Perhaps you don’t have the time or the flair for re-doing your living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, or your business’s showroom and you’re ready to hire a creative professional. Do you look for an interior designer or an interior decorator? For that matter, do they both do the same thing and does it matter who you hire?

In the world of design and decorating, the services performed are not the same. While a decorator might have immense experience and expertise in selecting colors, furniture, accents and textures that bring out the true you, a designer can do the same thing. However, a designer often has creative talent for working with the architectural structures within a building or a living space that a decorator doesn’t.

If all you want to do is have a professional help you pick out a new color scheme for your fabrics and painted walls, then you’re probably better off calling in an interior decorator.

On the other hand, even though you might think that all you want to do is change the colors and fabrics in a room, an interior designer can look at a space and see so many more possibilities, that you’d never have dreamed imaginable if you hadn’t called him in and talked to him in your home or office.

Another comparison to help you understand the difference between a designer and a decorator would be comparing a neurosurgeon with a pediatrician. Although both professionals are involved in the field of medicine, their skill sets are quite focused to perform their services.

According to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), a designer is more focused on the total picture of the space, rather than just with visual or ambient enhancements.

Interior designers have a flair for knowing when a remodel will improve and enlarge the space, which requires a thorough knowledge of wall configurations, plumbing, electrical work, lighting, hiring construction crews, and selecting quality building materials and fixtures, along with knowing how to restructure a room or several rooms. That’s why interior designers require specific training and the actual experience of design projects for a multitude of situations and environments.

In addition, interior decorators are often more focused on selecting fabrics, finishes, furnishings, accessories, and lighting. Therefore, if you’d like to completely re-do your living room or family room and then expand your living space by adding a wall for a home office, then you’ll want to hire an interior designer. However, if you just want to make a few subtle changes and add texture or murals to walls, then your money would be better spent on an interior decorator.

Now that you know the difference between a designer and a decorator, you should not feel intimidated by the professionals who will help you redefine and redesign your living space. Doing your research, and acquiring the knowledge to make a wise buying decision is half the battle.

Next, you will want to interview two or three interior designers to see if your concepts and budget are in alignment with the professional who will eventually handle the project for you.

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