Interior Designer vs Interior Decorator

What is the difference between interior design and interior decorating?

In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design. An “interior decorator” is a much smaller subset of “interior designer” and is more focused on the selection of soft goods, furnishings and window treatments. A degree is required to be certified as an interior designer, while anyone could claim to be an interior decorator. 


Should I hire an interior decorator or interior designer?

That is the big question and we want to help you understand the difference between the two.

Residential interior design is a creative art form and science with understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a home, outdoor space or building.

An interior designer goes to school and receives a degree in design. This certification is needed to have the title of interior designer by their name. 

So depending on your project or space, if all you need is furnishings, art or accessories for your room, either an interior designer or a decorator can help you out. Anything more, an interior designer will be needed.

interior design vs interior decorating
interior design vs interior decorating

I'm starting to understand the difference now...

At the end of the day, an interior designer can decorate, but an interior decorator does not design.

Still confused who you should hire? Let one of our Denver based interior designers at Inside Stories help you understand the scope of your project and if you can hire a decorator or if a designer is needed. Feel free to reach out to us directly at (303) 783-9327 or email us at

More Questions?

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