Interior Decorator vs. Interior Designer. What's The Difference?

If you're looking for some help with changes to your home, first you need to know the difference between the two very closely linked professions of interior decorating and interior design.


Via Amber Interiors


What's the difference and which service do you require?

An interior designer is someone who is hired to design a space and an interior decorator is someone who is hired to furnish a space. If you're renovating or building and need guidance on structural elements such as moving walls or kitchen design, you need an interior designer. If you're after guidance on colour, furnishings, layout and functionality, you need an interior decorator.


Let's break it down:


Interior Decorating

Decorators are often brought in after the construction or remodelling is complete to furnish the house and to add the final touches. They can also refresh existing spaces that need to be updated or redone, helping with paint and material selections. They work with clients to establish their likes, dislikes, colour preferences, and budget. This includes selecting wallpapers, fabric, window treatments, lighting, furniture, rugs, and accessories to create an inspiring atmosphere. Decorators don't generally work with any contractors or architects, however, they do work with furniture makers, upholsterers, and other industry professionals.


Interior Design

Clients usually hire an interior designer at the start of a construction project. Designers make frequent site visits and participate in the construction process, partnering with architects and builders to help develop floor plans, electrical and plumbing plans, plus more. In addition to having an eye for design, interior designers understand renovation and construction processes. Depending on the designer, they can also serve as an interior decorator too, being involved in the entire process from the initial drawings to placing the last accessory.



When hiring a design professional, begin with clearly understanding your own needs.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself:

  • Do you need someone to manage the entire project and to assist with the build and aesthetics? Consider hiring an interior designer.

  • Are you hoping to update one room in your home and are looking for someone to make your design visions come to life? Perhaps working with an interior decorator is the best choice.

  • Are structural changes needed, e.g. removing a wall, moving plumbing or wiring around, or adding new windows or doors? An interior designer is the better choice.

  • Do you need help determining your style, or creating a cohesive space with a functional furniture layout? This is a design project for an interior decorator.


What does deià do?

Although we are qualified in interior design, we specialise in interior decorating, focusing on the furnishing and finishing touches within the home. We'll bring everything together to form one stylish look, from the material of the floor to the knick-knacks on the bookcase. We know what works together and we can transform the look and functionality of a space to suit your needs. If you think interior decorating is the right service for you get in touch for a complimentary design consultation. We would love to hear from you!