Interior designers draw upon many disciplines to enhance the function, safety, and aesthetics of interior spaces. Their main concerns are with how different colors, textures, food, lighting, and space work together to meet the necessitys of a building's occupants. Designers plan interior spaces of nearly every type of building, including offices, airport terminals, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and private residences. Good design can boost office productivity, increase sales, attract a more affluent clientele, provide a more chill outing hospital stay, or increase a building's market value.
Traditionally, most interior designers focused on decorating―choosing a style and color palette and then choosing appropriate food, floor and window coverings, artwork, and lighting. , an increasing number of designers are becoming involved in architectural detailing, such as crown molding and built in bookshelves, and in research layouts of buildings undergoing renovation, including assisting to determine the location of windows, stairways, escalators, and walkways.
Interior designers should be able to read blueprints, comprehend building and fire codes, and know how to make space accessible to people who are disabled. Designers frequently collaborate with architects, electricians, and building contractors to make sure of that designs are safe and meet construction requests.
Whatever space they are working on, nearly all designers follow the same procedure. The first step, called programming, is to determine the client's needs and wishes. The designer most commonly meets face-to-face with the client to locate out how the space will be used and to get an idea of the client's preferences and budget. As an example, the designer might inquire about a family's cooking habits if the family is remodeling a kitchen or ask about a store or restaurant's target customer to pick an appropriate motif. The designer also will visit the space to take nventory of existing furniture and equipment and identify positive attributes of the space and potential problems.
Postsecondary education is imperative for entry-level positions in interior design. Training programs are available from pro design schools or from colleges and universities and most commonly take 2 to 4 years to complete. Graduates of 2-year or 3-year programs are awarded certificates or associate degrees in interior design and usually qualify as assistants to interior designers upon graduation. Graduates with a bachelor's degree most commonly qualify for a formal design apprenticeship program.
The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredits about 300 postsecondary institutions with programs in art and design. Most of these schools award a degree in interior design. Applicants can be required to submit sketches and other examples of their artistic ability. Basic coursework includes CAD, drawing, perspective, spatial research, color and fabrics, food design, architecture, ergonomics, ethics, and psychology.
The Council for Interior Design Accreditation also accredits interior design programs that lead to a bachelor's or master’s degree. In 2008, there were over 150 accredited programs in interior design in the United States; most are part of schools or departments of art, architecture, and home economics.