The Difference Between Interior Design and Interior Decorating
Interior design students are sometimes referred to as interior decorators, when in reality, the two professions share little in common. It's similar to how some people confuse the difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist, or an optometrist and a opthamologist. There are a number of differences between the two professions.
The biggest difference is that an interior designer spends more time in school than an interior decorator. An interior decorator can begin working after receiving a two-year associate's degree from a community college. This short program can also be done through a distance or correspondence school. In some cases, the individual will go right from high school to working in an interior design firm without any education or formal training.
An interior designer goes through a four-year program and receives a bachelor's degree. Only after they receive this degree can they work as a designer or call themselves one. Many designers will also go onto graduate school and finish another two years of school. There are even some employers who will not hire an individual as a designer unless they have an advanced degree completed.
Interior decorators are concerned only with the look or appearance of a building or space. The basis of the profession is that these individuals can only change the aesthetics of a room. They can change the walls, the floors and add decorative elements to the room. The one thing they cannot do is remove or alter any standing structure. For example, a load-bearing wall cannot be removed by an interior decorator or moved to another area.
Interior designers on the other hand have experience in working with architecture. While only architects can alter load-bearing structures, interior designers can move non-load-bearing elements that do not affect the structural foundations and stability of a building. In addition they are focused on anything within a given area of space. The interior designer handles furniture, accessories, lighting and even exterior elements like windows and doors. An interior decorator doesn't work with those exterior features of the building.
One way to look at it is that an interior designer can change the architecture of a building, whereas an interior designer is only concerned with the interior aesthetics. Design students spend a good portion of their time learning about architecture and the structure of a building. They are more concerned with how the entire space looks rather than just the interior. These designers can also change the roof of the building to add skylights or add exposed wood beams, but since these are architectural elements, an interior decorator cannot do the same thing.
Another difference between the two professions is that interior designers often specialize in one specific area while decorators work in all areas. A designer might focus on only commercial or retail space or handle only the exterior of a building. A decorator will work in all areas within a given building or space.
These differences make it clear that interior decorating and interior design are two very different fields. Those who want something more complex in nature should focus on learning more about interior design.
Schools Offering Training Programs in Interior Design
- A private, accredited distance learning college based in Norcross, Georgia founded in 1987.
- Ensures that service members, their spouses and veterans can maximize their military education benefits.
- Gives students the option to customize monthly payments to fit their budgets and lifestyle.
- Offers all-inclusive tuition: textbooks, learning materials, and academic support are covered in the cost.
- Allows alumni to enroll in any future program at a reduced rate.
- Online Courses
- Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
- Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
- Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
- Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
- Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
- Flexible Scheduling
- Financial Aid
- Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
- Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
- Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
- Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
- Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
- Online Courses
- Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
- Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
- Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
- Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
- Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
- Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
- 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
- Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
- Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
- Online Courses
- Financial Aid
- Transferable Credits
Latest Interior Design Articles & News
Second designer chosen for home decor competition
Teenlike.com, an ongoing online competition for young home decor designers, announced its second winner. Brandon Dover of Apply Valley, California, was this year's winner, as he created an abstract pen and inkwork design for a bedspread.
Interior design company sweeps IDEA awards
A Richmond, Virginia, based design firm, Visible Proof, has garnered many of the top honors during the IDEA awards luncheon.