What Does an Interior Decorator Do?

Interior decorators design the aesthetics of a space. They work with clients to develop a design plan and help choose wall colors, textiles, furniture, and other decorative elements.

The most significant difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator is that decorators are only involved in surface-level aesthetics. On the other hand, interior designers can work with architects and contractors to improve the function of a space.

Roles of an Interior Decorator

What Does an Interior Decorator Do?

Interior stylists work with clients to redecorate existing spaces. To get started, an interior decorator will meet with a client, look at the room, and discuss the budget and style. Then, the interior decorator will help the client with the layout, color schemes, furniture selection, and accessories.

While home decor decorators don’t work with architects or general contractors, most have connections with painters, upholsterers, and furniture stores, making it easy to hire out work.

The Benefits of Working with an Interior Decorator

An interior decorator is familiar with the various interior design styles. They can help plan a room that works well for you and meets the design you’re after.

Some interior designers specialize in specific design styles. So, for example, if you’re after a mid-century modern look, you could find an experienced mid-century modern interior decorator.

How Much Does it Cost to Work with an Interior Decorator?

Most interior decorators charge by the hour, with average rates of $50 – $150 per hour. They may also charge an initial consultation fee of up to $300. While this price might seem steep, it’s much less than what interior designers charge, which can be as much as $500 per hour.

Qualifications to Become an Interior Decorator

There are zero formal education requirements to become an interior decorator. Many interior decorators have obtained design-related degrees or taken certification courses. But anyone can become an interior decorator, with or without schooling.

If you’d like to become an interior decorator without previous experience, taking a certification course from a local college or online will help you understand room layout, color theory, and other essential design concepts.

The Pros and Cons of Becoming an Interior Decorator

If you’re trying to decide if becoming an interior decorator is right for you, here’s a look at the pros and cons.


  • No formal education means you can start right away
  • You can help clients design their dream spaces
  • If you work independently, you can set your own rates


  • Finding initial clients is difficult
  • Earn much less than an interior designer
  • May have to work with demanding clients

Interior Decorator Salary

According to PayScale, the average annual salary for an interior decorator is $46,800. The monthly salary for an interior decorator is $3,900. Salaries will range by location and whether the decorator works for a company or independently.