Design Definitions

Design Definitions for Architecture, Interior Design and Construction

Interior Design and Decorating is a wonderful career choice, but there are just so many things to remember, it is like learning a new language.
That’s why we have compiled an interior design, interior decoration, construction and architectural terms, glossary of design definitions as an education tool for using while you study and a valuable reference tool for when you are working in the industry.

You can search by letter below – some definition definitions and examples are shown below the links for the letter A to give you an idea of how you can learn using quick short meanings for design words. You may even find it fun!
A – Acrylic, Adobe, Aggregate
A – Arts and Crafts, Axminster, Arc, Art Deco
A – Altar, Anaglypta, Analogous
A – Antiquing, Anti Fungus Paint, Apartment
A – Arcade, Arch, Arch Stone,
B – Beading, Bas Relief, Bauhaus
B – Board and Batten, Bobbin Twist
B – Brocade, Brooming, Buckram
C – Chalking, Chipboard, Chiffonier
C – Conchoidal, Conduit, Console
D- Definitions of Damask, de Stijl, Deck, Deviling
F – French Pleat, Footing, Foundation
I – Intrados, Ironmongery, Inlay
K – Keystone, Knobbling, Knocked Down
L – Lichgate, Laminate, Lacquer
M – Modinature, Monochromatic and Mosaic
N – Newel, Niche, Nickel Plating
O – Oriel Window, Organdy, Osnaburg
Q – Quoin, Quarry Tiles, Quartzite
R – Rococo, Riven, Roughcast
S – Sinkage, Shading, Screed
T – Tolerance, Tread, Tracking
U – Uplighters, Underlayment, UPVC
W – Wainscot, Wall, Warp
XYZ – Zig Zag, Zinc Chromes, Yarns and Fibers

This page has a sample of how the design definitions are presented on the pages above for the letter A.

Interior Design Definitions and Photos – A

Learn Interior Design Definitions
Architectural Design Definitions

Design Definitions for Abacus, Acanthus Leaves, Abutment, Acid, Achromatic Color Scheme, Acoustic Tile, Acroteria, Acetate and Access

Abacus: The top part of any capital. The square slab placed on top of the capital to bear the beam. It often has moldings and these are an indicator of the date that its design is derived from.

Abutment: An intersection between a roof and a wall. The solid mass of a pier or wall from which an arch springs.

Acanthus Leaves: The leaves of the Acanthus spinosus, a thick scalloped leaf. It has been used since classical times, the most recognizable stylized form on the top of columns, also used as architectural moldings and as a decorative form on furniture.



acanthus leaves





Acanthus Leaves

Access: Usually a removable panel in a conduit duct or channel.

Acid: Opposite to alkali, which neutralize and are neutralized by alkalis. Examples of household acids are vinegar and lemon juice.

Acetate: (textiles) Acetate is made from wood pulp. It has a low strength when wet, and is not very absorbent. Moths or mildew does not affect it. It drapes well, but avoid wringing – drip dry only and use a cool iron. A common substitute for various natural fibers, acetate is versatile and inexpensive. It is used in making satin and brocades. Tri-acetate – is stronger and more durable. It washes well and retains pressing. It is non-absorbent and commonly used in mixtures and blends well with natural and other man made fibers.

Achromatic Color Scheme: A colorless scheme using black, white and grey. (A variation of this is possible, making a warm or cool achromatic by adding a hint of red yellow or blue.) Examples of achromatic color schemes

For more information on color schemes

achromatic color scheme










Achromatic Color Scheme

Acoustic Tile: squares blocks often perforated made of soft material such as cork or plaster rather than hard reflective surfaces.







Acroteria: Small pedestals at the extremities and apex of a pediment. (Originally for sculpture).


Use the alphabetical links at the top of the page to find the interior design definitions you are looking for.

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