Most interior designers focused on decorating: choosing a style and color palette and then selecting appropriate furniture, floor and window coverings, artwork, and lighting. However, an increasing number of designers are becoming more involved in designing architectural detailing, such as crown molding and built-in bookshelves, or planning layouts of buildings undergoing renovation, including helping to determine the location of windows, stairways, escalators, and walkways.
Interior designers must be able to read blueprints, understand building and fire codes, and know how to make the space accessible to the disabled. Designers frequently collaborate with architects, electricians, and building contractors to ensure that their designs are safe and meet construction requirements. Find schools online or near you that offer interior design certificate programs. Many of the schools offer this training as part of thier art and design degrees.
Interior designers draw upon many disciplines to enhance the function, safety, and aesthetics of interior spaces. Interior designers are concerned with how different colors, textures, furniture, lighting, and space work together to meet the needs of a building's occupants. Designers are involved in planning the interior spaces of almost all buildings, airport terminals, theaters, shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, and private residences. Designers help to improve these spaces in order to boost office productivity, increase sales, attract a more affluent clientele, provide a more relaxing hospital stay, or increase the building's market value.
The first step in developing a new design is to determine the needs of the client, known as programming. The designer usually will meet face-to-face with the client in order to find out how the space will be used and to get an idea of the client's design preferences and budget. For example, the designer might inquire about a family's cooking habits if the family is remodeling a kitchen or ask about a store or restaurant's target customer in order to pick an appropriate design. The designer also will visit the space and take inventory of the existing furniture and equipment as well as identify the any potential design problems and the positive attributes of the space.
Following the initial meeting with the client, the designer will formulate a design plan and estimate the costs on the basis of the client's goals and budget. Today, designs often are created with the use of computer-aided design (CAD), which provides a more detailed layout and also allows for easier corrections than sketches made by hand. Once the designer has completed the proposed design, he or she will present it to the client and make revisions on the basis of the client's input.
When a design concept has been finalized, the designer will begin specifying the materials, finishes, and furnishings required, such as furniture, lighting, flooring, wall covering, and artwork. In addition, depending on the complexity of the project, the designer will need to prepare drawings and submit them for architectural review and approval by a construction inspector to ensure that the design meets all applicable building codes. If a project requires any structural work, the designer will need to work with an architect or engineer for that part of the project. Most designs also will require the hiring of contractors to do such technical work as lighting, plumbing, or electrical wiring. When necessary, the designer will choose qualified contractors and write up work contracts.
Interior designers employed by large corporations or design firms generally work regular hours in well-lighted and comfortable settings. Designers in smaller design consulting firms or those who freelance generally work on a contract, or job, basis. They frequently adjust their workday to suit their clients' schedules and deadlines, meeting with the clients during evening or weekend hours when necessary. Consultants and self-employed designers tend to work longer hours and in smaller, more congested environments.
Find the top interior decorating certificate programs by searching below. Designers may transact business in their own offices or studios or in clients' homes or offices. They also may travel to other locations, such as showrooms, design centers, clients' exhibit sites, and manufacturing facilities. With the increased speed and sophistication of computers and advanced communications networks, designers may form international design teams, serve a geographically more dispersed clientele, research design alternatives by using information on the Internet, and purchase supplies electronically, all with the aid of a computer in their workplace or studio.
Do you have a knack for design and love coming up with the overall look and feel for a room? Interior designers and decorating could be the right fit for your new career. As an interior decorator you’ll transform the look and feel of a room based on popular trends or the taste of your client.
Interior designers work more with the current builders and even architects to layout the functionality of a room. They are the ones that can actually create the plans on where fixtures, walls and the overall look of a room will end up. You’ll need to work with clients as well to go over your design plans as well as give estimates regarding costs and timelines.
Your role isn’t done as a designer until the client is happy. During the construction you’ll be available to answer any questions that come up by the client or the team working on your plans. It is very common that plans have to change while the project is being worked on.
The schools we list range from short-term certificate training to both 2 and even 4 year degrees. Each school is different depending on your goals but a Associate's degree in interior decorating is common. Many of the colleges listed offer both interior design, and interior decorating programs. The biggest difference is if you are looking at attend school at a campus near you or if you are looking for an online program. Many of the online programs can be completed in less than 6 months and typically range from $500-1000. A college that offers an Bachelor's degree in interior decorating will take 4 years to complete and could be over $20,000. One you decide which option you are looking for then it comes time to further request information from that school. By requesting information you’ll be sent a career packet in the mail or by email so you can look into the program with more detail.
This is the perfect time to get your questions ready to determine which school to attend. Below are some of the more popular questions to ask your Admissions Representative:
1. Is your interior decorating or design school accredited and if so from who? You’ll find many are either nationally accredited or regionally accredited.
2. What certifications can I earn when I’ve completed with my program?
3. What is the full tuition cost of the program including any fees?
4. Do you offer financial aid, payment plans or scholarships and if so how do I qualify?
5. Can you provide me with any testimonials of recent graduates?
The important part of the admissions process is to ask questions and don’t hold back on anything you need answered. If you aren’t getting the response you want you can always attend another school. Never feel pressured to enroll in a school as this should be a positive experience for you and during your journey towards a new career.
When you start researching the different schools the first thing you’ll notice is that each one is different. This is typical and the important thing to look at is if the program covers the main topics you want to focus on in your career. If becoming an interior decorator is your goal and focusing on lighting is something you want to focus on then make sure the school covers that in their modules. Below are some of the different modules or courses you’ll cover:
- Small Business (covers owning your own business)
- Decorating and Design
- Principles of Design
- Lighting and Electrical
- Furniture, Flooring and Walls
- Building Plans
- Window treatments
- Choosing Color Schemes
- Plants and room Accessories
One of the more popular software packages designers’ use is CADD design. Check with the school you want to attend to find out if it is required that you purchase any software. Some schools include it in with your tuition costs. The advancements they have made in designing software over the last few years is amazing. In no time at all you’ll be able to transform a simple layout to an amazing work of art that you can show your client. The clients can even get a virtual tour of your design so they better understand how it will look. You then can work with them on making changes until they get a final product they are happy with.
Independent Interior Decorator
Approx. 25% of all interior designers are sell-employed. They take on clients who are looking to overhaul the look of their room, home or commercial retail space. As a designer you’ll provide detailed plans for the overhaul including costs, materials used and timelines. Often decorators specialize in one aspect of design. Some for example might be lighting designers where others might be flooring, paint or fixtures. Once you gain enough knowledge you can offer your expertise in any or all of these areas.
Another path many take is that of a consultant. As a interior decorating consultant you can either do this independently or work for a company that hire consultants.