Interior Design: Explainer

October 21, 2020

As the Design Institute of Australia explains it, “Interior designers are trained to consider the modification of the interior structure of the building rather than just refinishing and furnishing existing spaces.”

Engaging an interior designer gives the client access to a wealth knowledgeable about materials, finishes and colour, but also being educated in theory and history; building systems and technologies; project management; sustainability, access and public safety considerations; and the Australian Codes and Standards that relate to these areas. Having an interior designer is a luxury that often feels out of reach for many people. However, an interior designer can actually save you more time, money and energy in the long run, whether you are building, renovating or just doing a makeover.

So, what is interior design?

Interior design is the art of enhancing the interior space of a building to achieve a safe, functional and aesthetically pleasing environment for the people who use the property.

An interior designer plans, researches, coordinates and manages projects that create interior environments inside buildings. Interior designers have a good understanding of spatial awareness and work with their client to spatially plan what is best for their needs. They encompass the knowledge to interpret a space and ensure its functionality, are wary of scale, size and proportions of the space they are working in.

An interior designer should be able to fulfil their clients’ brief while taking into consideration space, colour, colour psychology, materials, finishes, relevant compliance of governing State and Federal laws, and document the project for pricing and construction. They sre able to project manage the design and in some cases construction, obtain building permits, complete comprehensive client briefing, understand local and federal laws, use relevant computer software to design and document a project.

Interior designers are able to communicate their vision of the proposed space to the client through conceptual drawings and renderings so that the client can get a sense of what the space will look like before they make the big commitment. On the other hand they have a grasp on materials and their properties, such as understanding how hard surfaces can affect the acoustics of a room, or understanding how a material can affect our health in an interior environment.

What can an interior designer help you do?

There seems to be a common misconception that the role of an interior designer is merely aesthetic, such as choosing a few colours or cushions. However, there is a broad spectrum of technical knowledge that comes with being an interior designer which is why most interior designers hold a qualification. By engaging an interior designer, you’re able to tap into that knowledge to get the most out of your space. They are definitely worth the investment! Some of their skill set includes:

  • Spatial planning
  • Documentation drawings- floor plans, internal elevations
  • Custom joinery design
  • Conceptual drawings, 3D renderings of the proposed space
  • Project managing
  • The ability to generate ideas and concepts to create decorating solutions for interior spaces including materials and finishes, furniture layouts and materials boards for client presentations
  • An understanding of client analysis and expectations for design projects including project coordination, fees and scheduling
  • An extensive knowledge of colour theory and its application to design including interior scheming, finishes and the effects of lighting in interiors
  • In-depth knowledge of soft furnishings, furniture and spatial design
  • The ability to confidently source and style furniture and accessories in response to a client brief
  • The ability to produce architectural drawings including perspective drawings, drafting and rendering and AutoCAD to communicate concepts
  • Examine two and three-dimensional spatial planning
  • Understand the hard materials and techniques used in the construction of built environments

Interior designers and decorators use their expertise and product knowledge to expand and develop the clients original ideas, to solve environmental problems, and save the client time, money and frustration.

Upon understanding this entire concept, just remember that ultimately their job is to bring the vision the client has in their mind to life and help them to achieve the overall look they want for the finished product of their dream home.