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What is the difference between an interior designer and a decorator?

When it comes to designing or decorating your home or office, you may have wondered what the difference is between an interior designer and a decorator. Although they are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between the two professions. In this article, we will discuss the differences between an interior designer and a decorator in terms of their education, skills, and scope of work.

Education and Skills

Interior designers are professionals who have undergone extensive education and training to earn a degree in interior design or a related field. They have a thorough understanding of space planning, color theory, materials, and lighting design. They are also trained in building codes, safety regulations, and other technical aspects of interior design.

On the other hand, interior decorators usually have a degree in fine arts or a related field. They possess an excellent sense of color, texture, and aesthetics. They are proficient in arranging furniture, selecting accessories, and creating a cohesive look for a space. However, they typically lack the technical knowledge and skills required for designing a space from scratch.

Scope of Work

The scope of work for an interior designer is typically broader than that of an interior decorator. Interior designers can work on all types of spaces, including homes, offices, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and other commercial properties. They can handle projects that involve structural changes such as removing walls, adding windows, or changing the layout of a room. They also take into account the functionality and safety aspects of the space while designing.

Interior decorators, on the other hand, typically work on decorating existing spaces. They focus on selecting furniture, artwork, lighting, and decorative objects that match the style and personality of their clients. They work with what is existing rather than re-designing or creating something from scratch. They often collaborate with an interior designer to bring their client’s vision to life.


Although the work of interior designers and decorators differs, the two can collaborate to achieve a common goal. Interior designers can rely on decorators to help select the decorative finishes and furnishings for their projects. Interior decorators can depend on designers to help make crucial decisions on layouts, flow and remodeling. Collaborating with an interior decorator allows designers to focus on the design aspect of the project while the decorator makes sure the space is aesthetically pleasing.


In conclusion, interior designers and decorators have different scopes of work and skillsets. While interior designers have the education, skills, and technical knowledge to design a space from start to finish, interior decorators focus on decorating existing spaces. Interior designers can work on a variety of commercial and residential projects while decorators focus on creating a cohesive style and look for their clients. However, both interior designers and decorators can collaborate to create beautiful, functional interiors that meet their clients’ needs.


What is the highest position in interior design?

The field of interior design offers a variety of career paths, and there are several opportunities for progression and advancement within the industry. One of the most sought-after positions in interior design is that of a Senior Interior Architect.

Senior Interior Architects are considered the highest position in interior design because they are responsible for creating the design for complex and large-scale projects. Their expertise and experience are invaluable in coordinating the many elements involved in a construction or renovation project.

As a Senior Interior Architect, professionals may work in a variety of environments, from architectural firms and design studios to construction and engineering companies. They would play an essential role in designing and modifying blueprints, analyzing specifications, and visiting project sites to ensure success and completion.

To achieve this position, one must have completed rigorous educational and professional requirements. Most Senior Interior Architects hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in interior design or architecture, and many have substantial work experience in the field. Additionally, many companies require Senior Interior Architects to be licensed, which often involves passing a rigorous exam and completing extensive continuing education programs.

Becoming a Senior Interior Architect is a challenging and rewarding journey that requires dedication, hard work, and a passion for design. It is an extremely sought-after position and a pinnacle of success for many interior design professionals.

Can you make a living as an interior decorator?

Interior decorating is often seen as a glamorous and creative profession, but many people wonder if it is a viable way to make a living. While there is no one answer that applies to everyone, it is definitely possible to earn a good income as an interior decorator or designer. The median salary for interior designers in the United States is around $57,000 per year, which breaks down to a little over $27 per hour. However, this is just a rough estimation and the actual earnings can vary widely depending on a number of factors.

One of the biggest factors that can influence an interior decorator’s salary is location. Interior designers who work in big cities like New York or Los Angeles tend to earn more money than those who work in smaller towns or rural areas. This is because there is a higher demand for their services in cities with large populations and more wealth. For instance, the District of Columbia, Arkansas, and New York are currently the top three highest-paying states in the US for interior designers.

Another factor that can affect an interior decorator’s earnings is their level of experience. Experienced designers who have been working in the field for many years and have a strong portfolio will typically command higher prices than someone who is just starting out. It is also worth noting that interior designers who specialize in a specific type of design or niche (such as eco-friendly design or luxury homes) may be able to earn more money because they are offering a unique service.

In order to increase your earning potential as an interior decorator, it is important to build a strong network of clients and establish yourself as an expert in your field. This can be done by building a strong reputation and developing a portfolio of high-quality work that showcases your skills and style. Social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest can also be effective tools for promoting your work and reaching a wider audience.

Becoming an interior decorator can be a profitable and fulfilling career choice for those who have a passion for design and creativity. While the earnings may vary widely depending on location, experience, and specialization, there is definitely potential to make a good living in this field.