CCIDC _ California Council for Interior Design Certification

1605 Grand Avenue, Suite 4
San Marcos, CA 92078
Phone: 760 - 761-4734  / Fax: 760 - 761-4736
E-mail us

California Council for Interior Design Certification
Provides for the protection, health, safety and welfare of the public by administering the California Certified Interior Designer Title Act.

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The Difference Between a Decorator 
and an Interior Designer

 

Although there is no restriction on the use of the title “Interior Decorator” or “Interior Designer” in California, there is a difference in the inference of the title amongst the profession.

Interior Decorator

An “Interior Decorator” is someone who primarily deals with colors, finishes, and furniture and typically stays within the residential boundary of interiors. Typically they might charge a fee for their creative services such as laying out the furniture in a room, or putting together different colors and finishes in order to create several palettes from which the client can choose. In most cases a decorator will charge a “mark-up” on all the products they sell to you. This mark-up can vary wildly, anywhere from 20% to 50% in some cases. Most decorators are reluctant to prepare a formal contract or letter of agreement spelling out what the services are that they are going to provide, and how much they are going to charge.

Interior Designer

An “Interior Designer” is someone who can complete an interior design project from start to finish, including preparing construction documents for bidding and permitting, as well as supervising the construction and installation of the work. This person in essence becomes your agent to deal with local building codes and building departments, and licensed contractors. They have the expertise to handle all of these different players, whereas you may not, or may not have the time or inclination.

Interior designers cover all types of projects from commercial (offices, medical facilities, retail shops, restaurants, hotels, retirement and nursing facilities, to name a few) to residential. Typically an interior designer has a lot of education and experience, as well as possibly having sat for one or more examinations in order to test their competency and to attain state recognition of their profession.

Again, just because someone uses the title “Interior Designer”, it doesn’t mean they are any more qualified than an “Interior Decorator”, or any one who chooses to use either title irrespective of their qualifications or experience, which may be none at all.

The only guarantee that the person you are hiring is qualified in some way or another is to hire someone who is a “Certified Interior Designer”, a title that is written in to the California Business and Professions Code and protected by law to prevent anyone using the title that has not complied with the law.

Please read our Consumer Alert on the use of CID

Verify if a designer is Certified by CCIDC.

To get a list of all designers in your area, please call the CCIDC office in
San Marcos, California at 760 - 761-4734.

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