Futura Interiors

The World of Design at Your Fingertips

Let’s Differentiate the Terms Interior Designer and Interior Decorator By Ashlie Mauldin


Interior Designer: The art and science of understanding the consumer’s behavior to better utilize the space within or of the exterior walls to enhance and adhere to that behavior, through placement of furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E).

Interior Decorator: Is the art of comprehending and embracing the consumer’s personality and style with finishing touches of fashionable and beautiful décor that display the person or organization as well as their taste and image.

Different thought processes, techniques, regulations and concerns:

An Interior Designer, using the study of Ergonomics, must keep in mind the amount of space allotted, the interior/exterior structure of a building or room and how to properly place the FF&E, Ergonomics, as well as the mobility and usage of the space by the client. Whereas the Interior Decorator, dealing only with the interior, must incorporate color schemes, patterns, shapes and collaborations of décor that will complement the styles, surfaces, textures, dimensions and placements of the FF&E by the Interior Designer.

In addition, to date, though Interior Decorating displays an impressive level of style, taste, ability and understanding of the consumer as well as décor, there have not been any Governmental Regulations regarding the Interior Decorator and their field. This gives Decorators, typically dealing with residential, a clean open slate and free reign, post the Designers work. Apposing, working in the Interior Design field requires a degree of education, experience, licensing and advanced skill. The Designer, more than likely working with commercial, can expect to deal with safety issues, precautions, laws and building codes, prior to the Decorators tasks.

Though the two professions work alongside one another possessing complete differentiations within the design of a space, at times, the Interior Designer will as well, incorporate the decorating aspect utilizing décor following the FF&E just as the Decorator. However, the Interior Decorator typically does not dip into the Design tasks as those remain the responsibility of the Designer.

What the consumer should know:

If you are a homeowner with the desire to modify the style or appearance of the interior space within your home, then you are looking to work with an Interior Decorator. If you are looking to change the structure, functionality or size of a space within the interior or exterior of your home, you are seeking an Interior Designer.  In the event that you own a business or commercial structure, for interior as well as exterior renovation, you are in need of an Interior Designer.

For more information on Interior Design, visit www.futurainteriors.com.



  deCamville Design wrote @

I appreciate your differentiation of the two professions. I am a registered commercial interior designer, so I fall under the category that requires a license to practice, which protects the health, safety and welfare of the public. The two professions together provide such wonderful benefits to the clients!

  futurainteriors wrote @

It IS a common misconception! I appreciate YOUR appreciation! I agree, it’s like the main course and the side dishes – both play equal roles and the meal is not complete without that collaboration! (; How is that analogy? GREAT field to be in isn’t it?! -Ashlie

  deCamville Design wrote @

I do love our field! Thank you so very much for all the kind comments! I wish you all the best! Have a great evening 🙂

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