Interior Decorators are qualified by education to specify and purchase furniture, lighting, window coverings, flooring, moulding,fixtures, art and wall coverings and can apply knowledge of architectural styles used through history. In Canada and some of theUnited States an Interior Decorator can plan spaces, design built-in permanent features and provide drawings, sketches or compu-ter renderings of such. They may be hired to manage a project and contract and supervise sub-trades. While they are usually involved with the residential or retail sectors, they can use principles of design to transform any space.
Interior Designers meet all the qualifications above and in addition are trained to read blueprints and implement knowledge of local building code and government regulation. They spend 2 years in school or 4 to earn a bachelor’s degree which is required to join a professional association in Canada. They usually work on commercial, hospitality and institutional projects.
In Canada, Decorators who spend 300 hours in the right school can apply for professional membership with Canadian Decorators’ Association (CDECA) while U.S. Decorators with proper schooling may join Certified Interior Decorators International and add the credentials C.I.D. after their names.
Interior Designers who pass an exam are certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) and usually keep up a professional membership with the an Association. In the U.S. this is the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) or the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). Canadian Designers are qualified members of Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) to use the appellation Registered Interior Designer (RID).