That moment someone calls me a decorator,  forgetting that I am first a trained Architect and then happen to be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to acquire the required training so as to become a certified professional in the field of Interior Design. I beg your pardon, I am an Interior Designer and the design of interior spaces is my profession.

Another concerned party, a designer I deeply respect  once had a similar annotation as a decorator. She had the following conversation:

The most ANNOYING thing you can say to someone pursuing their master’s in Interior Design is “Oh that’s cool, you can decorate my house then!” Besides showing the vast amount of ignorance that you possess, just know that you aren’t being funny or original. So, please stop it.


The majority of Interior Designers. – Onii Fetta

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I’m not here to attack anyone, but merely to educate and inspire, hoping everyone gets to understand and appreciate the roles an Interior Designer play in the construction industry.

A recent clarification I stumbled up on goes thus:

The titles “interior designer” and “interior decorator” and the duties those jobs entail can be confusing. However, designers and decorators are part of two different occupational groups. While both perform decorating tasks, those tasks make up only part of an interior designer’s duties, but most of a decorator’s duties. In addition to decorating, designers are responsible for designing and planning the interior space based on aesthetic, functional and security considerations. They have to draw up plans, make sketches, estimate costs, present specifications, supervise the work, etc. They are often part of a multidisciplinary team that includes members of other occupations, such as engineers, architects and builders, whereas decorators basically work in the retail furniture, building materials and home accessories sector. They are part of the retail salespersons and sales clerk occupational group.

The duties performed by designers therefore require many more skills. The usual requirement for the occupation is completion of a three-year college program or a bachelor’s degree, whereas the interior decorating program that leads to jobs as a decorator is a year-and-a-half (1,800 hours) program at the high school level. So you see, the ignorance many display when it comes to an interior designers role has been a long time coming.

You will find below common ways a designers role is mismatched with that of a decorator and vice-versa. Their approach at executing projects, choice of words, and other factors make them easily recognizable.


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