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Interior Designer

Definition: Interior Designer

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.

LynetteSmurfette LynetteSmurfette 10 years
While the explanation posted in the column was accurate it was not COMPLETE. In 2 weeks I will be finishing my B of Science in Interior Design. With my degree I feel completely in control for doing almost everything an Architect can do except for load bearing walls. I am well versed in codes: fire, ADA, load requirements, and ect. I also have an extensive knoledge in building structures as well as history of architecture. My biggest pet peeve (sp) is when people don't recognize the difference between Interior DECORATORS VS. DESIGNERS. I have it when people come up to me and say "OH I LOVE TRADING SPACES"..... GEEZ ... or "My sister loves ebrodering pillows" DOUBLE GEEZ. My education is comparable to the work load of a pre-med student. and I would apreciate it if people started to recognized the difference! They are working on laws to not only made Inteiror designers licenced through INCQ but also a licence to be able to own their own work instead of having to get EVERY DRAWING SIGNED OFF MY AN ARCHITECT. There is a very very very very fine line between the 2 feilds. Architects want to hold onto their power they feel they deserve over interior designers. They have to get over it! We are a blend of lines bleeding between the 2 feilds and I hope one day we will co-exsist peacefully. I LOVE YOU POPSUGAR BUT GET YOUR STORY FULL AND STRAIGHT!!! ps. that was quite a lenghty comment ;)
redegg redegg 10 years
Yes in most states you are an interior DECORATOR until you take the NCIDQ and cannot market yourself as an interior designer at all, it is false advertising. ASID is quickly changing legislation across the US so that this is uniform everywhere. This is to protect clients and give them a better sense of what training the person they are hiring has. Although my state is not legislated yet, I didn't call myself an interior designer until I had completed my exams and joioned ASID. Now I do so with confidence. :D Good luck to all of you guys and congrats to everyone else who is an interior designer! :)
books-and-shoes books-and-shoes 10 years
I SOOOO wanted to go to school for this! I might go back and do it!
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 10 years
Im with RCLdesigngirl. I do the same drawings she does and I plan on taking my test also next spring. Think Bar exam, or CPA. Its a multi CasaSugar...That is a really touchy subject to talk about. I don't think it is wise to educate people on something that is not yet fully defined. Just because I can write a letter to the editor doesn't make me a journalist, nor does it make someone "picking" furniture a "designer". If they designed the fabric that went onto the couch and then designed the couch themselves. That is a designer. Not someone who refers a catalog. de·sign /dɪˈzaɪn/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[di-zahyn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation –verb (used with object) prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for (a work to be executed), esp. to plan the form and structure of: to design a new bridge. plan and fashion artistically or skillfully. intend for a definite purpose: a scholarship designed for foreign students. formerly known as FIDER , a different professional organization than ASID Check out this magazine, because this is what you should be doing! an example of a professional legislation page.
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 10 years
Woo....okay. Yes, I'm an interior designer. redegg is a LICENSED interior designer, which means she has taken and passed the NCIDQ exam (which I plan to take in March) - which tests us on our knowledge of building codes, life safety codes, fire safety codes, handicap accessibility codes, occupancy loads, fire rated walls, etc., etc. It is SOOOO much more than just decorating or picking finishes. Technically (and legally), one MUST have a degree in Interior Design and be licensed by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) to call oneself an Interior Designer. As a professional interior designer, I am called on to draw floor plans, electrical plans, reflected ceiling plans, wall sections, details of special applications, lighting plans, elevations, and space (or furniture) plans. We must do all of that while abiding by the most updated building codes (which change constantly).
beingtazim beingtazim 10 years
i'm also an interior designer, but i decided to go to university a second time to do something else, which is what im doing now
lovixel lovixel 10 years
I'm interior designer too. I am so happy for Casa Sugar!! Thanks guys! Oh by the way, interior designers and graphic designers are totally different..a graphic designer don't know about requirement for a place to live or commercial places, just my opinion.
bcv_wy22 bcv_wy22 10 years
Thanks Kristin! I definitely will check out the Casa Dolce Casa site!
bcv_wy22 bcv_wy22 10 years
I am an interior designer and I wanted to expand the above definition a little more to emphasize the difference between my profession and that of a decorator. It is an interior designer's job to examine and enhance the function and quality of interior space. An interior designer improves the quality of life, increases productivity, and protects the health, safety and welfare of the public/client. A lot of what I do is architectural with the furniture and materials as the icing on the cake. I am so excited for Casa Sugar!!
Linny Linny 10 years
I just graduated with a bachelors in interior design.
mcollazo mcollazo 10 years
This is what I am getting my degree in now.
millarci millarci 10 years
If I had a better fashion sense, I would love a career as an interior designer.
CocoChic CocoChic 10 years
Yay for defining this! I know that RCL and Red get soo irritated when people think they have the same job as a decorator.
rlveronica rlveronica 10 years
I should have trusted my gut and majored in it. :\
DesignRchic DesignRchic 10 years
If I wasn't a Graphic Designer, I'd totally be an Interior Designer.
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