Interior design is the art or process of designing the interior, often including the exterior, of a room or building. An interior designer is someone who coordinates and manages such projects. Interior design is a multifaceted profession that includes conceptual development, communicating with the stakeholders of a project and the management and execution of the design.
Interior design is the process of shaping the experience of interior space, through the manipulation of spatial volume as well as surface treatment.
Interior designer implies that there is more of an emphasis on planning, functional design and the effective use of space, as compared to interior decorating. An interior designer can undertake projects that include arranging the basic layout of spaces within a building as well as projects that require an understanding of technical issues such as window and door positioning, acoustics, and lighting. Although an interior designer may create the layout of a space, they may not alter load-bearing walls without having their designs stamped for approval by a structural engineer. Interior designers often work directly with architects, engineers and contractors.
Interior designers must be highly skilled in order to create interior environments that are functional, safe, and adhere to building codes, regulations, and ADA requirements. They go beyond the selection of color palettes and furnishings and apply their knowledge to the development of construction documents, occupancy loads, healthcare regulations, and sustainable design principles, as well as the management and coordination of professional services including mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and life safety – all to ensure that people can work, live, and learn in an innocuous environment that is also aesthetically pleasing.
An interior designer may wish to specialize in a particular type of interior design in order to develop technical knowledge specific to that area. Types of interior design include residential design, commercial design, hospitality design, healthcare design, universal design, exhibition design, furniture design and spatial branding. The profession of interior design is relatively new, constantly evolving, and often confusing to the public. It is a creative profession that is consistently changing and evolving. It is not an artistic pursuit and relies on research from many fields to provide a well-trained understanding of how people are influenced by their environments.