What is the work like?
A designer may be asked to create or renovate spaces within:
offices and industrial units
shops, hotels and restaurants
vehicles, such as ships and aircraft.
Interior designers need to design a space that is practical for its purpose as well as visually pleasing. Projects can be broad in scope, ranging from structural alterations to the choice of furnishings, curtains, wallpaper and lighting. Designers may be commissioned to transform existing interiors, or to produce designs for a building that has yet to be finished.
Tasks may include:
working to a brief, which details what the space will be used for, and finding out the client's personal ideas and requirements
inspecting and surveying buildings
setting schedules for the project
carrying out research, to make sure that plans are technically feasible
producing rough sketches and a mood board - a collection of suitable images, colours and materials
developing detailed designs, often using computer-aided design (CAD) software or small-scale models
choosing the most appropriate materials for the design and budget
advising clients on progress, and providing them with samples of paints and fabrics to be used
supervising the work as it is carried out.
As well as advising clients, interior designers must work closely with other professionals. They may consult architects, quantity surveyors and engineers. They may place orders with manufacturers and suppliers, and supervise builders and decorators on site.
Some interior designers also work on exhibition design.