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An example of an office space featuring sustainable design concepts. Photographer: Eric Laignel.


Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment.

The interior design process follows a systematic and coordinated methodology, including research, analysis and integration of knowledge into the creative process, whereby the needs and resources of the client are satisfied to produce an interior space that fulfills the project goals.[1]

Contents

Specializations

In jurisdictions where the profession is regulated by the government, designers must meet broad qualifications and show competency in the entire scope of the profession, not only in a specialty. Designers may elect to obtain specialist accreditation offered by private organizations. In the United States, interior designers who also possess environmental expertise in design solutions for sustainable construction can receive accreditation in this area by taking the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) examination.

Disciplines

Not to be confused with interior decoration, interior design, which evolved from interior decoration, involves a multitude of technical, analytical, creative skills, and understandings of architectural elements. There is a wide range of disciplines within the career of interior design. Domestically the profession of interior design encompasses those designers who may specialize in residential or commercial interior design. Within residential design one can specialize in kitchen and bathroom design, universal design, design for the aged, multifamily housing amongst others. Other interior designers may dwell in the commercial or contract realm of interior space design. In addition to the above commercial interior designers may specialize in furniture design, healthcare design, hospitality design, retail design, workspace design, sustainability, and if they are a registered architect they can focus on the interior architecture of a space. It is the intent of the professional interior designer to improve the psychological and/or physiological well being of their clients. The professional interior designer achieves this by understanding their clients needs, seeking appropriate solutions, respect their clients social, physical and psychological needs and applying them in a safe and ecologically sensitive manner that promotes the health, safety and welfare of the clients. Interior decoration deals with the home renovations that can be easily and quickly changed, and at lower budgets such as changing kitchen cabinets, selecting wall paper, selecting furniture and usually does not deal with structural building codes. An interior decorator does not need a degree, but has a certificate in interior decorating, while an interior designer would have a four year degree in interior design. The word "decorator" in the phrase "interior decorator" is not an accurate one, since the decorator also changes style and quality of life with a home renovation, so the phrase should be: interior decorator/stylist.

Working conditions

There are a wide range of working conditions and employment opportunities within interior design. Large and tiny corporations often hire interior designers as employees on regular working hours. Designers for smaller firms usually work on a contract or per-job basis. Self-employed designers, which make up 26% of interior designers,[2] usually work the most hours. Interior designers often work under stress to meet deadlines, stay on budget, and meet clients' needs. In some cases, licensed professionals review the work and sign it before submitting the design for approval by clients or construction permitting. The need for licensed review and signature varies by locality and relevant legislation, and scope of work. Their work tends to involve a great deal of traveling to visit different locations, studios, or client's homes and offices. Usually this work is done under the supervision of a design professional such as an Architect. With the aid of recent technology, the process of contacting clients and communicating design alternatives has become easier and requires less travel. Some argue that virtual makeovers have revolutionized interior design from a customer perspective, making the design process more interactive and exciting, in a relatively technological but labor-intensive environment.[3]

Earnings

Interior design earnings vary based on employer, number of years with experience, and the reputation of the individual. For residential projects, self-employed interior designers usually earn a per-hour fee plus a percentage of the total cost of furniture, lighting, artwork, and other design elements. For commercial projects, they may charge per-hour fees, or a flat fee for the whole project. The median annual earning for wage and salary interior designers, in the year 2006, was $42,260. The middle 50% earned between $31,830 and $57,230. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,270, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $78,760.[4]

Interior Styles

Contemporary style design at Expo Design MAP (2007)

A style, or theme, is a consistent idea used throughout a room to create a feeling of completeness. Styles are not to be confused with design concepts, or the higher-level party, which involve a deeper understanding of the architectural context, the socio-cultural and the programmatic requirements of the client. These themes often follow period styles. Examples of this are Louis XV, Louis XVI, Victorian, Islamic, Feng Shui, International, Mid-Century Modern, Minimalist, English Georgian, Gothic, Indian Mughal, Art Deco, and many more. The evolution of interior decoration themes has now grown to include themes not necessarily consistent with a specific period style allowing the mixing of pieces from different periods. Each element should contribute to form, function, or both and maintain a consistent standard of quality and combine to create the desired design. A designer develops a home architecture and interior design for a customer that has a style and theme that the prospective owner likes and mentally connects to. For the last 10 years, decorators, designers, and architects have been re-discovering the unique furniture that was developed post-war of the 1950s and the 1960s from new material that were developed for military applications. Some of the trendsetters include Charles and Ray Eames, Knoll and Herman Miller. Themes in home design are usually not overused, but serves as a guideline for designing.

On television

Interior decoration has become the subject of television shows. In the United Kingdom (UK), popular interior decorating programs include 60 Minute Makeover (ITV), Changing Rooms (BBC) and Selling Houses (Channel 4). Famous interior designers whose work is featured in these programs include Linda Barker and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. In the United States, the TLC Network airs a popular program called Trading Spaces, a show with a format similar to the UK program Changing Rooms. In addition, both Home & Garden Television (HGTV) and the Discovery Home networks also televise many programs about interior design and decorating, featuring the works of a variety of interior designers, decorators and home improvement experts in a myriad of projects. Fictional interior decorators include the Sugarbaker sisters on Designing Women and Grace Adler on Will & Grace. There is also another show called "Home MADE". There are two teams and two houses and whoever has the designed and made the worst room, according to the judges, is eliminated. Another show on the Style Network, hosted by Niecy Nash, is Clean House where they re-do messy homes into themed rooms that the clients would like. Other shows include Design on a Dime and Designed to Sell and The Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price.

Interior decorators

Other early interior decorators:

Many of the most famous designers and decorators during the 20th Century had no formal training. Sister Parish, Mark Hampton, Robert Denning and Vincent Fourcade, Stephen Chase, Mario Buatta, John Saladino, Kerry Joyce, Kelly Wearstler, Stéphane Boudin, Georges Geffroy, Emilio Terry, Carlos de Beistegui, Nina Petronzio, Lorenzo Mongiardino, Billy Baldwin, David Nightingale Hicks, Barbara Barry, Jeanine Naviaux and many others were trend-setting innovators in the worlds of design and decoration.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.ncidq.org/ Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  2. ^ "Employment." Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2008-09 Edition, US Department of Labor
  3. ^ Industrial Design Industry Report, IBIS World, July 17 2008
  4. ^ "Earnings", Occupational Outlook Handbook: 2008-09 Edition, US Department of Labor

References

  • Ball, Victoria K.; Opportunities In Interior Design and Decorating Careers. USA: McGraw-Hill, 2002.
  • Farr, Michael; Top 100 Careers for College Students. 7th ed. Indianapolis: JIST Works, 2007.
  • US Census Bureau, Industrial Design NAICS Definition
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