Interior Designer or Interior Decorator - Whom Do You Need?
Since the time I started my practice, I’ve noticed that there is a lot of confusion between the roles of an architect, an interior designer and an interior decorator. Clients often have called me designer, interior decorator or at times even an architect!
It is not uncommon for people to use these terms interchangeably without realising that they are different professions that require different skill sets.
A simple way to put it is - if you have a piece of land, an architect designs and helps create an outer shell or structure. An interior designer creates functional spaces within the structure and an interior decorator only styles a space.
While there may be some similarities between an interior designer and an interior decorator, there are distinct differences as well. Understanding the differences can help you decide whose services you really need for your home.
Who they are:Interior designers create functional spaces within a structure or unit by applying technical and creative solutions.
Interior designers coordinate with the shell of the building as designed by an architect. They are concerned with every aspect of the way interior spaces are laid out, allocated and used. An interior designer might (or might not) break down the entire internal structure built-up, make minor structural changes and enhance the aesthetics of a space, like design and add furniture.
What are their skill sets:A good interior designer:
- Has a vision to see potential in outdated or empty spaces.
- Channelizes the process flow in a systematic and creative way while building coherence between the client’s preferences and available space.
- Understands spatial balance and uses his/her design abilities to boost a space’s form and function. For example, suggests breaking down a wall between two rooms to create more space depending on client’s requirement or widens the window space to allow more light in.
- Knows how to merge aesthetics and the utilitarian aspect of a space.
- Can effectively draw and sketch his/her vision manually and by using the right software.
- Has in-depth knowledge about materials, brands and trends.
- Responsibly and seamlessly manages the entire project within a given time frame.
- Knows how to effectively communicate what works or what does not work, and why.
Interior design is a rigorous course of study that includes studying design in considerable detail.In a nutshell, an interior designer is one part artist, one part business professional, one part circus ringmaster. She/he is more than just a face with an eye for beauty.
Skill similarities between Interior decorators and Interior designers
Both interior designers and interior decorators need to have a vision to see potential in empty or outdated spaces and must be able to effectively showcase their creativity. Knowledge of materials, brands and trends and effective communication skills are a must for both professions.
There are, however, certain distinct differences between the two professions:
Who They Are: Interior decorators furnish or adorn an available space with fashionable or beautiful things.
What Are their Skill sets
A good interior decorator:
- Has the knowledge of the basic principles of design.
- Knows how to place the elements of a space so that there is unity among the elements.
- Knows how to lay emphasis on signature pieces (for example, if one needs to focus on a beautiful painting, an interior decorator arranges the other elements in such a way that the painting is celebrated).
- Decorates a space in such a way that it still reflects the personality of the homeowner.
One does not need any special qualifications or education to be an interior decorator. A person who has a good eye for art, colours, furnishings and knows how to aesthetically place them to enliven a space can be an interior decorator.
An interior designer can also help with interior decoration. However, unlike an interior designer, an interior decorator does not have the technical knowledge about how to make a space functional.
In simple terms, an interior decorator is an artist who transforms or enhances the look of a space by weaving a story between different elements.
Interior designer or decorator, whom do I need?Before you make a hiring decision, ask yourself the following questions:
If you feel that your space just needs a fresh and appealing look, then you need only an interior decorator. However, if you’re looking to for both, a functional and aesthetic makeover, you need an interior designer.
At StudioRKD, we focus on the sensorial and tangible elements of a framework to craft expressive, evolving and workable designs. Whether you’re looking at redefining form and function or just need to style your space, we can partner with you to create bespoke experiences.