In the most basic sense, an interior designer is a professional who is hired to conceptualize and coordinate the interior look of a house or commercial space. A designer typically works with a client to choose everything from the colors, patterns, and artwork to furniture, lighting, and accents. In addition to helping the customer find and purchase new items, the designer also helps incorporate a home's existing pieces into the redesign.
By a stricter professional definition, an interior designer has completed a certification program in her field — either a two-year associate's degree or a four-year degree. Though you don't technically need a degree to work as an interior designer, it is becoming increasingly important. According to the American Society of Interior Designers, half of all states have licensing requirements for designers, and in some jurisdictions, you cannot market yourself as an interior designer without meeting certain educational and testing requirements.