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Registered Interior Designers Vrs Decorators


A question I often get is what is the difference between Interior designers and decorators? As per the Association of Interior Designers of Ontario aka ARIDO Interior design is about more than just aesthetics. It's about finding creative design solutions for interior environments while supporting the health, safety and well-being of occupants and enhancing their quality of life. Following a systematic and coordinated methodology including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, interior design is a multi-faceted profession whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to create an interior space that fulfills the project goals. Interior Designers are Qualified through a rigorous process of education, experience and examination, ARIDO members are skilled at assisting clients realize their goals, creating built environments that are both functional and aesthetically attractive.

Working with an interior designer who has attained professional membership in a provincial association assures you that that individual meets the highest level of professional qualifications. In addition, all ARIDO members are required to :

carry professional liability insurance

participate in ongoing professional development

uphold a professional code of ethics and standards of practice

Designing, redesigning, or renovating an interior space often involves a significant investment of time, money, and effort. Hiring a professional interior designer is the best way to ensure you get value for your investment. It also provides peace of mind knowing that your project will:

  • Meet your needs and specifications

  • Be both functional and aesthetically pleasing

  • Make the most of available space

  • Potentially contribute to improved quality of life and increased productivity

  • Meet building codes and safety standards

  • Meet universal accessibility guidelines

  • Incorporate sustainable design and ergonomics (if requested)

Should I Hire an Interior Designer or a Decorator? Who you should hire will depend on your needs. If structural changes are desired (such as removing a wall, moving plumbing around, or adding new windows or doors) then generally an interior designer would be the better choice. They can help plan for significant structural changes and help make them happen.

If there are no structural changes needed but you need help deciding on a style; choosing wallpaper, paint, and furnishings; picking window treatments, and choosing lighting and accessories, a decorator will probably do the trick. They know what works together and can transform a room to suit the clients' needs and desires, without doing any technical work.