How does he differ from an interior designer, and where is his work needed?
From the outside, the design and decoration of spaces is an easy creative profession for which you only need to understand beautiful furniture and trendy lamps. But in reality, it’s more complicated.
We tell you why the work of a decorator is needed, what tasks this specialist solves, what skills are required, and how to become one.
Who is a decorator
Designer-decorator develops design projects and decorates the interiors of private and public spaces: apartments, restaurants, offices, and shops.
How is a decorator different from an interior designer?
The professions of interior designers and decorators often need clarification. These are related areas in the design of residential and public spaces, and the work of these specialists intersects and complements each other.
The interior designer technically arranges the space and plans communications and connection points.
The main thing for a designer-decorator is to decorate and decorate the room to create the right aesthetics.
For example, you can contact a design studio to make high-quality repairs in an apartment or a cafe. After listening to the client’s wishes and evaluating the initial data, the interior designer will develop a project, choose a general design style, consider the space’s geometry, and make redevelopment. It will also propose a communication plan, create technical drawings and visualizations, and sometimes supervise construction work.
On the other hand, the decorator will translate stylistic proposals into reality: he will select colors, textures, and shapes and make effective and convenient compositions from objects.
However, this does not mean that the work of a designer-decorator is easier: in this profession, the functions of both directions are combined.
Why do you need the job of a designer-decorator
The task of a designer-decorator is to create a space in which people will be pleased to be: sleep, work, eat, play sports, communicate with others, and study.
The decorator does not just make a picture for a magazine. It considers the functions of the premises, the social and cultural context, and the lifestyle of those who will spend time in the interiors. And at the same time, he embodies all the ideas, considering technical limitations, within the budget and deadlines.
What does a decorator do?
- Gets acquainted with customers to discuss the future project together. Listens to wishes and selects references.
- He studies space and communication systems – in reality, or according to architectural drawings.
- Determines the budget, deadlines, and constraints.
- Creates collages, sketches, plans, and design sketches, on which functional areas are marked, color combinations are indicated, and furniture is “arranged.” Sometimes the decorator makes several versions of the project and explains to the customer the pros, cons, and difficulties in implementing each.
- Orders and buys furniture, textiles, lighting, and decorative materials, if it is included in the contract. If not, it makes detailed lists for clients.
- When the space is built, renovated, and ready for decoration, he arranges furniture and accessories and decorates the project’s interior.
What should a decorator be able to do?
In this profession, theoretical knowledge, technical skills, a broad outlook, and soft skills are important.
From the point of view of theory, the designer-decorator will need the following:
- Know the history of art, architecture, and interior design;
- Understand the styles and directions of design and ergonomics;
- Apply the theory of color and composition, coloristic: understand colors and be able to combine them, understand how color affects the perception of spaces;
- Keep abreast of trends not only in the interior but also in other areas.
For high-quality work with physical materials and spaces, a designer-decorator must:
- navigate the types of textiles, furniture, light, and decor;
- distinguish types of finishing materials, know their features and cost;
- understand project documentation.
- In addition, it is important for a designer-decorator to be able to “work with his hands”:
- create visualizations in graphic editors and programs Adobe Photoshop, Archicad, 3ds Max, SketchUp;
- find out where you can buy the interior or decoration items for the project.
There are also a lot of necessary soft skills:
- Sense of taste and vision.
- Negotiation and communication skills. The designer-decorator constantly communicates with customers, works with suppliers and contractors, and makes decisions on the project – it is important to listen and hear people, negotiate, compromise, or defend a position.
- Ability to present and defend your project at any stage.
- Flexibility – at some point, you must stop the project and redo everything.
Designer-decorator is a creative profession, so for successful work and development, you will need the following:
- Artistic Skills – although drawing skills are not required. The ability to freehand sketch a design concept or make a collage is enough.
- Good spatial imagination and visual memory.
How decorators work
A designer-decorator has two main career paths: he can develop as a specialist on his own or in a company.
On freelance. A designer-decorator can work for himself, independently search for and choose customers: on stock exchanges, in specialized groups and channels, in social networks and websites, and by word of mouth. In this case, he is responsible for all project stages and quickly solves many tasks and problems.
At first, you may have to spend money on promoting your services and take on small and even uninteresting projects with a small payment. You can learn from them and improve the quality. And with the growth of experience, portfolio, and reputation, finding customers or even opening your studio will be easier.
In the design studio. At the beginning of a career, you can get a job in a company for certain types of work or tasks – for example, as a 3D interior visualizer. And over time, grow into a full-fledged designer-decorator and lead entire projects.
In the company, specialists are given orders; they do not have to look for customers. True, choosing projects is impossible either – you need to work with what you have.
For a start, this option is also good because it will work with more experienced colleagues from whom you can learn and learn from experience.
How to become a decorator
- Self-education. Good books on interior design or searching the Internet will help you sort out any issue. But self-education is bad because it needs to provide a solid foundation. There are always white spots and unknown areas. And even with self-study, it is easier for a beginner to separate truthful information from low-quality information.
- Classical education at the university will take from four to six years. The advantage of this option: a large amount of theoretical knowledge, you can fundamentally master the topics of color, materials, and ergonomics and learn composition and drawing. This option is suitable if you are confident in your choice and have time.
- Design courses usually last one to two years. The benefits: in such training, they do not give anything extra, only the necessary specialized knowledge. During the courses, you can immediately practice: creating design projects and developing a portfolio. There are also internships with subsequent employment. You can always consult with teachers-practitioners.