As our world and society is ever evolving, the conversation about design and decoration is always one hot topic. Being educated within the design field, I feel I have a better sense of the separation between the two. First of all, there is much education and training to become a registered interior designer. Interior designers must undergo an undergraduate degree in the related field, then they are eligible to take the NCIDQ after two years of professional experience. Decorators on the other hand, can simply take up the trade seemly overnight. Without generalizing, there are some amazing decorators that have extraordinary talents.
Another element that separates decorators and interior designers is the wealth of knowledge, not only in aesthetics but how materials and finishes will create an experience and affect the behaviors of its users. Decorators tend to only reach the surface of the issue whereas designers dig deep down to provide a solution to the problem.
Florence Knoll is a great example of diving deeper than the aesthetics within the workplace environment. She was trained as an architect but referred to herself as an interior designer. She completely changed workplace design as it was once known. Besides making the workplace aesthetically pleasing she wanted to create the office space for its workers. How comfortable was it for users to be sitting at their desk all day long? How did workers interact with one another? Was there a space within the office environment to encourage social interaction? All of these things Florence Knoll addressed are far beyond the paint color of the walls, or fabric of the furniture.
However, to create a beautifully successful environment, designers and decorators must come together and share their knowledge and talents. A space can be so functionally designed but until those final touches of aesthetics are applied, the space is not complete.