An interior designer is usually involved from a very starting stage with a building project from the beginning, perhaps even working with the architect. His job is to help create functional interior space by understanding how the inhabitants will use each room. He may consider light, sound and other design aspects also the structural considerations as well. An Interior Designer deal with the form and function of a house and work with creating a pleasing environment through interior space designing and planning. They can reconfigure a space to make it more functional. They are the main link between the Decorator and the Architect. They can design the lighting and/or light fixtures, design and specify the plumbing fixtures, hardware, colors, and supervise the fabrication of custom furnishings, as well as monitor and manage the construction and installation of the design. They should be professionally trained and should be licensed.
An interior decorator is not involved with the design of the house/building or the layout form of the interior space. He is focused entirely on the furniture, colors, textiles and textures of a room. His job is to capture the personality and style of the residents and express it in their space with the apt materials. An interior decorator is mainly preoccupied with interior finishes and existing surfaces- they deal with embellishment and enhancement. They typically work with surface decorations such as paint, wallpaper, fabrics, furnishings, lighting, carpets, and rugs. They work with style and mood. They do not move walls or add any structural change of the space, but will help beautify a space when no structural change is needed. No need for any formal education to be an Interior Decorator.
Hiring a Designer or a Decorator
Who you should hire will depend on your needs. If structural changes are desired then generally an Interior Designer would be the better choice. They can help plan for significant structural changes and help make them happen. On the other hand, if there are no structural changes needed but you need help deciding on a style; choosing wallpaper, paint, and furnishings; picking window treatments, and choosing lighting and accessories, an Interior Decorator will probably do the trick. They know what works together and can transform a room to suit the clients' needs and desires, without doing any technical work. At the end making the right decision for fulfilling your purpose would be the aim.