Interior design is one of the highest paying master’s degrees out there. If you want to work in this field, you may choose to specialize in different concentrations within interior design. Some concentrations focus on certain rooms within a building, others on types of spaces with different purposes and still others on specific aspects of design, such as accessibility or sustainability.
Kitchen and Bath
By far, two of the most important – and most complex – areas of a home are the kitchen and the bathroom. These rooms must be functional, allowing you to complete tasks like cooking, washing dishes, bathing, and more. Both rooms need water hookups for faucets, as well as for the toilet, shower and bathtub in the bathroom and possibly for the refrigerator in the kitchen. Space for both storage and working, especially in the kitchen, is also important. Of course, you also want your kitchen and bathroom to be aesthetically appealing.
One way to boost your kitchen and bath design career is to seek professional certification from the National Kitchen and Bath Association. You don’t have to have a master’s degree with a concentration in kitchen and bath design, but you do need experience and education in the subject area.
Corporate and Executive Offices
If you equate interior design with swanky homes, you might be surprised to find that some interior designers don’t work on private homes at all. Instead, they might design commercial properties. Corporate and executive offices are one of the types of commercial properties in which an interior designer may specialize. Designing corporate and executive offices, like homes, requires you to make a space as functional as it is beautiful. Office spaces should fit how companies work in practice, not just in theory, and should allow business teams to work smarter and make their work flow more smoothly. While office spaces may bring the brand image into their aesthetic design, they also need to convey an air of professionalism.
The difference between corporate offices and executive offices is that executive offices are for top managers – like CEOs, CFOs, CTOs and other chief executive roles. When you design office spaces for top managers, you may need more out of these rooms, including private, multifunctional spaces.
Hospitality and Entertainment Design
Have you ever wondered who designs the suites and lobbies of fancy hotels? What about restaurants, wedding venues, fitness clubs and other attractions? Focusing your career on hospitality and entertainment design allows you to create the looks that make these spaces stand out. The functionalities needed in the design of these spaces varies. For example, what you need for a bar is a lot different from the layout required for a spa. However, what’s the same is the need to blend function with an aesthetic that reflects the purpose and personality of the hospitality or entertainment business.
Smart interior design for the hospitality industry is about more than appearances. It also affects the comfort of your guests, the satisfaction of your workers, and the overall efficiency of your business. Having the right interior design can actually improve your operations and your bottom line.
Accessibility and Aging in Place
The functionality aspect of interior design is particularly important when looking at a specialization of interior design called accessibility and aging in place. Often, people with disabilities and those of advancing age are forced to move because their physical limitations keep them from functioning in their homes safely or effectively. Interior designers who concentrate in this area learn to make residential spaces more accessible through thoughtful space planning and the development of designs that utilize universal features. When you specialize in accessibility and aging in place, you do more than make a room or a house look appealing. You help senior citizens and disabled individuals remain in their homes, where they are comfortable and secure, without the risk of getting hurt due to inaccessible design elements.
Interior design students studying accessibility and aging in place often take some coursework in gerontology and the sociology of aging and health in addition to more traditional interior design coursework.
We only have one Earth, and its resources are precious. Interior designers who concentrate on sustainable design seek to use environmentally friendly techniques and materials in their work. You may design any type of interior, from different rooms of a house to corporate offices or hospitality settings, but you do so with an emphasis on reducing waste and environmental harm.
Sustainable design is increasingly becoming a component of many interior design programs, but when you focus your education or your career on this topic, you delve a lot deeper than a single introductory course in the subject.