Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator – What’s the difference?

CeTerra Interior Design

If you’re not familiar with interior design, it’s easy to assume the terms “Interior Designer” and “Interior Decorator” can be used more or less interchangeably. In fact, there’s a very important difference between the two. Katie Mueller, owner and principal interior designer of CeTerra, takes on a creative perspective when working with clients and their spaces.

With interior designers and decorators, it’s not the case that one’s better than the other; it’s just that you need to know precisely what type of help you can expect when you enlist the services of either of these two types of professionals. In fact, the easy way of describing the difference is to take a look at the type of scenario where you can get away with the input of a decorator – compared to the circumstances where you’d really need the specific skills and experience of a specialist interior designer.

When would I need an interior decorator?

Green-Wall-1-of-1-1200Let’s say you’ve got a limited project in mind. All you’re looking to do is to redecorate a single room. You don’t want to think about redesigning the layout and you don’t need to rethink usage of the room. Instead, you need some very specific advice – for instance, what type of fabric to choose for a re-upholstery job or what shade of paint to choose. In this type of situation, the chances are that an interior decorator will meet your needs.

In short, if you want to just dress a room (and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the look you’re trying to achieve), that’s where an interior decorator should be able to do the job.

Katie has an eye for color and texture with a particular flair for organic contemporary style and southwestern flair. One visit to CeTerra and you will be inspired by furniture and home décor that can instantly transform the look of your space. Her vision and expertise can help you achieve the look you’re striving for.

When would I need an interior designer?

If you want to get the very best out of your living space, you need an interior designer. A good interior designer advises you on how to achieve “a certain look” and how to make sure your home – or even just a specific room, will work for you.

Katie has a unique point of view flavored by her travels and brings new and innovative ideas to each project, helping to bring your ideas to fruition. In our experience, it’s important for an interior designer to have deep insight of the way living spaces work and how best to showcase those spaces. Equally though, it’s vital to think carefully about how people behave and how best to transform the space in such a way as to ensure that it’s used to its maximum effectiveness.

Here’s an important tip: if you’re embarking on a complete redesign of a home, or if you’re building from scratch, get your interior designer involved at the earliest possible stage. An interior designer like Katie will be able to work with you, your architect and your builders to ensure you’re getting the living space you’re looking for right at the beginning.

Remember: you might think of interior decorating as the “finishing touches”. Interior design on the other hand should be at the core of your plans for your home.


Atlanta House Remodel Before


Atlanta House Remodel After

Why should I hire an interior designer?

We’ve all got our own ideas about how we want our homes to look. Why not just tell the builder and/or architect what to do and then get a decorator in at the end? Why bother with an interior designer at all? Here are some good reasons why having Katie work with you on your redesign could be one of the best decisions you’ll make for your home.

You get a wealth of expertise

Interior design blends knowledge of several disciplines in a way you simply don’t get with decorators. Katie understands behavior, construction, architecture and the creative arts and brings all that knowledge together into a complex design process. She is trained to interpret your brief and make it work.

You know what you’re getting

The truth is anyone can call themselves an interior decorator. In contrast, a lot of US states have passed regulations requiring interior designers to be registered or licensed. Katie is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and is certified NCIDQ (National Council for Interior Design Qualification). Take a look at her projects and check out her portfolio. Don’t be afraid to ask how the she works, how she approaches design, and of course, what will be involved in the process from time through expense.

A valuable pair of eyes

This is another good reason to ask for an opinion and involvement of an experienced interior designer at an early stage. Katie will be able to give you an honest professional assessment of your plans. She can give a fresh perspective with ideas to enhance your vision that you previously hadn’t even considered.

It makes good financial sense

Money isn’t everything – but it shouldn’t be put at the back of your mind in any project. Whatever work you’re planning, you’ll no doubt have a budget to stick to. Katie will help ensure that your budget is spent as efficiently as possible. Costly mistakes can be avoided and that added special touch will do wonders when it comes to resale value!

Katie and CeTerra Accents and Interiors can bring you the best of both worlds, providing decorator expertise for small projects and designer know-how for your larger ones. Stop by and visit CeTerra to get some ideas and send us some information about your project! From start to finish, Katie Mueller can give you fabulous style and service with a personal touch!