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An interior designer is a professional involved in the art and science of creating or enhancing the interior of a building. This is undertaken to make an aesthetically pleasing environment as well as an interior that appropriately is functional. With this in mind, a fair question is what does an interior designer do to achieve these primary objectives.

Primary Facets of Interior Design

An interior designer is said to be in a multifaceted profession. There are four essential facets associated with the profession of an interior designer:

  • Planning
  • Researching
  • Coordinating
  • Managing

Addressing the four primary facets of the interior design profession necessitates specific tasks undertaken by an interior designer himself or herself. Moreover, because of the nature of the interior design profession, a person involved in this career necessarily must consistently interact with an array of different project stakeholders, from owners to contractors to vendors.

Essential Tasks of an Interior Designer

When it comes to understanding what an interior decorator does as professional, there are some essential tasks that are undertaken:

  • Seek clients, including advertising and marketing
  • Bid on projects
  • Meet with clients to determine project needs, goals, and objectives
  • Visualize how a pace is to be used
  • Sketch design plans and associated images
  • Select materials to be used in a project
  • Select furnishings to be placed in a space
  • Order materials and furnishings
  • Develop project timelines, including intermediary milestones
  • Estimate project costs, including materials and labor
  • Oversee project-related construction and installation
  • Coordinate with contractors regarding overall project plans and associated specifications
  • Coordinate with subcontractors that may include painters, plumbers, electricians, and other professionals
  • Review completed project
  • Present completed project to the client
  • Make any changes requested by the client
  • Ensure the client is fully satisfied and signs off on the project

Interior Design Specializations

In this day and age, a typical interior designer specializes in a particular milieu. The leading areas in which an interior designer may specialize are residential design, corporate or general business design, health care design, kitchen and bath design, sustainable or green design, and universal design. Each of these types of interior design specializations warrants a brief explanation in order to really understand the actual work of an interior designer in the 21st century

Residential Design

A considerable percentage of interior designers work in the realm of residential new construction and existing home renovation and remodeling. Historically, a sharp focus was on the appearance of a home’s interior. In more recent years, that focus has become more expansive and now considers such issues as sustainability, smart home technology, and the health and wellness of residents.

Corporate or General Business Design

An interior designer working in the corporate or general business arena providesa s services to a broad class of clients. These include everything from small businesses to large corporations. In addition to creating attractive corporate or business environments, an interior designer working in this arena is also concerned with creating healthy and practical work environments.

Kitchen and Bath Design

Because of specialized considerations involved in designing kitchen and bath spaces, a special cadre of interior designers can be found at work in this arena. An interior designer that specializes in kitchens and baths needs to have special expertise in regard to a variety of different areas, including electrical solutions, plumbing matters, appliances, fixtures, and building materials of a different type.

Sustainable or Green Design

In recent years, a growing number of interior designers are holding themselves out as specialists in the real of sustainable or green design. Oftentimes, these interior designers obtain specialized certification including from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and the U.S. Green Building Council. Interior designers that provide sustainable or green design services may work exclusively in one specific area like residential, corporate, or governmental buildings and projects. There are others that provide services more broadly to buildings of different types.

Related Resource: What Degree Do I Need To Become An Interior Designer?

Universal Design

Finally, a segment of the interior design profession is involved in what is known as universal design. In basic terms, universal design works to make buildings accessible to individuals no matter their “age, ability, or status in life. Universal design concepts initially were developed by Selwyn Goldsmith in is groundbreaking work Designing for the Disabled.

The interior design profession is expected to grow at a pace faster than the workplace as a whole, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This trend is expected to continue over the course of the coming decade.