Interior design involves everything about a renovation or remodeling project. It includes the safety and efficiency of the room as well as its comfort and practical use. Decoration covers most aspects after building is complete. It displays a homeowner’s personal style.
Interior designers and decorators fill different roles in home improvement. Here are several ways to distinguish the two, so you can pick the right pro for your needs.
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An interior designer helps property owners create a functional, enjoyable room. These pros consider the following details for each project:
- current trends
They act as a liaison between homeowners and contractors performing upgrades or remodels. They often work on commercial buildings, but many accept residential projects.
Interior Design and Décor
Décor describes additions made after construction, such as:
- color palette
- furniture selection and layout
- creative accents
Interior design focuses on the permanent aspects of the room or building, but many pros in this field also decorate. Since these are two separate tasks, it’s important to ask a pro if they offer decoration.
Decorators help homeowners select attractive elements and furnish a space to suit a theme. Although these pros may not have as much education in design, they have experience in the best ways to dress a room. For example, they may suggest changing furniture layout to improve flow and bring in more light.
Interior designers can also handle décor, but the reverse is not true. A decorator may work in a firm that provides comprehensive services, but many operate as independent contractors. It’s important to know that decorators legally can’t do design. Some pros use the terms interchangeably, and this should be a red flag.Find Designers or Decorators Near You
Career development for an interior designer involves:
- a formal training program (two-or-four-year)
- licensing required in certain states
- certifications like the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ)
Since interior decorators do not need formal education or licensing, see if they have:
- experience or training in a related field like fashion or fine art
- certification with Certified Interior Decorators International (CID)
The cost to hire an interior decorator or designer ranges from $2,000 to $11,000 for most homeowners’ projects. Designers usually cost more because of their higher level of education and training. They also can offer a larger variety of services.
The price of the project depends on the size of the space and the finishes you select. The cost of materials and furnishings may be about the same whether you hire a designer or decorator.
Interior designers and decorators work in a variety of jobs. Many pros run their own businesses. Others serve as employees of a larger firm.
Professionals in both fields often do most of their work on-site. Some may have a showroom or studio for clients to select colors and finishes.
- Unify a theme throughout the home
- Stage a house for sale
- Decorate a home office
- Convert a guest room into a nursery
- Select a new color scheme and furniture for multipurpose room
- Create a modern living room design
The cost to hire an architect runs about $5,200. They:
- Meet the needs of the entire building.
- Create the initial plans for new construction or remodeling
- Require more training and can cost more
- Analyze plans for the new design
- Consider the project’s safe construction and reasonable use
- May work with architects to create the blueprints
- Check that the pro has the right credentials
- Get three estimates on your project
- Follow up on references