Becoming an Interior Designer

Interior Designer or Interior Decorator?

People often romanticize the work of an interior designer with the misleading notion that the work consists solely of picking out colors and fabrics for a room. These duties are a bit closer to interior decorating. But an interior designer has an array of responsibilities that include both those of an interior decorator as well as more complex jobs. They include light management, space planning, color coordination, providing estimates that fit a budget, and subcontracting the fabrication and installation of flooring, light fixtures, draperies, paint and wall coverings, furniture, and so on.

An increasing number of designers even take part in the architectural aspect of building of a home, so designers need to be able to read blueprints and possess a knowledge of building codes. It is desirable for an interior designer to have experience with CAD software and home design software in order to prepare blueprints or presentations for clients.

Training and Entry Requirements

Up until recent years there existed no accredited education programs for budding interior designers in the United States. Now there are a number of institutions with interior design programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. These programs typically run from two to five years and most often lead to an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Coursework for these programs may include CAD, furniture design, color and fabrics, space planning, ergonomics, architectural courses, and even psychology.

Most interior designers opt to enter an apprenticeship after a formal education. During this time recent graduates work under the supervision of an experienced designer. This gives designers a chance to build a portfolio and learn the nooks and crannies of the business before going solo.

Interior designers can also choose to become certified by passing an exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). One must have both a formal education and work experience to even sit for the NCIDQ exam. The NCIDQ has defined six various routes that can be found on their site. Note that this certificate is a requirement for professional registration in 26 of the U.S. states and Canadian provinces that require licensing. You must also possess an NCIDQ certificate if you wish to become a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, International Interior Design Association, and other similar organizations.

Work Environment and Conditions

Interior designers most often work as a part of a larger design team or on a freelance basis, although some find work in architectural firms or home-furnishing stores. Clients range from individuals wanting to renovate their homes to corporations planning to open a new business location.

Building relationships with clients is an absolute must for any designer regardless of where he or she works since the main goal of an interior designer is to identify the wants and needs of a client and integrate them into both the aesthetics and function of the interior. This can lead to working on weekends or long hours in order to fit a client’s schedule.

Interior designers tend to travel from place to place quite a bit since much of their time is spent on-site discussing plans with clients and overseeing contracted work. But interior designers actually spend the majority of their time in the office.

Note that designers often work under stress since they constantly juggle deadlines and budgets.

Earnings

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wages for interior designers were $44,950 as of May 2008. The middle 50 percent earned between The lowest 10 percent earned $27,230, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $82,750.

Give Interior Design a Try

Designing interiors is a fulfilling job that allows one to express his or her creativity, but it is by far not for everyone. Those wishing to become interior designers are encouraged to try themselves at interior design before making the decision to enroll at a design institute. You can do this by designing the interior of your own home or getting acquainted with home design software. If you find that interior design is for you, then embrace yourself for a worthwhile career and jump in head first!

View this article together with illustrations and links on BeLight Software’s website.

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What Is Interior Design and How Is It Different From Interior Decorating?

To begin this journey, first an attempt must be made to answer the question, ‘What is Interior Design’; The National Council for Interior Design Qualification offers up the following definition: ‘is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive’. Comparing this to the definitions provided by The Free Dictionary for an interior decorator: ‘also called interior designer a person whose profession is the planning of the decoration and furnishings of the interior of houses, shops, etc.’ and ‘a person whose profession is the painting and wallpapering of houses’

Well it is understandable, based on the two definitions above, why there are two camps. One camp holds that the interior designer is held to a higher standard and has significantly more training and design responsibilities than the interior decorator, and then there are those that bunch them all together as one and the same. There are those that look at the designer as a version of an architect and those that look at them as being a house painter. No wonder there is confusion amongst the ranks.

In an attempt to answer the question, ‘Is there a difference or not?’, a Google search was performed for ‘Interior Decorator Degree’ and the response overwhelmingly returned results for ‘Interior Designer’; and not the keyword as searched. One can reasonably conclude that since one can get a degree in interior design, but not as an interior decorator, that there is a difference.

So where would one draw the line between a designer and a decorator? Reverting back to the two definitions above one can discern the key difference. The definition for the designer refers to ‘built interior environment’ whereas the decorator suggests ‘decorating and furnishing’ as the key activities. The higher standard is the designer’s ability and responsibilities to call for tearing out walls, flooring, windows, lighting, electrical, as well as recommending furniture and miscellaneous design pieces. In short, the scope their role includes the responsibilities of a decorator, but goes much further.

Often it is critical for the designer to understand the wants and needs of the individual or company leadership that is hiring them to make a space comfortable and esthetically pleasing to ‘the eye of the beholder’; meaning whoever is paying the freight. This will require the designer to ask the question, ‘What is interior design through the eyes of my employer?’

Determining just how to customize a small dwelling area up to major corporate businesses like a national restaurant chain that must be attractive to the eye in many different regions of the country with a common design can be very challenging. Requiring a grasp of many different fields including developing and reading floor plans, a knowledge of building codes, and access to a long list of contractors that are capable of doing the work to specification are just a few of the extra requirement that separate interior design from decoration.

Often specializing in unique areas like hotels, casinos, restaurants, or other businesses that may regularly freshen up their designs to keep their businesses looking comfortable yet enticing, designers generally develop skill sets that may not play all that well outside of their special areas of expertise. What they probably are looking for in the interior design of a hospital is most likely a far cry from what they are looking for at a casino. Perhaps a better example would be determining just how to continue on with a southwestern theme for a Mexican restaurant chain in places like Seattle, St. Louis, Charlotte, Pittsburg, and Boston. What is interior design widely accepted in one region may not be well accepted in another.

In asking, ‘What is interior design?’ in today’s environment, one must also begin to start thinking green and to look for ways to minimize the consumption of non-renewable energy sources. How does one create areas with a lot of natural lighting but not subject the individual to the blazing rays of the sun? How does one incorporate solar panels into the design or solar powered floor heaters in colder climates without losing the esthetic charm and ambiance of marble floors? These are the challenges of today’s designers. It’s a good thing that they love their jobs.

If you enjoyed reading this article on What is Interior Design [http://whatisinteriordesign.com/2011/06/28/what-is-interior-design-and-how-is-it-different-from-interior-decorating/] and How Is It Different to Interior Decorating’, be sure to visit my blog for more interesting articles regarding Interior Design: What is Interior Design [http://whatisinteriordesign.com/]

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Interior Design For The Home

Any home can be pleasing with the proper application of basic interior design methods. Some people study interior design to be very good at it but there are people who are gifted with an eye for beauty and for interior designing.

A person who is creative can do some interior designing on his own even without formal training. Those who have an eye for what is aesthetic can just as easily decorate and design his own house depending on his tastes. Of course, it helps to read books and articles about designing to be updated on the basic and latest design methods.

Any interior designer can create a specific atmosphere just by putting together several pieces and unifying them in a single theme. There are interior designers who have a bias for certain motifs like eclectic, modern or even country style. Some go for simple designs without the clutter.

Interior design is not only aesthetic but also functional depending on the requirements of the client. An interior designer can make a small room spacious and an otherwise cluttered room into an orderly one. Interior design is used just about anywhere from homes, offices to commercial buildings.

The interiors of a room should always match the personality of the person who will occupy that room. This is the reason why designers always work closely with their clients so they can make sure that they get a feel of what their clients want in terms of design style.

People have this notion that interior design is expensive. However, designers are not only creative people but they are also very good in budgeting. Most designers will work on a design that will match or fit the budget of their clients. A person can allot a minimal amount for the interior design of his home or office and still come up with an aesthetic and functional room.

Professional interior designers who are formally trained usually have basic knowledge on architecture, engineering and even accounting. They need these courses to make their design aesthetic, structurally correct and cost effective.

The terms Interior design and interior decorating have often been used interchangeably. However, the two terms actually deal with different phases of making a room or a space aesthetic. Interior design is basically the process of studying the personality of the occupant of the room being designed in order to maximize and tailor-made the room’s design for that person’s behavior and personality.

Interior decorating on the other hand is the process of actually mixing and matching the different design techniques like window treatments, the right wallpaper, wall finish and even the furnishing of a room.

There are a lot of opportunities for those in the interior design and decorating industry. An interior designer can go into designing household, corporate or commercial establishments. Others specialize in the design of health facilities or even tourism establishments.

The latest trend now for those in the interior design industry is to be able to incorporate the right engineering and aesthetic design with sustainable development. Even designers are now more conscious about the state of the environment so they tend to use environmentally friendly materials for their designs.

There are designers who specialize and use Feng Shui in their designs. This requires further study because Feng Shui deals with the Chinese’s ancient methods of designing a space to make the design work for the owner’s health, business and other life factors.

The Chinese believes that a structure should be properly designed so as to allow positive energy to enter the structure. When the structure has already been built without the aid of a Feng Shui expert, the mistakes can be corrected through proper interior design using the Feng Shui methods.

By incorporating Feng Shui in interior design, it is believed that a person can bring out all the positive energies in a room to make him rich, happy and healthy. An interior design using Feng Shui can also get rid of bad spirits that bring in negative atmosphere in an abode.

Getting the services of an interior designer can make a room both aesthetic and functional. Any person who wants to make his home livable and functional should try getting the services of an interior designer to maximize his space.

Lee Dobbins writes for [http://interiordesign.unique-articles.com] where you can read more articles and get tips on decorating and interior design [http://interiordesign.unique-articles.com].

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