One of the most exciting parts about designing a custom luxury home is transforming an empty space into a place you call home. When it comes to the furnishings and decor of a new home, some homeowners find the design process a little overwhelming. This is why so many hire a professional to help them create a space that is uniquely their own.

But what many homeowners don’t know is that an interior designer and an interior decorator are not the same thing. They each have their own unique set of strengths and play a very different role when it comes to the personalization of your new home. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to the differences between an interior designer and decorator.

Interior Decorators

One of the primary responsibilities of an interior decorator is handling the aesthetics of the room. Their job is to take a room and offer suggestions for ways to make the space look better. Their role is typically focused more on form vs. function.

What Do They Do?

An interior decorator is an excellent choice for homeowners who want to give their home a makeover but do not have the time or the creativity to take over this type of project. Interior decorators have an inept ability to recognize color schemes, patterns, and innovative ideas to help your room make a statement. Interior decorators are experts when it comes to furniture arrangement, art selection, and the overall vibe of your room. When your existing room needs a makeover, call an interior decorator.

The ultimate goal of an interior decorator is to create a space that is visually appealing based on the careful consideration of the client’s needs and preferences. The decorator works closely with the client to get a solid understanding of the colors, textures, materials, and accessories needed to create a space that reflects the client’s lifestyle and tastes. Their strengths lie in upgrading an existing room by enhancing the aesthetics of the space.


When it comes to education, interior decorators typically go through some sort of training to help them understand the fundamentals of interior design. Most interior decorators have a natural ability and creative flair that allows them to do their job well. Typically, formal education is not required.

When To Hire?

You should hire an interior decorator when:

  • You have an idea of how you want to enhance your space but don’t have the time to do it.
  • You aren’t sure of how you want to enhance your space but are open to the advice and suggestions of a professional.
  • The function and layout of the space work for you, but aesthetically you want something more.

Interior Designers

An interior designer is responsible for spatial planning, layout, and improving the functionality of the space. This is more than just knowing which throw pillows look the best on your couch. Their job goes beyond aesthetics and focuses more on redefining how a space is used.

What Do They Do?

An interior designer is usually called in when there is a remodeling project, or when a custom home is being built. Typically, an interior designer will perform an initial consultation to understand the wants, needs, and vision of the client. They will create a design plan using innovative software to determine specific measurements and details of the project.

Interior designers sketch preliminary plans, including electrical layouts, and connect with architects, engineers, and builders to determine the form and function of the room. You can trust an interior designer to oversee all aspects of the design, including installation, budget, materials used, and deadlines. Your designer should also follow up with you throughout the process to ensure satisfaction at every step.


Interior designers must complete formal training. In some areas, they must also pass a comprehensive exam to become licensed. Their expertise assists homeowners in making the most of the space they have.

When To Hire?

You should hire an interior designer when:

  • You want to give your space an upgrade and are on a strict schedule.
  • You want to design a space that works for the whole family without sacrificing style.
  • It is important to you that the interior of your home and the layout emphasizes function.
  • You want to maximize the existing space that you have.
  • You are building a new home and want to create a balance between design and function.

The Anderson Studio: Experts In Interior Design

The Anderson Studio of Architecture and Design has earned a reputation in the Charleston area for expertise in interior design, interior decorating and procurement. Our expert designers and decorators have extensive experience and training in the industry and can help make your vision come to life. Our goal is to demystify the process of interior design and decorating by welcoming clients to a vast world of resources and possibilities. Explore our interior design portfolio to view some of our most recent work.

Your luxury home should be a reflection of your lifestyle, both inside and out. Contact the Anderson Studio today to take the first step in designing the home of your dreams.