Difference between an Interior Designer and Interior Decorator

Why it is important to hire a Certified Interior Designer?

Most people think that an Interior Designer and Interior Decorator is the same thing. Although the two professions have many similarities, they also have many important differences.
The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) defines an interior designer as one who “is professionally trained to create a functional and quality interior environment. Qualified through education, experience and examination, a professional designer can identify, research and creatively resolve issues and lead to a healthy, safe and comfortable physical environment.”
Interior Decorators are primarily concerned about the aesthetics of a space. Paint colors, wallpaper, fabrics, drapery, etc. are the main focus of decorating. Interior designers are also concerned with these elements, but we also take into consideration the safety, functionality and efficiency of the product we are specifying for a space.  For example, we will specify a certain type of flooring that is aesthetically pleasing but will also take into account the acoustic quality of the material or the slip resistance, etc.
One of the most critical differences between interior designers and interior decorators is education. Interior Designers have a degree from a 4 year program in Interior Design.  Interior design education involves extensive study of building codes, space planning, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), emergency egress, fire safety, acoustics, etc.  There are no formal educational requirements to call yourself an interior decorator.  Also, in order to be a Certified Interior Designer, a designer must pass the NCIDQ exam (National Council for Interior Design Qualification).This licensing certifies that the designer is a qualified professional who has the background and schooling required to make complex decisions about interior spaces. In several states interior designers are required to have a license. In Pennsylvania, interior designers are not required to have a license. Decorators can call themselves designers in Pennsylvania, which is why it is so important to know the difference between the two!
Our clients at Semerjian Interiors are confident that they are working with a Certified Interior Designer that has the highest level of education and experience. Whether your project is a simple “decorating” project or a complete interior renovation, you can be assured that Semerjian Interiors will provide the highest level of quality and aesthetics in designing your dream space.


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