior designers design and renovate interiors from scratch including the virtual space layout, initial floor plans and final accent pieces. Their job is to create a functionally and aesthetically sound space that meets the requirements of the homeowner(s). Their design revolves around enhancing the resident’s quality of life and increasing the convenience while coordinating with the client.

An interior decorator’s job role is to decorate a space that already exists. Interior decorators are mainly concerned with adorning a space by adding decorative elements such as furnishings, lighting, wall paint and window treatments.


To become a professional interior designer, one needs to get formal training from a certified school. After graduating as a designer, they need to go through apprenticeship under an established interior designer before stepping into the industry as a professional. Their course is designed to develop analytical skills that include the study of colours and fabrics, space-planning, drawing and other computer-aided design training. Understanding of building codes and safety laws to plan a layout which is visually pleasing can also be part of the course.

There is no need for a formal training to become an interior decorator. They just need to have a general knowledge of aesthetics involving colours, textures, textiles and furniture to create a well-embellished space. Since they don’t take part in renovations, they don’t need to have knowledge of building codes and safety laws. They simply focus on placing details like furniture and accessories inside a specified space.

Areas of Work

An interior designer works closely with both the architect and the contractor of the building to make sure that the project is executed according to what the client wants. He/she is actively involved in planning room layouts as well as designing bedroom, kitchen and bathroom.

The interior decorators don’t work with the architect or the contractor. They come aboard after the structural work is completed. They are actively involved in deciding the colour scheme, furniture style and choice of accessories. They’re often hired for an existing space that needs to be updated or renovated.

Hopefully, this post will help you in deciding whether you should hire an interior designer or an interior decorator. If you’re starting a new project or want to make some structural changes in your existing space, then hiring an interior designer will be a good choice. On the contrary, if you want to give a new look to your residential or commercial space without any structural changes, then an interior decorator is your best bet.