What is interior design?
When thinking about interior design you may think of furniture, floorplans or fabrics, but there is much more to the job.
Being an interior designer is about making spaces liveable, practical, safe, and inviting. Interior designers plan, design and supervise the construction of buildings. They must consider a variety of regulations, which include:
- Work, health and safety (WH&S) regulations and
- building regulations.
You could also choose to become an interior decorator. Interior decorators and interior designers often study and work on the same tasks. Interior designers work to design new builds while interior decorators work with existing buildings.
Changes in the industry
Interior designers have had to change the way they work in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has presented its challenges but the sector is set to recover. This is because businesses need to change their office layouts to suit flexible work. As a result, there is an increased demand for interior designers.
It’s an exciting time for commercial designers. Both public and private organisations are seeking to redesign their spaces. For example, schools, shopping centres and offices. This is because they need to adjust to new guidelines and regulations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has somewhat changed the role of an interior designer. For example, interior designers now need to focus on the following:
- creating ground markers
- where to place barriers so that people to adhere to the 1.5 metre rule and
- the different air-flow requirements in buildings.
The residential design industry may also see an increased interest in their expertise. As employees continue to work from home, home offices are likely to become more common. Parents may decide to recreate 'playrooms' into permanent home offices.
Designers are using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity. An opportunity to make our lives more practical and comfortable. Most importantly though, as an opportunity to make our workspaces safer.
Creating practical, safe and appealing spaces may interest you. If so, a career in interior design could be for you.
What does an interior designer do?
Interior designers create spaces for a specific purpose. They plan, design, and supervise the construction of building interiors. This occurs in commercial, industrial, retail and residential properties.
Their work considers how spaces function best. They also consider elements that improve living and working environments.
Interior designers working with commercial spaces might have other focus points. Commercial spaces usually refer to a business' office space. Some examples of these extra focus points include:
- the client’s corporate colours
- how people work and
- accessibility (making sure everyone has equal access to building facilities).
As an interior designer, you’ll combine your creative talent with communication skills. By doing so, you can create practical and elegant spaces.
You'll often work with several other professions, including:
- construction staff and
- other suppliers.
You may work as part of a firm or you may even own your own business. In 2020 there were 17,200 interior designers and that number is set to rise.
You usually need a formal qualification to work as an interior designer. University and Vocational Education and Training (VET) are both common study pathways. Some examples of relevant qualifications include:
- Bachelor of Interior Design (External website, Opens in new window)
- Advanced Diploma of Interior Design (External website, Opens in new window)
- Diploma of Interior Design (External website, Opens in new window)
- Certificate IV in Interior Decoration (External website, Opens in new window).
You can find more information about these qualifications at Course Seeker (External website, Opens in new window) and MySkills (External website, Opens in new window).
Tool and resources
- Course Seeker (External website, Opens in new window)
- MySkills (External website, Opens in new window).