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.

History And Current Terms

In the past, interiors were put together instinctively as a part of the process of building. The profession of interior design has been a consequence of the development of society and the complex architecture that has resulted from the development of industrial processes. The pursuit of effective use of space, user well-being and functional design has contributed to the development of the contemporary interior design profession.

β€œFor a house to be successful, the objects in it must communicate with one another, respond and balance one another.”
– Andre Putman –

The profession of interior design is separate and distinct from the role of Interior Decorator, a term commonly used in the US. The term is less common in the UK where the profession of interior design is still unregulated and therefore, strictly speaking, not yet officially a profession.

Commercial Interior Design And Management

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In the mid- to late-19th century, interior design services expanded greatly, as the middle class in industrial countries grew in size and prosperity and began to desire the domestic trappings of wealth to cement their new status. Large furniture firms began to branch out into general interior design and management, offering full house furnishings in a variety of styles. This business model flourished from the mid-century to 1914, when this role was increasingly usurped by independent, often amateur, designers. This paved the way for the emergence of the professional interior design in the mid-20th century.

Illustrated catalog of the James Shoolbred Company, published in 1876. In the 1850s and 1860s, upholsterers began to expand their business remits. They framed their business more broadly and in artistic terms and began to advertise their furnishings to the public. To meet the growing demand for contract interior work on projects such as offices, hotels, and public buildings, these businesses became much larger and more complex, employing builders, joiners, plasterers, textile designers, artists, and furniture designers, as well as engineers and technicians to fulfil the job. Firms began to publish and circulate catalogs with prints for different lavish styles to attract the attention of expanding middle classes.

Interior Designer

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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 an architect. Interior designers often work directly with architectural firms.

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 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. {Source}