Interior design is the science and art of improving the interior of an indoor building, room, or home to create a more aesthetically pleasing and healthier environment for those who use the space. An interior designer is a person who usually plans, studies, coordinates, and oversees these enhancement projects. Interior designers also play a role in the financing of these projects as they are typically charged with coordinating the cost of materials, labor, and business plans. An interior designer’s job requires a lot of creative thinking and innovative ideas. Some of the interior design techniques used include:
The concept phase is the stage in which an interior design concept is developed from a collection of ideas that match the structure, function, and size of the proposed space. Interior designers work in many disciplines but often rely on one or more of the following techniques. Many interior designers begin their concept by browsing through magazines and books to gain perspective on possible designs. After this initial research phase, they should develop a clear vision of what the desired end result should look like.
Once the designer has a concept, he or she can begin to draft the layout of the room based upon the concept. In addition to drafting the layout, interior designers will need to collect furniture, accessories, walls, windows, lighting, rugs, and flooring. They should also determine the placement of furniture and accessories within the intended room. Once the placement and arrangement of the furniture and accessories are decided on, the designer can move on to the second phase of the interior design concept–the actual design elements.
Once the design concept phase is complete, interior designers must research the many sources available to learn about construction, materials, and styles of furnishings. They will also do some cost estimating and begin to plan out the furnishings. The planning stage of the process involves estimating the costs for all project elements such as materials, labor, furniture, and accessories. After this stage, the designer can now sketch the final interior design concepts.
While many do not think of interior designers with degrees in interior design courses, many accomplished architects do have degrees in this field. These professionals may focus on residential design, renovation of historical buildings, or designing office spaces. Many interior designers will continue on to receive their education and obtain master degrees as well. However, with a master degree, interior designers may be able to take on more complex projects and concentrate on one particular aspect of the interior design concept.
It is also possible for interior designers to receive a certificate in this field. These programs are offered through technical and community colleges or vocational schools. The certificate program requires a one-year learning program consisting of both classroom and practical instruction. Students will learn both design and space planning principles. A certificate is also possible after completing the one-year course. Specializing in this area allows individuals to enter into competitive professions in architectural firms, residential planners, hotels, and even government agencies.
In addition to the basics taught in a typical interior designer training program, there is also a need for individuals to acquire building permits. Building permits are required when working on interior environments that require certain structural features, such as floor joists and column spacing. Interior designers must also ensure that building maintenance is done properly. Some areas require that new construction meet certain standards, while others only require that existing structures are maintained. By working with experienced engineers and contractors, interior designers will learn how to make any space livable and how to create the best interior environments while still meeting building regulations and codes.
Interior designers can find jobs in almost any profession. Retail, architecture, and other professional services are just a few of the opportunities available to them. Interior design professionals can also work in customer service departments or special marketing departments. They may be involved in the research and development phase of new projects, or they may simply help their counterparts. It is even possible to work as an interior designer part-time, as long as the individual works under the supervision of a manager. If you enjoy creative, flexible, and artistic interior environments, then you may have what it takes to become one of the many interior designers in this ever-changing field.