Did you know that interior designers and interior decorators are not the same? Most people likely consider the terms interchangeable when there are actually many key differences between designers and decorators. It’s important to know what services a professional of each can provide so that you can enter the home-building and decorating process with the right people on your team.

“Interior designer” is a professional term for a person who has received at least a Bachelor’s degree in design or a related field; who has significant qualifying experience under their belt by working with another professional; who is certified as an interior designer by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification; and who is registered to be able to work in commercial spaces. They are extremely knowledgeable about the building process from start to finish and can provide guidance and support in many areas along the way including ADA guidelines, health and building codes, and project management.

Designers do not only play a role in the furnishing and accessorizing of a home once it has been completed; they are often involved from day one. An interior designer applies their training in the art and science of creating functional spaces that work best for the homeowner. Some design firms even include staff with backgrounds in psychology or human behavior to inform the architectural decisions made for the layout of a home. By working hand in hand with architects and hired contractors during the blueprinting and construction phases, the interior designer can ensure that each room in the house is not only beautiful, but also maximizes efficiency for the owners’ intended use.

On the other hand, being an interior decorator does not require formal training in the form of a college degree or official licensing. The profession does however require a keen eye for many different design styles, current trends, and effective use of space. They are able to create beautiful aesthetics in a room and can help maximize its efficiency while working with the confines of all its permanent structures (walls, appliances, etc.). You will work with a decorator to choose your preferred color schemes and discuss your personal style so that the decorator can provide you with many options for how best to achieve your desired look.

The question then becomes when to use a designer versus a decorator. If you are involved in the building process of your house from the start or are planning a major renovation, an interior designer will serve you best. They will be able to guide the contractors to achieve your dream home layout. Because of their intense involvement and professional degrees and certifications, an interior designer will cost much more than a decorator will. If, on the other hand, you are buying a house that is already built and aren’t planning to make any big changes to the layout of the permanent structure, an interior decorator should be able to help you rearrange and redecorate the space to your liking. A decorator may have as much or as limited involvement as you desire, so they are great for if you want some decorating advice on a budget.

The professional designers at West Coast Design Build are experts in all aspects of kitchen and bathroom design – call today to learn more about how we can help you.