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Encyclopedia > Interior design

Interior design is a practice concerned with anything that is found inside a space - walls, windows, doors, finishes, textures, light, furnishings and furniture. All of these elements are used by interior designers to develop the most functional space for a building's users. Image File history File links Gnome-globe. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...


What buildings do interior designers work on? What is interior design?

Interior designers plan many different types of spaces including, but not limited to: offices, airport terminals, theatres, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and private residences. Interior design is not to be confused with interior decoration which is focused on choosing color palettes with complementary furniture, flooring, window coverings, artwork, and lighting. Today, interior designers must be attuned to architectural detailing including: floor plans, home renovations, and construction codes. Interior design draws on aspects of environmental psychology, architecture, and product design in addition to traditional decoration. An interior designer is a person who designs interiors as part of their job. Interior design is a creative practice that analyzes programmatic information, establishes a conceptual direction, refines the design direction, and produces graphic communication and construction documents. Environmental psychology is an interdisciplinary field focused on the interplay between humans and their surroundings. ... This article is about building architecture. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Look up Decoration in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Size of the industry

In the UK, the value of the products the interior design industry specifies is estimated at £15 billion/ year, with an estimated 5000 design practices.[citation needed]


Interior designers can specialize in a particular interior design discipline, such as residential and commercial design, they can also help with making rooms in the hospital and even work with school's to make offices or another things with some developing expertise within a niche design area such as hospitality, health care and institutional design. In jurisdictions where the profession is regulated by the government, designers must meet broad qualifications and show competency in the entire scope of the profession, not only in a specialty. Designers may elect to obtain specialist certification offered by private organizations. Interior designers who also possess environmental expertise in design solutions for sustainable construction can receive accreditation in this area by taking the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) examination. 7 World Trade Center, considered New York Citys first green office tower by gaining gold status in the U.S. Green Building Councils LEED program. ...

The specialty areas that involve interior designers are limited only by the imagination and are continually growing and changing. With the increase in the aging population, an increased focus has been placed on developing solutions to improve the living environment of the elderly population, which takes into account health and accessibility issues that can affect the design. Awareness of the ability of interior spaces to create positive changes in people's lives is increasing, so interior design is also becoming relevant to this type of advocacy.


There is a wide range of disciplines within the career of interior design. Some of the disciplines include: structure, function, specialized performance, special group needs, discipline needed for business, computer technology, presentation skills, craft skills, social disciplines, promotional disciplines, professional disciplines, aesthetic disciplines, and disciplines with cultural implications. This list shows how interior designing encompasses many different disciplines and requires both education in science and technology as well as being creative.

Design Process

Regardless of the building-type the process is identical. The first step is determining the client's objectives, timescale and budget. This is called taking a Brief. The objective is nearly always to improve revenue for the client - even householders will be considering the resale value of their home. The designer will then provide a Fee Proposal which outlines their design input and the cost for this. It will be made clear whether the interior design practice will procure goods and/or project manage and the costs or margins for this also. Working drawings are required prior to any design work, these are detailed survey drawings of the existing space. The very first step once commissioned on the project will be creating these drawings if none already exist.

Today, designers use computer-aided design (CAD) although hand sketches are still valued for their "personality". CAD is a programme used to communicate design solutions in realistic views at various angles. This programme eliminates long hours of hand-drawing and sketching.

Following the survey and working drawing, the initial concepts will be presented to the client for approval. If approved this is followed by the floor plans and then the detailed specifications of all alterations, finishes and furnishings. It is probable that doors, windows and walls will be repositioned. Also, of major importance is the approach to the building - so the exterior is always considered along with the interior design.

Naturally, only if the design practice handles procurement or project management will they take on these roles. Many design specifications will be included in a tender package which will ultimately be used by a building contractor, or fit-out contractor as it is often called, to fulfil the design for the client. The on-site stage of the design can be many months or even years after the design specification is completed.

Working Conditions

The working conditions and places of employment vary within the career of interior design. Large corporations that hire interior designers usually provide regular day-to-day working hours. Designers for smaller firms usually work on a contract, or job basis. Designers frequently adjust their working hours to suit client's needs, which could result in working over time, in the evening, or on the weekends. Self employed designers usually work the most hours. Interior designers work under stress to meet deadlines, stay on budgets, and meet clients' needs. Self-employed designers are under pressure to find clients to provide for themselves an income. Traveling to different locations, studios, or clients' homes and offices is something often done. With the aid of computer technology the process of contacting clients and communicating design alternatives has become a lot easier and requires less travel.


Postsecondary education, especially a bachelor's degree, is recommended for positions in interior design. Within the United States there are 24 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, that have some form of interior design legislation with regard to title and practice. The National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) administers a licensing exam. To be eligible to take the exam, a candidate must have a minimum of six years of combined education and experience in the field, where at least two years includes postsecondary education. Once the examination has been successfully taken, the designer may indicate that they are an NCIDQ certificate holder. In certain jurisdictions, this is linked to the ability to practice or self-identify as an interior designer. The laws vary greatly across the United States and in some jurisdictions, NCIDQ certification is required in order for the designer to call themselves a Certified, Registered, or Licensed Interior Designer. In others, however, there are no minimum qualifications and anyone with a desire to do so may call themselves an interior designer. Continuing education is required by some states as part of maintaining a license. Post-secondary education is a form of secondary education that is taken after first attending a secondary school, such as a high school. ... A bachelors degree is usually an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course or major that generally lasts for three, four, or in some cases and countries, five or six years. ... ...

Alabama has recently rolled back legislation regarding the licensing and practice of interior design. It is important to note that there is a difference between title acts which restrict who can call themselves an interior designer and practice acts that limit who can actually practice activities defined as within the scope of interior design.


Interior design earnings vary based on employer, number of years with experience, and the reputation of the individual. Interior designers within the specialization of architectural design tend to earn higher and more stable salaries. For residential projects, self-employed interior designers usually earn a per-minute fee plus a percentage of the total cost of furniture, lighting, artwork, and other design elements. For commercial projects, they may charge per-hour fees, or a flat fee for the whole project. The median annual earnings for interior designers in the year 2004 was $40,670. The middle 50% earned between $30,890 and $53,795. This article is about the statistical concept. ...

See also

Interior decoration is the art of decorating a room so it looks good, is easy to use, and functions well with the existing architecture. ... Interior decoration or décor is the art of decorating a room so that it is attractive, easy to use, and functions well with the existing architecture. ... This article is about building architecture. ... For other uses, see Blueprint (disambiguation). ... Environmental metaphysics is the metaphysical exploration of environments and their impact on people and animals. ... Environmental psychology is an interdisciplinary field focused on the interplay between humans and their surroundings. ... // In the United States, many universities and colleges offer four year baccalaureate degrees in Interior Design. ... Fēng Shuǐ (風水 – literally, wind and water pronounced fung shuway), which may be more than 3000 years old, is the ancient practice of placement to achieve harmony with the environment. ...


  • Ball, Victoria K.; Opportunities In Interior Design and Decorating Careers. USA: McGraw-Hill, 2002.
  • Farr, Michael; Top 100 Careers for College Students. 7th ed. Indianapolis: JIST Works, 2007.
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  Results from FactBites:
Interior design - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (538 words)
Interior design is the process of shaping the experience of interior space, through the manipulation of spatial volume as well as surface treatment.
An interior designer is a person who is considered an expert in the field of interior design or one who designs interiors as part of their job.
Interior design is a creative practice that analyzes programmatic information, establishes a conceptual direction, refines the design direction, and produces graphic communication and construction documents.
Career Training in Interior Design - Chicago (380 words)
An interior designer combines knowledge with aesthetic vision in order to work with clients and other design professionals to develop design solutions that are safe, functional, attractive and meet the needs of the people using the space.
An interior designer is a professional who identifies, researches and strategically solves problems to interpret the function and quality of the interior environment.
Interior designers are formally trained to prepare drawings and documents relative to the design of interior spaces in order to enhance and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.
  More results at FactBites »



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