The role of the interior designer is often confused with the role of the interior decorator. Due to the specialized nature of the interior designers profession, the specifics of their job are not always properly understood by individuals outside of the industry. In an attempt to explain the difference between the designer and the decorator, start by pointing out the obvious differences between a general practitioner and a surgeon. With this, it becomes easier to show that the interior designer and decorator differ on three fundamental levels including; academic qualifications, professional qualifications and job description.
The Difference Between The Academic Qualifications of An Interior Designer And A Decorator.
Both the interior designer and the decorator are responsible for creating aesthetically beautiful and functional spaces. The manner in which they gain the qualifications to achieve this is where they usually differ. The aforementioned is required to attend an accredited college or university and to complete a four year degree. Often they will go on to further post-graduate studies after completing this degree, whilst working and gaining experience.
A decorator on the other hand might obtain their knowledge on the job, this type of training can allow them to hone their natural abilities whilst earning an income. This is the most common option because there is no formal academic qualifications required of an interior decorator. In recent years however, contemporary decorators are choosing to attend vocational or technical colleges that offer interior decoration courses. These courses can take anywhere from six weeks, to two years to complete.
The result of these differing academic qualifications has meant that, both these professionals are knowledgeable and well versed in creating and selecting styles, colors, finishes and so forth for a room; however the Interior designers knowledge goes further to include codes of construction and using advanced computer aided design (CAD) just to name a few.
The Difference Between The Professional Qualifications of An Interior Designer And A Decorator.
In most states, interior designers must be certified to legitimately market their services. This certification is conferred by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) , and as detailed on the website there are strict educational requirements that must be met for a candidate to even qualify for the testing. Once a designer has been certified by the NCIQD they can then apply for professional membership to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The ASID sets codes of conduct and business practices that members must abide by to maintain their membership.
Although there are several interior decorating associations, the membership requirements are no where near as stringent as those of interior designers.
The Difference Between The Job Description of An Interior Designer And A Decorator.
As mentioned earlier both the designer and decorator are concerned with creating an aesthetic and functional space; both will use furniture, soft furnishings, paint colors and other design techniques to achieve this. The interior designers work is more comprehensive however, because they may undertake significant renovations that involve taking the space down to their bare bones and building it back up again. The decorator never makes any structural changes to the building, all the changes they make are more superficial and applied only to the contents of the building.
Given the vast difference between the qualifications, accreditation and job descriptions of the interior designer and the decorator, it is evident that these two job titles are not synonymous with one another.