Who To Hire

Designer or Decorator

One Thinks Fabrics and Colors While
The Other Does Too, PLUS Legos® and Hard Hats

Designer or Decorator? You say potato, I say po-tah-toe.

Today, the terms “interior designer” and “interior decorator” are used interchangeably, but these are two very different professions and are not to be confused with each other.

The critical differences are interior designers create functional spaces within a building, protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Whereas, a decorator furnishes or adorns a room(s) creating a visually pleasing space for a homeowner to relax or play in.

Designers must adhere to code and regulatory requirements and encourage the principles of environmental sustainability.


Interior designers are more specialized and must have 4 years of accredited training in either Interior Architecture or Interior Design, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree.

They have completed internships under the supervision of licensed professionals, gaining real-world experience.

Designers also have a vast knowledge of the History of Art, Architecture, Furniture and Design, putting historical context into your space or building because they studied all influential periods, styles, trends, motifs, etc.

Mastering skills in sketching, drafting, modeling, and rendering are valuable to any contractor who has been called into your remodel or new construction project.

Also, a certain number of Continuing Education Units are required each year for state licensing and/or organizational membership requirements.

Licenses & Certifications

In rounding out a professionally qualified designer is the one who holds the prestigious NCIDQ Certificate which requires passing a rigorous 2-day exam, demonstrating their experience and qualifications.

Several U.S. states and Canadian provinces have passed laws requiring the licensing or registering of designers, whereas decorators are not expected nor required to have formal training or licensure.


Many interior designers and allied members belong to the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

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