Interior Designer or Interior Decorator?


In the UK there is no statutory regulation of the Interior Design industry and currently anyone can use the title interior designer regardless of experience or training. As this can be a little confusing when trying to appoint a professional, here’s a closer look at the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator.

Interior Designer

What does an Interior Designer do?

Interior designers are concerned with spatial planning and aim to improve not just the look, but the overall function of a space. They are often involved in a building project from the very beginning, working alongside architects and professional trades and most importantly have a thorough understanding of a client’s requirements, preferences and tastes.  Interior designers consider light, space, acoustics, ergonomics, materials and the performance of a space and should be familiar with the structural elements of a building as well as planning and building regulations. They are skilled in technical drawing, either by hand or using specialist industry software such as CAD.

Sketch Perspective

Interior Design Scheme

What credentials should an Interior Designer have? 

Most interior designers have formal training along with practical experience and all should have relevant insurance in place. Credible designers will be able to supply a ‘code of practice’ and ‘terms of engagement’ before commencement of a project and many are affiliated to a professional body such as the Institute of Interior Design.

interior design sourcing

Interior Decorator

What does an Interior Decorator do?

An interior decorator is focussed on the aesthetics of a space. Less likely to be involved in projects that require structural work such as renovations, interior decorators tend to be appointed at a later stage in a project for their expertise in colour, textiles & furnishings.

What credentials should an Interior Decorator have?

Interior decorators are more likely to have practical experience than formal training and should have a portfolio of work to demonstrate their skill at bringing a room together in line with a client brief.

Do bear in mind that many interior designers are also skilled interior decorators and stylists and many offer this service in addition to their interior design skills.

Others using ‘interiors’ in their title tend to be affiliated in some way with products that relate to your home, such as kitchen designers, retailers selling decorative items, curtain makers, cabinet makers and those selling specialist paints. They may also offer design services using their products.

So there you have it. When considering which professional to hire you are armed with a little background information to help you make the right choice for your project.  Do get in touch if you have an interiors project you would like to discuss as we offer a wide range of services.  We love talking interiors.

07870 357604