There is a great tendency for people to consider interior design and interior decorating as one and the same. Although the two disciplines are different in certain aspects, many people tend to use the term interior design and interior decorating interchangeably.

Distinctions in Similarity

The truth is, their similarity is also where they exhibit their major differences. It would be useful for both existing homeowners and prospective homeowners to know these differences to enable them to determine whether to engage an interior design consultant or interior decorator based on what they want to do with their houses.

The Aspect of Purpose

Every homeowner always aims to ultimately end up with a beautiful house with equally beautiful interiors. The aspect of beauty, however, is seen differently from the points of view of a decorator and an interior design practitioner. For an interior decorator, his role is simply to dress up or spruce up a building interior with such processes and items like painting, floor covering, fine materials for furniture and fixtures, decors and other decorative pieces. An interior decorator does not involve himself with rigorous activities such as moving and removing walls or planning for installations of services for utility or security. In short, a decorator’s overall aim is to enhance the interior look of the house.

Interior Design Purpose and Scope

On the other hand, interior design practitioners punctuate their design work with intents not only to achieving aesthetics but also space use efficiency, functionality, cost effectiveness and flow. They make sure that their interior design proposal takes into consideration how interior spaces are allocated, laid out and put to efficient use. Even without cue from client, practitioners of interior design pursue their craft like it is natural for them to work towards creating an efficient, comfortable, functional and a beautiful home.

This is not surprising because the interior designer goes through a rigorous education process that requires the completion of an academic preparation, acquisition of training and passing of a licensure examination before being registered as an interior design practitioner.

Education and Training; Temporary Nature

An interior decorator does not need to complete a formal academic course since the work involved is mainly to whip up a room or space into a desired look or appearance, as in preparing for an occasion such as a wedding or birthday. In such events where the need for space change is short-term or temporary in nature, an interior decorator is the suitable consultant to engage. You may expect that the professional fees that would be charged by the interior decorator would be lesser than what an interior design professional would bill.

Beyond Aesthetics

When the need for change in the interior goes beyond aesthetics, requiring consideration and analysis of space and processes for efficiency, functionality, ease of movement and flow, the proper person to engage is the interior design professional. Having worked with other trade consultants such as the architect, the engineers and the contractor, the interior design practitioner possesses the competence to recommend what needs to be done for you –  the owner, to achieve what you want of your interior, even if it means moving or removing existing walls or columns. Consequently, expect that your interior design specialist to be charging a higher fee. But what is a little higher fee when it is equally valued in service?