• Sydney Piwowar

Decorator? Designer? Architect?

It is more challenging now than ever before to tell the skillset of a designer/architect. Social media makes people more confident in DIY's and blurring the lines of their scope of work. Traditionally, the difference between a decorator, designer, and architect is in their skillset, education, and scope of work. There are some truly amazing decorators out there, but if you put them in charge of your bathroom remodel, they would have no idea how to discuss plumbing lines with your contractor. Likewise, there are truly amazing architects out there that can fluff a pillow, but if you asked them to put together an art & decor package for their client, their heads would explode. We all have our specialties and its important that you know the difference before committing signing any contracts.



- Requires little to no education or professional experience. Has learned their skills from personal experience, social media, TV.

- Scope of work should include selection and purchasing of home decor such as pillows, decorative objects, and art.

- May have reccomendations on home organization

- Most inexpensive service option based off lack of education and limited scope of work



- Has minimally a undergraduates degree in interior design or architecture. Studied color theory, history of design, basic construction documents & programming, etc.

- Scope of work should include design of all interior surfaces, furniture, and decor. Often includes installation and decor service that a typical Decorator would provide.

- Can draw their own construction drawings and create required permit drawings, but cannot stamp their own drawings without Architect's approval.

- Most common level of skillset needed

- May have additional certifications though those are not required.



- Has all of the above education of an interior deesigner. Also learned basic information of engineering, construction methods & types, etc. It is the bridge between an architect and Interior designer.

- Scope of work includes all of the above. Also includes ability to remodel & build interior architectural details (not inclusive of building shell). For example, for a gut remodel of a space, I would reccomend an interior architect over an interior designer.

- May have a graduates degree or additional certifications though those are not required and Interior architects already have this education.



- Has a graduates degree in Architecture and took licensure exam. Education did NOT include detail in interior finishes and decor.

- Scope of work includes remodel or build of exterior shells of buildings. Occasionally, they will space plan the interior space, but I reccomend working with an interior architecture team to do this. They will locate all Mechanical, Engineering, and Plumbing requirements for the space, but should consult with the interior architecture or design team.

- May have additional certifications such as green building, LEED, etc. but those are not required and architects often already have this information.

If you are unsure which professional which will be the best fit for you, please contact us and we are happy to point you in the right direction, even if it isn't us. We know that this is an important investment and you deserve to have it done right.

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