Being an interior designer seems like a dream job for many and many. Or at least that makes me think about all the questions I get about it. That is why today I present this article to you to clear up doubts, something that was pending a long time ago.
I really hesitated to make this note because I don’t feel that I am an authority on the subject. There are still things I’m trying to figure out.
I simply want to share with you my experience in this regard, because it can be useful for those who want to pursue interior design but are not sure.
Decorator or interior designer?
They are certainly not the same and the main difference is the studies.
To be an interior designer you need a degree (although there are many who call themselves designers without having one, I know). An interior designer focuses on making improvements that change the quality of life of the inhabitants of a home, office or business. The interior designer can fulfill many functions in a renovation.
From making decisions that change structural aspects of a building to seeing the last details. Your role is that of project manager. You have to coordinate a number of other actors to develop a play. Among them teachers, painters, furniture makers, suppliers, customers, etc.
On the other hand, literally anyone could become a decorator without having any studies about it. In fact, I think at some point we all have been. For example, when you move house and have to furnish it: all the decisions that have to be made are decoration tasks, and clearly this is better done by some than by others.
The decorator focuses mainly on the details, on capturing the style and making it real. It must make everything look good, generate attractive spaces that meet customer expectations.
A decorator must have good taste. This is a word I avoid using because it seems like it is something you are born with, but it is not. It can be developed, and thanks to the internet it is easier.
How do we do it?
In our case we do both: interior design and decoration. We take care of everything, from the big building site to putting in all the accessories and leaving the spaces ready for the photo.
You may wonder why the site is called The Decorator’s Blog and not the Interior Designer’s? The answer is because when I started with the site I wanted a self-explanatory name, and the concept of decorator is much more positioned in the collective imagination.
Where to study interior design?
There are several alternatives to study interior design in universities such as colleges. In order not to promote any particular institution, I can tell you that if you search in google for “room design” you will find many of the options. Another option to devote yourself to interior design is to take the path we did: study architecture or design and then specialize in interiors.
This is a longer road but it will give you other tools that will allow you to approach the profession in a more comprehensive way. There are several universities that offer the career of design as a common plan, and then during the years of study you can choose which specialty you want to take. I think it’s a good option to try out different things before deciding which area of design is for you.
The only difference in formal terms is that architects can sign plans, which makes things easier when it comes to municipal procedures or large projects where you need special authorisations. For example, the National Monuments Council.
Where do you study to be a decorator?
Many people tell me that they would like to be a decorator, but that they already have another career and would not like to go back to school for 5 years again. The advantage of being a decorator is that you don’t need formal studies, so the path could be shorter or easier.
Of course, a course is not going to give you all the tools – that is, even the university doesn’t really do it – but I think it can be a good alternative to learn more about the subject and to try out if it’s your thing. The advantage of this is that you will not need a large investment of money or time.