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Difference between Interior Design and Interior Decoration

Often the terms interior designing and interior decoration are used interchangeably but that is not true. The fundamental difference between the interior design and interior decoration is in their functions. While an interior designer is supposed to make a safe and friendly interior environment from scratch for the occupants, an interior decorator just adds decorative elements to an already existing space.

Interior designing and interior decoration are not the same and both professions require different sets of skills and knowledge.

Interior Design

Interior designers have to understand different elements of the space and manipulate the appearance of it after considering physical factors like shape and volume of the rooms
They also have to consider the behavior and needs of the occupants living there and design the best space for them.
It is also important for interior designers to know the building codes in the region and follow them accordingly. Therefore, in most part of the world, an interior designer needs to have a license to practice.

Interior Decoration

An interior decorator is required to furnish a space and add decorative elements to embellish the room.
Unlike interior designer, an interior decorator needn’t formal education or license.
However, an interior decorator needs to have a clear understanding of different styles interior designing and architecture and a keen eye for the aesthetics.


Interior designing is a part of the architecture and both have almost same principles. The overall function of interior designing is to add value to space by enhancing usability, functionality, safety and aesthetic appearance of the space.
When it comes to interior decoration, no structural changes are made to the interior.

Interior Design

The primary role of interior designers is to manipulate the space to make it better fit for the occupants. They consider what all are the uses of the space and how the occupants would use them.
Therefore, interior designers have to design a space that is appropriate for the behavior and requirements of the occupants. The design is supposed to make the life of occupants easier. It is the duty of the interior designer to incorporate maximum utility and functionality into space without cluttering the room.


Interior designer has to make space convenient and accessible for all occupants. The accessibility is very closely related to the functionality. Accessibility is all about ensuring a great experience for all occupants regardless of their weaknesses.
There might be occupants with physical disabilities in a house. It is also important to make the space appropriate for them while designing the interior of a house.
A great design should satisfy the unique needs of all users and help them use it without additional help. When it comes to the interior designing also, it’s true.
If there are old people in houses, it is also important to consider their life in the house while designing the rooms. The design of the rooms shouldn’t further challenge the old people or physically challenged ones in a house. Therefore, a good interior designing is supposed to make the space as accessible as possible for all occupants.


Interior designers are also supposed to ensure the safety standards. They consider the safety of occupants while choosing different materials, windows, and door. They also have to take care of any possible dangers from the electric equipment and circuit.


The aesthetics of the place is also an important factor determining the value of a space. The beauty of a space improves the confidence of the occupants. The design should also give importance to make space attractive along with improving functionality and accessibility.

Interior Decoration

Most of the influential interior designers today believe that the functionality and accessibility of the space are important than beauty. Therefore, interior designers now give less importance to make a space attractive. When it comes to the interior decorator, aesthetics is the most important factor and the primary role of an interior decorator is to improve the style and beauty of the space.


The role of an interior decorator and interior designer is different from the scope of both professions varies greatly. Since the scope of interior decoration is smaller, the role of interior decorators is limited. The role of an interior decorator is to consult the clients with the best furniture and decorative elements for them to improve the beauty of the space.

Interior Designer

Interior designers have to create the drawing and 3D models of the proposed design. The drawing includes floor plan, elevations, and an electrical circuit. The project management also becomes a part of the jobs of an interior designer due to the complexity of the works they handle.
An interior designer is also expected to deal with product and material selection required for the project. The quality and safety standards and taste of the clients are considered while selecting the products.

Interior Decorator

Interior designers make the space attractive by choosing right furniture and art objects and accent elements.
It also includes picking the color of the paint and other elements in a room.
It also includes arranging movable objects in a room to refresh the room or make it more attractive.

Types of Projects

The type of projects handles by the interior designers and decorators are entirely different due to the difference in scope of each profession.

Interior Designer

An interior designer develops useable interior from raw space for residential properties, office, retails shops and showrooms and other types of building.
Sometimes, interior designers also manage complete revamp or renovation of the interior.
These projects may be limited to one or two elements like flooring or ceiling or top to bottom works.

Interior Decorator

Interior decorator adds value to the already existing space by adding some more elements.
This is done to refresh the property for further use or for resale.
Sometimes, interior decoration is done after an interior renovation is done by an interior designer.

It is obvious that interior designers are paid higher than interior decorators when it comes to their salary.
An interior designer can do what do you as an interior decorator but interior decorators are not allowed to do interior designing. As mentioned earlier, an interior decorator is not supposed to make any structural changes to space. It can only be done during the initial interior designing or interior renovation.

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Post Author: zenithinterior