There are often doubts about the scope of performance of a decorator and an interior designer. In fact, there are many similarities between the two professions, which makes it difficult to tell where one professional's work ends and the other's work begins. Still, there are differences: some more subtle than others and not all consensual. For those looking for a service of this nature, it is important to understand what separates these professionals, under penalty of not hiring the right person to carry out a particular project.
The designers interior are not limited to improve the appearance of premises: they also improve the functionality thereof, which may involve changing them from a structural point of view - demolishing or erecting walls, for example - and change completely the layout.
In this context, a broad knowledge is needed in various sectors: choice of materials and construction systems, dimensioning and positioning of furniture and decorative elements, understanding of techniques that provide thermal, acoustic and luminaire comfort, consideration of ergonomic aspect, understanding colors and knowledge of trends and new technologies.
Generally speaking, interior designers optimize environments and adapt them to the needs and financial availability of customers, combining functionality with comfort and aesthetics. The last part of this expert's work - decorating the spaces - intersects with the decorator's area of competence.
The designers of interiors are also responsible for managing deadlines and coordinate the work of experts necessary for executing the works: painters, carpenters, joiners, electricians, among others.
For the exercise of the profession, the interior designer must have higher education. The professional can work independently or be part of a company that specializes in interior design and decoration. There are also interior designers who are consultants in furniture stores.
Most interior designers have an office to welcome clients and meet with coworkers. Having a physical space is a way to convey professionalism and seriousness.
Unlike interior designers, decorators do not need formal education because they focus on the image of spaces rather than their structural planning. They are generally self-taught and have a strong aesthetic sense.
It is safe to say that the decorators intervene only in the final part of the work, in a more superficial way and that they are equally required when it comes to refreshing the decoration and changing the style of the environments. This does not mean that decorators cannot value the curriculum with courses, training and workshops. There are currently several decoration courses, usually of short duration and some oriented to very specific domains (fabrics, colours, layouts, furniture style, etc. ).
Decorators help clients choose their style, colour scheme, furniture, lighting, textiles and accessories for their spaces. These professionals do not usually work with builders or architects as, as mentioned, structural work is completed when they arrive. However, it is common to work with cabinetmakers, upholsters and other industry experts.
Like interior designers, decorators also usually have workshops where they prepare projects and meet with clients.
When to choose an interior designer? When spaces need structural changes, then interior designers are the best option as they can help you by working directly with builders and architects.
When to choose a decorator? The decorator is the best choice when spaces only need a new image and the project does not involve structural changes. This professional will help you choose colours, wallpapers, window treatments, lighting and decoration accessories, furniture, among other things. In the background, it washes your face into environments, making them more pleasant and comfortable, while keeping an eye out for trends.
However, the final choice will depend more on the skills of professionals than on the title they have. There are many interior designers who mostly do decoration projects, which do not involve renovations and structural changes, and there are many decorators who, by the skills they are gaining, are able to intervene more deeply, making changes that are usually the responsibility of the designers. The two areas are not airtight.
First of all, it should be noted that, whenever possible, one should hire locally. Doing so will save you on travel costs and easily meet with the professional. In Porto, you will have no difficulty finding interior designers or decorators. It is the second-largest urban centre in the country, so the offer is very varied.
Your search can start with homify. Hundreds of decorating and interior design professionals are on our site from north to south of the country. These professionals have their own pages within our platform, where they share in albums the projects they have already done, as well as their phone contacts, address and, often, links to profiles on social networks. and for the websites.