Interior Designer or Interior Decorator?

People often romanticize the task of an interior designer with the misleading notion that the task consists solely of picking out colors and fabrics for a room. These duties certainly are a bit nearer to interior decorating. But an interior designer has a range of responsibilities that include both those of an interior decorator along with more complex jobs. They include light management, space planning, color coordination, providing estimates that suit a budget, and subcontracting the fabrication and installing 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 property, so designers have to manage to read blueprints and possess a understanding of building codes. It’s 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 you will find numerous institutions with interior design programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design and the Council for Interior Design Accreditation sofa care. These programs typically run from two to five years and usually 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 prefer to enter an apprenticeship after a conventional education. During this period recent graduates work beneath the supervision of an experienced designer. This gives designers to be able to build a portfolio and learn the nooks and crannies of the company before going solo.

Interior designers may also elect to become certified by passing an examination administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). One must have both a conventional 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 really a requirement for professional registration in 26 of the U.S. states and Canadian provinces that require licensing. You need to also possess an NCIDQ certificate if you want becoming a person in the American Society of Interior Designers, International Interior Design Association, and other similar organizations.

Work Environment and Conditions

Interior designers usually work as part of a bigger design team or on a freelance basis, while some find work in architectural firms or home-furnishing stores. Clients range between individuals planning to renovate their homes to corporations about to open a new business location.

Building relationships with clients is mandatory for almost any designer irrespective of where he or she works since the key goal of an interior designer is to spot the wants and needs of a customer and integrate them into both aesthetics and function of the interior. This will lead to working on weekends or long hours in order to fit a client’s schedule.

Interior designers tend traveling from place to place a great deal since much of the time is spent on-site discussing plans with clients and overseeing contracted work. But interior designers actually spend many their amount of time in the office.

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


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 best 10 percent earned $27,230, and the best 10 percent earned significantly more than $82,750.

Give Interior Design a Try

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

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