What Is Interior Design And How To Get Started
Incredibly designed indoor spaces never just happen by chance. They’re carefully studied, planned, prepared, and created by interior designers who are tasked with bringing these internal projects to life. Once the spatial requirements have been determined, these professional curators ensure each internal area is safe, functional, and beautiful.
How do you define interior design?
The common definition of interior design is the art of enhancing the aesthetic of any indoor environment inside man-made buildings. Interior Design uses a blend of art and science to define the visual style and feel of internal areas, as well as enhance the basic form and functionality requirements of whoever the space is created for.
While hiring an interior designer vs not hiring one might seem like a luxury that feels out of reach for many people, it’s actually quite important because the space around us can ultimately impact our creativity, happiness, imagination, and our overall well-being.
Even though the desire for a comfortable environment is as old as humanity itself, interior design is still a relatively new branch of specialized interior architecture and environmental design. That’s because the planning and designing process of the 20th centuries is so closely related to architecture, interior design follows a systematic methodology of specific research, technical analysis, and creative ideas.
By taking into account all details of the surrounding environment, from acoustics to positioning, and even the use of color, interior design is used to create and enhance internal spaces so they feel comfortable, functional, and complete.
What do interior designers do?
An interior designer works directly with clients to create aesthetically pleasing indoor spaces that are visually appealing and functionally efficient, while meeting their specific needs. Because many interior designers work within specialized architectural, engineering, or other design related services, they have the skills and technical knowledge to successfully research, plan, and create all kinds of functional environments inside buildings.
The best professional designers are visionaries. Simply by looking at a client’s space, they can anticipate and visualize how best to design an environment that will not only serve their specific needs, but also appeal to their senses. Pulling from a comprehensive set of technical knowledge and design skills, interior designers are able to interpret each space to ensure its functionality.
That’s because they have excellent spatial awareness, interior designers use scale, size, and proportionality space to their advantage. From the placement of furniture and other functional decor, to flooring styles and window treatments, as well as choosing color palettes and decorations like artwork and lighting, interior designers bring everything together to create a variety of spaces with similar or varied overall styles that will ultimately satisfy their client.
What is the difference between an interior designer and an interior decorator?
There is sometimes confusion between an interior designer and interior decorator because they can sometimes work on similar aspects to design and decorate a project. But there’s actually a big distinction between these two professions of decorators and designers.
The primary difference between an interior decorator and an interior designer is education experience. An interior designer has an advanced diploma or degree in this discipline as a Master of Architecture, as they’re involved in all aspects of design and construction of interior spaces.
Alternatively, interior decorators are specialists in aesthetics who are exclusively involved with decorating areas that have already been built. So yes, there’s a big difference between interior decorators and interior designers.
A strong understanding of building materials
An interior designer is also expected to have a complete understanding and working knowledge of all building materials, textiles, finishes, and properties. That means not only knowing how each surface looks and feels, but also how the selection of essential interior design and decorating elements can ultimately affect aspects like acoustics, sustainability, and space planning within specific interior environments.
Building permits and compliance
Interior designers are also required to obtain building permits, they need to ensure adherence and compliance to all applicable local and federal regulations, building codes, and health safety laws.
That means interior designers are required to have a deep fundamental understanding of all relevant building practices, construction load bearings, internal spatial constraints, and other structural design requirements, as well as a general knowledge of other professional trades.
Once all aspects required to create a space have been assessed and taken into consideration, an interior designer will then document and price the project for construction. Using relevant computer programs like 2D or 3D design software or building information modeling applications, the appropriate floor plans and internal elevations can all be created in order to document the specific details and requirements of the existing internal space and the proposed designs.
Not only do interior designers manage the design and documentation process, but they can also provide comprehensive client briefing, and project manage the entire construction process. Interior designers usually work directly with homeowners and commercial clients; but they also work closely with architects, as well as dealing with a wide variety of other external building authorities, surveyors, contractors, tradesmen, engineers, property managers, home builders, and retail businesses.
How can you become an interior designer?
Whether a recently discovered passion for residential design and commercial interiors has you thinking about changing careers, or you’re interested in upskilling for a promotion in your existing role, the most appropriate pathway to becoming an interior designer is usually via an online learning environment. There’s a wide range of interior design courses available online through credible and accredited providers, so you can be certain to find the right course on offer to suit you.
Interior design is a highly-skilled discipline that goes beyond just functionality and aesthetics, as all principles of interior design must be able to provide a tangible connection with people. So to successfully get your interior design qualification, you’ll need to realise your potential by learning the required skills, passing all assessments, and completing your professional training.
With a well-rounded education, you’ll have all the skills necessary to work within a variety of disciplines from architecture to graphic layouts, and furniture design to decorative arts and lighting.
What are the skills needed to be an interior designer?
As an interior designer in the design field, you’ll have the knowledge, skills, and experience required in order for you to analyze spatial environments and visualize development requirements.
You’ll then be able to clearly conceptualize ideas for your clients by translating key components and presenting them with your final project designs. Basically, you’ll be able to confidently take each project from the initial justification of concept phase, right through to project handover.
Just remember that dream jobs don't just happen overnight. While no previous design knowledge is needed, this industry does require a combination of passion, desire, persistence, and creativity, as well as successful completion of an accredited course. But as soon as you’ve completed all of the formal training required, you’ll have developed all of the skills you need to be able to excel in the interior design industry.
Ultimately, the role of a professional interior designer is to create interior spatial environments that are not only functionally suitable for their intended purpose, but that they’re also safe, efficient, comfortable, and beautiful. Remember, these incredibly designed indoor spaces are always carefully studied, thoroughly planned, meticulously prepared, and painstakingly created by design professionals who bring the aesthetics of these internal projects to life.
Enroll in an interior design course today
The right course will teach you how to complete all aspects of an interior design project, from how to find initial inspiration to add the final touches. The Courses for Success Interior Design Online Certificate Course is a great introduction into interior design, and will help you to kickstart your interior design career, right from the comfort of your own home. Check out the course units of study and enroll today.