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Decorator, architect and designer… what’s the difference?

05 October 2020

The meeting room must be rearranged and you are responsible for choosing the professional who will accompany you in this project. According to popular jargon, you thought that decorator was synonymous with interior designer… And what is the role of the architect again? Phew! It’s not always easy to define the roles of these three! Today is your lucky day as we demystify once and for all the roles of these three professionals.


What is the role of an architect?

The architect is a creator of structure who designs, both aesthetically and technically, plans to build buildings, houses or public buildings. He works mainly on the exterior volume and it is with this professional that you should work when making a substantial modification to the envelope of a building.

As stated by the Ordre des architectes du Québec: with a few exceptions, the law requires the intervention of an architect in the design of buildings. The architect has the necessary training, skill and practical experience. He is also supervised by a professional order that subjects him to a code of ethics, professional liability insurance and a continuing education obligation.


What is the role of an interior designer?

The interior designer is a creator of space who works on ergonomics, optimization of volumes, comfort, health and safety of occupants. He is qualified to play with spaces, light, color, furniture and equipment, in order to create places that are operational, comfortable and suitable for their occupants. Interior designers are supported by the Association of professional interior designers of Quebec (APDIQ).

The Architects Act authorizes an interior designer to prepare plans and specifications for architectural work for the construction, expansion, reconstruction, renovation or modification:

  • of an isolated single-family dwelling, regardless of the area or value of the building;
  • when it’s:
  • a semi-detached or row single-family dwelling,
  • a multi-family dwelling of no more than four units,
  • a commercial establishment, a business establishment,
  • an industrial establishment or,
  • a combination of these dwellings

or establishments when, after completion of the work, the building does not exceed two floors and 300 m2 of total gross floor area and has only one basement level.


What is the role of the decorator?

Decorators, on the other hand, are mood creators. They dress the space through the arrangement of furniture, the choice of materials, colors, fabrics and accessories to create an aesthetic environment. The decorator provides advice and decoration solutions without ever touching the load-bearing walls or the building structure (facade, circulation, organization of rooms, etc.).

His/Her role is:

  • to embellish a space by adapting to the requested style
  • to choose the arrangements of the tints and colors of the materials
  • suggest materials, furniture, accessories, etc.
  • to carry out your home staging (real estate valuation)


You have a project in mind?

Whether you have an interior design, construction, architecture or office layout project, our versatile team has the experience and expertise necessary to transform your ideas into reality, while respecting your budget and deadlines. If you are looking for an expert to guide you in your personal or commercial projects, do not hesitate to contact SPACIA!

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