What Is Interior Decorating?

Although people often think interior decorating and interior design will be the same, they are not. Interior decorators pick the paint color for your wall, while interior designers may knock it down to alter the structure of the room. Interior decorating deals with the appearance and feel of a room by adding accessories such as curtains and rugs; interior designers create the best use of the space.

Job Description

Interior decorating concentrates on the aesthetics of a room –the best way to pair an open floor plan with complementary decor and furniture accents, or create atmosphere or mood with lighting or wall sconces.


Interior decorating”dresses” an existing space. It begins with a broad concept, such as postmodern, retro or traditional aesthetics, and works in the particulars of the style. An interior designer typically stays with a single design style from start to finish to create continuity in a space, and works together with you on color choice, textures and patterns you want but that are consistent with the overall style concept. Redecorating a room or upgrading an outdated style falls under the heading of interior decorating, or usage of the existing space; new construction patterns and building permits are not in the interior designer’s toolkit.

Style Choice

A decorator may decide to use refined art deco elements to emphasize the sophistication of your living room, or to go retro with uber-cool, shabby chic accents. He’ll supply samples of design features to help you pick. Interior decorating brings from diverse styles and trends and brings them together to express your personal style.


You give a budget, and also a fantastic decorator stays on course. She keeps you on budget and communicates with you prior to making purchases that could break your expense account. Along with having artistic flair, the educated decorator should have financial savvy–understanding to devote more money to, say, the antique hutch that will grow to be the room’s focal point and less on more inconspicuous decor.


The interior decorating industry dovetails nicely with residential projects: large industrial jobs seldom predict on interior decorators to update a lobby or conference hall. An interior designer usually helps a homeowner using a complete renovation, or even a minor update like adding”green” elements to a room–bamboo or cork flooring, or recycled glass tiles–to freshen the appearance of an already well-decorated space.

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