Interior Design and Interior Decorating: The Differences

office interior design

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Most of the time, people think that interior design and interior decorating are one and the same. What most people do not know is that interior design and interior decorating are two DIFFERENT things. Even though they have similarities, the difference between interior designing and interior decorating will be explained in this article.


One should go to school if one wants to be an interior designer – this is a profession that needs formal education and training. Subjects taken during this course include studying colors and fabrics, drawing, space planning, furniture design, architecture, and CAD (computer-aided design) among others. When one graduates from interior designing, he or she often goes to a registered and established interior designer to work as an apprentice before creating their own companies to become more exposed in the field. One of the most in-demand projects interior designers work on nowadays is office interior design.

On the other hand, it won’t require any formal training to become an interior decorator. This is because in interior decorating the primary focal point is simply aesthetics. Renovations, structural planning and space planning are not a part of an interior decorators’ job. They come in once these parts are done and they will just work on the look of the space.


To become a professional interior designer, it is required to pass an exam and become registered with a governing council before the professional designer status becomes official. This is true in most states and provinces. The governing council who will be requiring the exam depends on what country, state, or province the professional is in.

Interior decorating doesn’t require any exams or registration. However, having a vast knowledge on interior decorating a well as interior designing is encouraged and advantageous. There are many programs and courses available both online and offline. These courses often touch on subjects like colors and fabrics, room layouts, furniture styles, and space planning among others.

What They Do

Interior designers focus not just on how the space look but they will also see to it that the space is comfortable, and highly functional. Most of the time, designers focus on spatial planning as well as tackle on the design and interior renovations and make improvements if they see it fit. They start working right from the initial floor plans down to the very last and smallest detail.

Decorators focus on making a beautiful space even more beautiful. They work closely with clients when it comes to deciding which style to follow, color schemes, furniture purchasing, and accessories.

People They Work With

The ones that interior designers work closely are the architects and contractors. Their usual projects include office interior design, residential homes, hotel interior and others.

Interior decorators do not work with architects or contractors in general because decorators come in after the interior designer’s work is done. However, they are very pivotal to professionals such as furniture makers, upholsterers, and industry professionals.

These are the differences between interior designing and interior decorating. Just remember, when you need someone to plan your space, call an interior designer; when you need someone to spruce the look of your space, hire an interior designer.

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Peng Hsueh

Peng Hsueh

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    27th June 2015 | AdellAwx70457 says: Reply
    bookmarked!!, I love your website!
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      28th June 2015 | admin says: Reply
      thanks AdellAwx70457 :)

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