Interior Design Basics

What Does it Mean to be an Interior Designer?

Woman working from home
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Interior design is one of those careers much like fashion and entertainment that holds a very romantic notion that all you do all day is to create warm, comfortable, and interesting home environments for other people who seek the help of an interior designer.

What Is Interior Design?

According to The American Society of Interior Design, “style, color, mood, harmony, contrast, comfort, convenience and fit likely come to mind when considering a new design. Interior design concerns itself with more than just the visual or ambient enhancement of an interior space, however. It seeks to optimize and harmonize the uses to which the interior environment will be put.”

What Are the Goals of Being an Interior Designer?

As an interior designer, it’s not just about picking out colors and fabrics to make a space more beautiful; interior designers also have to concern themselves with everything that needs to take place in order to meet a client’s needs and make them happy. That means interior designers must work on a strict deadline and make sure all of the work is completed on time. Facilitating all aspects of a project to ensure success means that the interior designer must deal with a number of very key people in order to accomplish what the designer and client originally set out as important goals to be met in creating a new design.

The designer must work with the painters, wallpaper designers, electricians, furniture manufacturers, fabric wholesalers and others as needed to make the design process seem effortless and stress-free. This aspect of being an interior designer is not well-known by those who are considering becoming an interior designer.

Unless you personally know an interior designer or take part in doing some informational interviewing, there are many aspects of the job that are unknown to those considering a profession in the field.

Creating a Beautiful Design

Interior design is about creating a beautiful, comfortable space that makes the best of what a home initially offers and improving on those not-so-nice aspects like poor natural lighting or funky room layout that many homes have but few people know how to work with this to make the space more appealing.

Things to Consider

Beautiful homes don’t generally just happen they usually are created. There are several things that need to be considered when working to make a home more appealing.

The Space

Considering the overall space of a home and its individual rooms is one of the first things that an interior designer will consider. What are the dimensions of the space and how was it constructed are key questions that an interior designer needs to answer before they can move forward. What are the limitations of the space and what is its potential? What will the space be used for – relaxation, family, entertaining, or business?

Is the space designated for entertainment and family time such as a family room or is it a place to pay bills and conduct business? Some of the practical considerations that should be considered are the lighting, the sound, seating arrangements, and identifying other needs such as requiring a place for storage and a workspace that ideally stimulates the senses.

Health and safety concerns are also taken into consideration when designing a specific space or home. To address these needs the designer must learn about the needs of its inhabitants and identify what amenities would be appropriate in better meeting the client’s needs.

Are there certain psychological or behavioral needs of the occupants that should be addressed in the overall planning of the design and is there an environmental impact on the way that the design is created?

The Difference Between Interior Design and Interior Decorating

Many people use the terms "interior design" and "interior decorating" interchangeably but although some of the functions may cross there is a significant difference. Interior designers must be able to apply creative solutions to the space they are trying to design. Interior designers must have the technical expertise to know the vast array of options that they can apply to any one space. The goal of an interior designer is to work to improve the surroundings and the quality of life of its occupants. Interior design is about both art and science and how to use these two disciplines in creating a beautiful outcome.

Interior decorating is mainly about using various forms of color and accents to make a particular space more visually appealing. Arranging objects such as art, photos, pillows, floral arrangements and other things that make the best of the space that is already available. Interior decorating is strictly about the art and the science is left to the designer.

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