What’s the Difference Between Interior Design & Interior Decorating?

Interior design, interior decorating … interior designer, interior decorator … are we just talking semantics here, or is there a real difference between interior design and interior decorating and what these professionals can do for you? Well, there is a very real difference and it’s important for homeowners considering a renovation project to understand who they need.

What's the Difference Between Interior Design and Interior Decorating?

Interior Design vs. Interior Decorating

While there’s no official definition of what interior design and interior decorating are, here are the generally agreed up on definitions:

Interior design: a multi-faceted profession that combines
the art and science of understanding how people live to
create and plan functional living spaces within a building


Interior decorating: finishing and furnishing a living space
to be aesthetically and visually pleasing

In a nutshell, an interior design professional can decorate, but an interior decorating professional won’t design.

How Do You Know Who to Call?

You’ve just spent the majority of the last five months of winter staring at the same tired old kitchen, bathrooms, living room and bedrooms. Now that spring is in the air, you’re ready to update some of those spaces, to bring in some bright new colours and to replace some of those furnishings that are starting to show their age.

Who are you going to call?

An easy way to decide who you need to call is to determine whether your home improvement project includes structure changes (like removing a wall) or rerouting utilities (like electrical or plumbing). If you need either of these types of services then you should be looking for an interior design professional.

If all you’re looking to do is put on a fresh coat of paint and get some new throw pillows, then you’re probably looking more for an interior decorating professional. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider a designer because most interior design companies also provide decorating services.

Another thing you should consider in deciding who to call is the complexity of your home design project. A designer will certainly help you design your new living space, but they’ll also help create a plan for getting it done quickly and efficiently. This will include coordinating the required trades to do what they need to do and in an order where no-one is standing around waiting for someone else to finish up.

So, if your project includes construction or changes to your utilities then you definitely need the help of a designer, but if the job is simply putting down some drop cloths to protect your carpet from a fresh coat of paint, you’re more looking for a decorator.

The Finishing Touches

Spring has sprung and this is one of the most popular times of the year for homeowners to get started on home design projects. But there’s often confusion in the difference between interior design and interior decorating, and which type of professional to contact. If your project includes structural changes or a lot of planning then you definitely need an interior design professional, but even if your needs are less, most interior design companies also offer decorating services.

If you’re thinking about a home or office renovation project this spring, let the professionals and Design Excellence take care of all of your design and decorating needs. Call us, email us, visit our design showroom or request a consultation and let’s get started!

Design Excellence :: Lead Interior Designer Jo-Anne Kupiec

About Design Excellence

Design Excellence is a full service interior design company providing a one-stop shopping experience for all your home and office renovation projects.

Designer Jo-Anne Kupiec brings decades of interior design experience and has many exceptionally happy clients. Check out our project portfolio to see some of the projects we’ve worked on, then get in touch and tell us about your dream renovation or redesign project!