What Is Interior Design?

Interior design is the profession that focuses on the layout, design, and beautification of interior spaces, buildings, and other structures. Interior designers work in a wide range of settings, including residential, commercial, hospitality, and institutional environments. Many interior designers receive formal training from interior design degree programs leading to a degree in the field, such as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design. Schools offering Interior Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Field Overview

The field of interior design is concerned with finding creative, technical, and innovative solutions to lay out the space of many types of buildings, including houses, theaters, restaurants, hotels, convention centers, airports, and medical facilities. Interior design addresses the structure of the room as well as its décor. Solutions should be functional and visually appealing, improve occupants' quality of life, and consider the traditions of the occupants.

Important Facts About Interior Design

Median Salary (2014) $48,400
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 4% growth
Work Environment Offices or on work sites
Similar Occupations Architect, art director, craft and fine artist, fashion designer, floral designer, graphic designer, industrial designer, landscape architect

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Approaches and Design Types

It is common for interior design professionals to specialize in only one area of design, but many interior designers are choosing to focus on both commercial and residential interior design. Although designers and clients often seek out fresh concepts and a new look, many stick with basic interior design styles that may be casual, formal, traditional, or contemporary. Some other areas of specialization include:

  • Interior design for accessibility
  • Health & safety issues
  • Green, sustainable interior design
  • Lighting design

Typical Services Offered

The services offered by interior designers depend on their education, experience, and certification. Interior designers can earn their certification by passing an exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. Certification indicates industry-wide recognition that the recipient possesses the knowledge, skills, and business practices of a fully competent interior design professional. Qualified interior designers offer services that protect and enhance the overall well-being of the public. Designers must have the creative talent, technical skills, and business acumen to interact with clients, architects, contractors, and many other professionals. Design services often include the following tasks:

  • Researching and analyzing clients' needs and objectives
  • Drawing and design
  • Formulating preliminary space plans
  • Ensuring strict adherence to the design specifications, including creative presentation, building codes, and safety policies
  • Choosing the correct combination of colors, fabrics, and finishes to express the design concept
  • Interior design management services, such as providing project budgets, coordinating construction schedules, and organizing moves

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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