Interior design is the art and science of understanding people’s behavior to create functional spaces within a building. Decoration is the furnishing or adorning of a space with decorative elements, sometimes complemented by advice and practical assistance. In short, interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.
Interior designer implies that there is more of an emphasis on planning, functional design and the effective use of space, as compared to interior decorating. An interior designer in fineline design can undertake projects that include arranging the basic layout of spaces within a building as well as projects that require an understanding of technical issues such as window and door positioning, acoustics, and lighting. Although an interior designer may create the layout of a space, they may not alter load-bearing walls without having their designs stamped for approval by a structural engineer. Interior designers often work directly with architects, engineers and contractors.
Interior designers must be highly skilled in order to create interior environments that are functional, safe, and adhere to building codes, regulations and ADA requirements. They go beyond the selection of color palettes and furnishings and apply their knowledge to the development of construction documents, occupancy loads, healthcare regulations and sustainable design principles, as well as the management and coordination of professional services including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life safety—all to ensure that people can live, learn or work in an innocuous environment that is also aesthetically pleasing.
Someone may wish to specialize and develop technical knowledge specific to one area or type of interior design, such as residential design, commercial design, hospitality design, healthcare design, universal design, exhibition design, furniture design, and spatial branding. Interior design is a creative profession that is relatively new, constantly evolving, and often confusing to the public. It is not an artistic pursuit and relies on research from many fields to provide a well-trained understanding of how people are influenced by their environments.
Color in interior design
Color is a powerful design tool in decoration, as well as in interior design, which is the art of composing and coordinating colors together to create a stylish scheme on the interior architecture of the space.
It is essential to interior designers to acquire a deep experience with colors, understand their psychological effects, and understand the meaning of each color in different locations and situations in order to create suitable combinations for each place.
Combining colors together could result in creating a state of mind as seen by the observer, and could eventually result in positive or negative effects on them. Colors make the room feel either more calm, cheerful, comfortable, stressful, or dramatic. Color combination make a tiny room seem larger or smaller. So it is the Interior designer profession to choose appropriate colors for a place in a way people want to look and feel in the space.
Residential design is the design of the interior of private residences. As this type design is very specific for individual situations, the needs and wants of the individual are paramount in this area of interior design. The interior designer may work on the project from the initial planning stage or may work on the remodelling of an existing structure. It is often a very involved process that takes months to fine-tune and create a space with the vision of the client.
Commercial design encompasses a wide range of subspecialties.
- Retail: includes malls and shopping centers, department stores, specialty stores, visual merchandising, and showrooms.
- Visual and spatial branding: The use of space as a medium to express a corporate brand.
- Corporate: office design for any kind of business such as banks.
- Healthcare: the design of hospitals, assisted living facilities, medical offices, dentist offices, psychiatric facilities, laboratories, medical specialist facilities.
- Hospitality and recreation: includes hotels, motels, resorts, cruise ships, cafes, bars, casinos, nightclubs, theaters, music and concert halls, opera houses, sports venues, restaurants, gyms, health clubs and spas, etc.
- Institutional: government offices, financial institutions (banks and credit unions), schools and universities, religious facilities, etc.
- Industrial facilities: manufacturing and training facilities as well as import and export facilities.
- Exhibition: includes museums, gallery, exhibition hall, specially the design for showroom and exhibition gallery.
- Traffic building: includes bus station, subway station, airports, pier, etc.
- Sports: includes gyms, stadiums, swimming rooms, basketball halls, etc.
- Teaching in a private institute that offer classes of interior design
- Employment in private sector firms
Other areas of specialization include amusement and theme park design, museum and exhibition design, exhibit design, event design (including ceremonies, weddings, baby and bridal showers, parties, conventions, and concerts), interior and prop styling, craft styling, food styling, product styling, tablescape design, theatre and performance design, stage and set design, scenic design, and production design for film and television. Beyond those, interior designers, particularly those with graduate education, can specialize in healthcare design, gerontological design, educational facility design, and other areas that require specialized knowledge. Some university programs offer graduate studies in theses and other areas. For example, both Cornell University and the University of Florida offer interior design graduate programs in environment and behavior studies.