Interior design is more than just aesthetics. It’s about finding creative design solutions for interior environments while supporting the health, safety and well being of occupants and enhancing their quality of life.
Interior designers work closely with architects, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, and builders to determine how interior spaces will function, look, and be furnished. Interior designers read blueprints and must be aware of building codes and inspection regulations. For more information on structural engineers, see the profile on civil engineers. For more information on builders, see the profile on construction labourers and helpers.
Although some sketches or drawings may be freehand, most interior designers use computer-aided design (CAD) software for the majority of their drawings. Throughout the design process, interior designers often will use building information modelling (BIM) software to create three-dimensional visualizations that include construction elements such as walls or roofs.
Many designers specialize in a particular type of building, such as homes, hospitals, or hotels; a specific room, such as bathrooms or kitchens; or a specific style. Some designers work for home-furnishings stores, providing design services to help customers choose materials and furnishings.
Some interior designers produce designs, plans, and drawings for construction and installation. These may include construction and demolition plans, electrical layouts, and plans needed for building permits. Interior designers may draft the preliminary design into documents that could be as simple as sketches or as inclusive as construction documents, with schedules and attachments.
The best interior designers make it look easy, crafting spaces that anticipate our needs and appeal to our emotions, but in reality a broad set of skills and technical knowledge is required. Interior design has changed dramatically since the early 20th century when it was just beginning to emerge as a profession.