What is an Interior Designer?
What is an Interior Designer?
This is a question we get asked almost every day. Our definition is that an interior designer is an interior architect who is responsible for the internal environment of a building. This covers every aspect of the design, from the local bylaws, code compliance, planning, plumbing, electrical, lighting, heating, cooling, fitting and fixtures and of course the finishes. It is everything about the interior environment not just the finishes.
That means that they have to have a very broad education on a lot of areas of building and design. Interior designers need to be able to provide instructions to consultants like engineers, and provide detailed plans for the construction of the interior. Therefore an interior designer has to be competent at drafting either by hand or using a CAD program and able to complete a set of contract documents the comply with the regulations of that state or country.
Today, an interior designer has to go through a rigorous process of education either a diploma or a degree to be qualified. This opportunity has only been available in most countries for 10 to 15 years. In some countries, there is still no formal education for interior designers. In the past architectural designers have learnt interior decorating and used the two skills together to call themselves interior designers.
Some countries are very strict about calling yourself an interior designer, you have to be registered to be able to do this. As this is not the case in all countries, esentially anyone can call themselves an interior designer and get away with it. But can they? Not everyone can take on the task of an interior design project and succeed. It will become apparent to a client resonably quickly that the so called interior designer does not have the proper skills to perform the task. This will not take long to be spread and the so called interior designer should not stay in business long, but unfortunately, they could ruin a few projects and give interior designers a bad rap along the way.
An interior designer will usually belong to an affiliation of some sort, this is usually a good start if you are looking for an interior designer, check their credentials. They should also hold insurances to cover their work in the case of something going wrong. Always ask around in the industry, check their prior work, this should give you a good idea.
Now if you are reading this article because you want to be an interior designer, that is great, we need more keen and creative enthusiastic people in the industry. Just as long as you realize that it isn’t something you can learn in a few years and then you are on your way. It is a lifetime of learning, it never stops. Interior designers have to keep up with building codes, local body codes, industry standards for work, and of course learn and stay up to date with products and finishes, then be aware of trends and fashion. Being an interior designer is a job that you have to be passionate about or you will burn out. It is not for the faint hearted, so I would suggest before you go and sign up for your interior design study, that you go and spend some time in a design practice, work for free like an internship, go and offer your services to a company. Get some hands on experience in an office and see if it really is what you want to do. Then make a decision for the right reasons.
At this website we offer a free ecourse in interior decorating, this is also a good starting point if you have never attempted any type of this work before. It is a way to get an idea about the world of interiors if you aren’t in a big city or town with a design company or don’t have access to design firms where you can get work experience at. Try it and if it get you excited then take the next step to becoming a qualified interior designer. Please don’t ask us to recommend a good interior design school, there are so many globally that we cannot possibly have authority on their quality of education. You need to ask around to find that out. Use online forums and guage users experience. We have a company we affiliate with that can find design schools in your area and they have one online course, this is probably a good place to start looking.
Written by Lee Brown
Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse