Decoration and interior design: what's the difference?

What is the difference between interior decoration and design? Although the terms can be fuzzy and we find common elements, these two terms are not the same thing.


Man's need to make his home more comfortable and adapt it according to his tastes comes from the cave walls were decorated with paints.

When housing is more than a refuge, our innate creative capacity makes us value the appearance of the house, devoting attention and effort to it according to the tastes of each one, making a house a home.

Now, having the advice of professionals to help us feel more comfortable in our home is always a good idea, because many elements and ideas that go unnoticed by most are taken into account by a professional, both individually and within the design ensemble.

but what do we need, an interior designer or a decorator? Well, depends on what we want to do and achieve in the space we work in.

Therefore, to help you understand more about the difference between interior decoration and design, we have prepared today's article on the subject. Want to know more? So follow right now!

What is the difference between decoration and interior design?

When a decorator enters a space, he studies the light, how it enters and how it affects this space, the arrangement of furniture and other elements, as well as the materials and fabrics that this space already has.

Its function is to dress this space, rearrange-it, achieving a certain environment for already defined spaces.

However, the interior designer works mainly on the modification and distribution of space, thus changing the whole image.

You can change the distribution by eliminating walls, modifying the facilities, choosing new materials… For this reason, he does not study the space he is in, because he himself creates a new space.

We see that, although the goal is the same: make the most of the space's possibilities by leveraging the advantages and eliminating or disguising the disadvantages, they don't work in the same way or with the same materials.

The interior designer looks for the best solution to achieve a habitable environment not only thinking about aesthetics, but also in functionality, offering practical solutions. Interior Design is an intermediate point between Architecture and Decoration.

A decorator interprets these environments and molds them in his own way to reflect a style, which depends a lot on the client or the project.

It's true that, despite their differences, to interior decoration and design are linked. For this reason, decorators understand interior design and interior designers understand decoration.

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3 elements that differentiate decoration and interior design

1 – Definition

Decoration is defined as the art that studies the combination of ornamental elements and the accommodation of interior space.. On the other hand, interior design is defined as the art of arranging and decorating the interior spaces of architecture.

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Thus, we can already see that interior design is deeper than decoration, because it enters the scope of the architecture.

2 – Functions

Basically, in terms of definitions, a decorator is someone who is dedicated to “dressing” the space, is responsible for studying and rearranging the colors, textures, light and furniture.

Instead, the interior designer has a more transcendental function.

Has the responsibility to change the distribution of the site, moving and throwing walls, changing facilities and choosing new materials. In other words, we are not facing the intention of “dressing” the place, but to create it or even to recreate it.

Likewise, on many occasions it is confused with the profession of the architect. The disagreement between the two is where interior designers dedicate themselves, as the name implies, to the interior spaces, and the architects directly opposite, exterior.

3 – Involvement in the project

Another aspect in which we can differentiate the fields interior decoration and design is that usually an interior designer is involved with the architect in the project from the beginning.

Thus, the decorator does not participate in the construction of the work. The Interior design is, therefore, an intermediate point between architecture and decoration.

So, we see that although the objective of both disciplines is the same, these do not work in the same way or with the same resources.


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