Interior Design & Planning

Interior design has both architectural and decor components

Formal education in an interior design and planning program is required before the prospective designer can sit for the licensing exam.

An education in interior design and planning involves both architectural and dcor elements. Students receive training in color use, furniture, and textiles as well as spatial planning and construction methods. Coursework in drawing and computer-aided design are a part of good interior design and planning programs. Students should also have coursework in ethics, psychology, and ergonomics.

In the U.S., interior design is recognized as a profession involved with the health and safety of the general population. Because of this, licensing requirements in most states are rigid. Often, prospective interior designers must pass the National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam to receive a license. Before sitting for the exam, the applicant must have at least two years of formal education in interior design as well as work experience in the field. Some states require continuing professional education to retain the license, just as they do for other professionals.

Interior designers are needed in many fields. The biggest distinction is between residential design and commercial design. Some designers specialize in design for residential spaces, often working in an architecture firm. Many focus on a particular kind of residential design, such as bathroom or kitchen design. Others focus on a particular design element, such as color or textile use. In commercial design, many designers specialize in one type of interior, such as offices, hotels, hospitals, or restaurants. Even cruise ships need interior designers. A few work in publishing for shelter magazines or book publishers.