A program in the applied visual arts that prepares individuals to apply artistic principles and techniques to the professional planning, designing, equipping, and furnishing of residential and commercial interior spaces. Includes instruction in computer applications, drafting, and graphic techniques; principles of interior lighting, acoustics, systems integration, and color coordination; furniture and furnishings; textiles and their finishing; the history of interior design and period styles; basic structural design; building codes and inspection regulations; and applications to office, hotel, factory, restaurant and housing design.

Interior designers make ordinary rooms beautiful and functional.

We live most of our lives in rooms and buildings, and almost everyone has spent a little time in a space that wasn't visually pleasing and just didn't work. In contrast, some spaces are breathtakingly arranged with attractive features optimized for living. By applying design elements such as color, form, texture, pattern, line, light, and space to an ordinary room, an interior designer can produce a space that feels a certain way and is a place people will want to inhabit. Interior designers make choices that highlight certain architectural features or bring out an overall feeling that reflects the room's intended use.

Whether a space is newly built or in the middle of a remodel, there's a lot of work to be done. Interior designers make critical material decisions, such as what the floor will be made of, based on a space's intended purpose. There are many, many moving parts that a designer must consider and work around when imagining a room; they plan everything from the wall color and accent furniture to where plumbing and light fixtures will go. Designers can't just create fantastical rooms - they must take into account a client's budget and concept, building codes and regulations, and any unforeseen constraints. Luckily, there are plenty of tools at their disposal, one being computer aided design, or CAD. Designers use software that lets them show clients what a room would look like with an array of specific elements. Having such a comprehensive vision of the final product allows designers to eliminate, add, or change essential details while a project is still in its planning phase, which can cut down unforeseen obstacles before they become expensive problems.

Interior design work may include...

  • Selecting finishes and furnishings for a space
  • Reading and interpreting architectural blueprints
  • Working with architects, builders, and engineers
  • Working within a client's budget and requirements
  • Overseeing installation and adding details

Interior designers usually work independently or as part of a design firm. Individual design firms tend to have a cohesive visual aesthetic that clients seek out; a hotel that wants to be known as a tropical paradise is unlikely to hire a firm that specializes in sleek, minimalist office spaces. Large design firms may have teams of designers that work on projects in different divisions, while smaller design firms tend to focus on individual clients for long stretches of time. Some architecture firms have divisions focused on interior architecture, which may employ one or more interior designers to ensure that a space is workable and cohesive in the long term. Interior designers may be brought in as consultants for homeowners looking to make changes, and

Interior design work relies heavily on the balance of technical skills and aesthetic considerations. Numerous colleges offer Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's degree programs in interior design. Any of these programs should provide instruction in drawing, computer aided design software, materials, and design principles. However, most working interior designers have at least a Bachelor's degree in interior design or architecture, which is the minimum eligibility requirement for professional certification. Further certifications are available to those who may wish to specialize in a certain type of interior design, such as kitchen and bath design or sustainable interiors.

If you're looking for a visual career with visible everyday impact, interior design might be just the path for you.

The American Society of Interior Designers promotes the value of interior design and the power of design to positively change people's lives.

The International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers is the global voice and authority for professional interior architects and designers worldwide.

The Designer Society of America  supports interior designers with a supportive community of professional, creative, and talented design experts.

The Interior Design Society is an independent organization dedicated to serving the residential interior design industry.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association is the premiere association of professionals in the kitchen and bath industry.

The Council for Interior Design Qualification is the premiere certifying organization for interior design professionals in the United States and Canada.