Designer vs Decorator

/ Friday, July 13, 2012 /

I can understand the confusion. Even I’m confused. It appears to be simple. A designer is someone who has the education and experience to make structural changes to a building, such as moving walls, determining where plumbing should be located, doing technical drawings and construction plans. A decorator is someone who puts on the finishing touches – where the Ottoman goes, what kind of floor lamps we want to use, and as far as the furniture goes, etc.

There is more formal education for a designer. If they want to become a certified interior designer, there are certain educational requirements depending on your previous schooling and experience. For example, I did a Diploma in Interior Design at UiTM Perak and currently reading a degree in Creative Events, so I think I complete my school portion of the requirements for me to have basic knowledge about design. A decorator has no real credentials as far as education, however, there are lots of people who have done their Interior Design diploma or degree who go on to be a decorator. I did a little research and salaries appear to be the quite similar whether you’re a decorator or a designer, which is kind of surprising to me.

Designers generally work more closely with architects and contractors because they are involved with the development of the entire space, while decorators generally work solely with their client to create a customized space. Which I love, you know me, with being my own boss and all :p

So here’s where my part of the confusion comes in. What do I want to do? Right now I am doing a reeeeally small decorating project and it is a lot of fun. I enjoy doing more of the finishings because that is what gives the space character. Working with the trades and contractors is just not as much fun as picking furniture, putting together accessories for the space and creating a concept for the entire space. Some designers (just SOME) don’t even do the decorating part, so they hand an empty, but beautiful, space to a client and the client is left to make it feel how they want it to. Almost all of the time, the space never feels complete to them and it ends up looking disjointed. They needed the help to see the vision through to the very end.

I really like to be the person who make the space beautiful and at the same time for them to feel comfortable entertaining family and friends in the space. That is also why I took up Creative Events, because I like to jazz up an empty space and make it a memorable place/space for people. Hope this makes sense. hehe

Til then,

Smile always! XX
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