Guide to Learning Interior Design, incl. Free Tutorials • Discoverology
31 items | 274m read

Ultimate Guide To Learning Interior Design

7m read | Introduction
Ultimate Guide To Learning Interior Design

Before interior design became known as an area of expertise, there was no concept of ‘designers’ designing the interior of a home. Historically speaking, the entire design of any home or building was instinct-based. Homemakers and builders were the sole ‘interior designers’ of every building ever constructed from the 17th century to the 19th.

The history of interior design as a real & professional career and specialty began back in the initial years of the 20th century and today, this profession is evolving and thriving in the interior design industry. Designers pursuing this field in this modern era are required to attain certain educational qualifications, go through examinations and have practical experience to work effectively in interior spaces.

What Exactly Is Interior Design?

Interior design is mostly defined as and perceived to be just the ‘process or art of designing the interior space and decoration of a building or room’. This definition can rightly be accused of oversimplifying the concept of interior designing and undermining the work done by interior designers.

The whole concept of interior design encompasses much more than just ‘placing things’-it includes far more details than that and requires a very comprehensive approach. It’s not just about having to pay for getting pretty items placed in an orderly manner in your home, but it is about an individual’s entire experience in that particular space.

Most of us do not realize that interior design is an essential, intangible factor that has a major impact on our lives in every way-the way we think and feel at home or workplace, the way we work, play as well as heal in our ‘personal’ spaces.

Additional Fields Involved in Interior Designing

For modern interior design to actually be successful in crafting a functional and peaceful space, a number of different skills and industries come into play. These several industries include professional such as engineers, craftsmen, architects, furniture dealers & makers as well as property owners. So, simply putting it, interior design is a field that serves those seeking its services by combining expertise from all of these fields and even more as this industry is constantly and continuously evolving.

Some of the best and well-rounded interior designers you could find today would have skills in various fields-graphic design, textiles, lighting, decorative arts, etcetera-which is what makes them ‘well-rounded’.

Knowledge Requirements of Interior Design

It is wrong to assume that interior designing is a field that can be pursued and approached with a non-serious attitude. In fact, as mentioned earlier, it requires a broad range of skills. In addition to these skills, designers also NEED to have a working knowledge about spatial planning & arrangement, color theory and materials. This ‘working knowledge’ and the broad spectrum of skills associated with it are developed in a designer through education-books, classes, other sources of information-which are combined with practical and real-life experiences to make them successfully applicable.

Moreover, some technical skills and computer knowledge aids interior designing greatly by creating visuals of interior spaces and prototype results for designers, enabling them to work even more effectively and efficiently. Some 3-D and 2-D software applications useful here include BIM (Building Information Modelling) and CAD (Computer-Aided Design).

Lastly but very importantly, in addition to all its appearance-related functions and technicalities, the field also requires knowledge to address safety issues-building codes, health issues and structural requirements.

Difficulty Level Involved In Interior Design

The ‘product’ of interior design, executed very well, can look just very easy. Mostly it isn’t considered something that would involve too many technicalities as well as the extensive thought process and intellectual capabilities that come into play behind the final interior space that you see. It is referred to sometimes as ‘decorating’ an interior space whereas the difference lies just here, right in the term used incorrectly; decorators do not ‘design’. Creating that comfortable and cozy-looking beautiful space is much different than just ‘existing’ in one.

Getting it ‘right’ isn’t a cup of tea. Instead, it is a very challenging and complex feat. To make an interior space functional to its core requires a comprehensive and complementary combination of art’s aesthetics to the ‘science’ of gauging & studying human behavior. The aim of interior design is to not just make a space ‘look’ well, but it is to make it ‘feel’ well.

Career Opportunities

The most common, and perhaps the obvious, career path chosen by those in this field is that of an ‘Interior Designer’. Career options as an interior design include working for design firms or organizations, working as a consulting interior designer or as a solo, freelancer.

The two extremely popular and ‘mass’ areas of this field are commercial design and residential design. Commercial interior designers, as the name suggests, work in the ‘public’ world’s spaces, ranging from corporate and government buildings of high importance to hotels, schools, clubs, stores, etcetera. Commercial spaces will need to have their interior performance aligned with people they will be hosting and focus on their needs, safety and preferences. For example, a school’s classroom would be designed interiorly in a different manner than a club.

The entire focus of a residential interior designer is placed on ‘personal’ living spaces. This sub-field (residential) diverges further into designers that specialize in certain areas or spaces of the house, for example, kitchens, kid’s areas, home offices, lounges, etcetera.

Career opportunities offered by the interior design field are not just confined to the ‘conventional’ ones associated with it. There are several other niches & specialties, just like any other field, that can be tapped in accordance with the designers own passion and interest. These include furniture, lighting and textile. Other, more indirect, potential niches include getting involved in other industries that make use of interior design services to thrive, such as the cinematic industry.

Key Take-Away   

Contrary to the common misconception, a career in interior design can be very challenging as it will involve all sorts of skills and expertise and a basic aesthetic sense. The monetary rewards can be great depending on the skillset and real-world experience of a designer. However, the non-monetary rewards enjoyed by an interior designer in the form of the satisfaction derived by creating and designing a space that is functional and aesthetically pleasing are surely priceless!

About This Interior Design Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about interior design from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

13 items | 105m read
12m read | Basics

What is Interior Design?

The interior design definition is the art of enhancing the interior space of a building to achieve a healthier 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.
11m read | Basics

The Elements of Interior Design

In addition to enhancing the appearance of a room, getting these elements to work together in harmony will also bring an increased functionality. To start, an interior designer will assess the room according to these interior design elements, and then use them to disguise or enhance the various features and flaws of the space. As a minimum, the following seven elements should always be considered in the creation of any interior.
8m read | Basics

Principles of Interior Design

In this article we are going to explore the 7 principles of interior design that define the ways these 7 elements must be used. An interior designer needs to be well versed with these 7 principles interior design  to arrange/organize the 7 elements so that a good composition is achieved.
7m read | Basics

The History of Interior Design

The profession of interior design is just over 100 years old. In these hundred years, what began as the art of decorating, embracing form and function, has evolved by leaps and bounds into today’s world of highly specialized areas of interior design that require years of study and experience. In the early 1900’s, the term “Interior Decorator” was first used in America. Most decorators at the time had no academic credentials, but the best of them had a combination of good taste, common senses, and natural talent to interpret and address the issues, such as scale and proportion.
10m read | Basics

The Future of Interior Design

We’ve put together the top five factors that we think will shape the interior world for years to come. As expected, technology is set to play a huge role in the future of interior design. But which technologies? And how might we use them? For anyone that works, wants to work, or has an interest in one of the most creative and exciting industries out there – here’s what the future has in store for interior design.
7m read | Basics

Things to Consider Before Becoming an Interior Designer

Are you always being praised for your designing skills? Is your opinion always asked when any room is being redecorated? Are you the first to volunteer for opinions if furniture is being rearranged or wall color is being chosen? If so, Interior Design might be your forte. However, before you choose to take the leap, here are 10 things you should know about the industry.
12m read | Basics

How To Become An Interior Designer

If you’re interested in how to get into interior design, you probably have a lot of questions. What are the best interior design schools? What are the different kinds of interior design jobs? And what’s the average interior designer salary? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll share everything you need to know for becoming an interior designer.
5m read | Basics

Interior Design Drawing Techniques

Interior designers develop their ideas from relationship diagrams into floor plans and then into perspective drawings to show clients. With 2D floor plans it can be difficult to visualise how they will look in reality so perspective drawings are ideal as they represent three-dimensional images on a two-dimensional picture plane.
9m watch | Basics

How to Draw a Room in 1-Point Perspective

Learn how to draw a simple room in this 1-Point perspective drawing for beginners. In this art tutorial I show how to draw a Room in Perspective, step by step. Learn also how to draw a chair in perspective.
7m read | Basics

Interior Design Drafting Tools

With the advent of computer-aided design (CAD), why in the world would an interior designer need to be proficient in hand drafting? Simply put, hand drafting is considered the foundation of interior design theory. Students are required to learn this technique before their introduction to CAD software.
8m read | Basics

What is Space Planning in Interior Design?

Space planning is a fundamental element of the interior design process. It starts with an in-depth analysis of how the space is to be used. The designer then draws up a plan that defines the zones of the space and the activities that will take place in those zones. The space plan will also define the circulation patterns that show how people will move through the space.  The plan is finished by adding details of all the furniture, equipment and hardware placement.
4m read | Basics

What Is Commercial Interior Design?

Homes and businesses have different design needs. Residential interior design is all about creating welcoming and livable spaces for homeowners, whereas commercial design seeks to increase functionality and elevate style for financial gain. Whether it’s a luxury hotel developer or a small business owner, it is up to the commercial interior designer to translate the client’s vision in ways that are practical, profitable, and of course, chic.
5m read | Basics

Designing For A Commercial Space

Interior designers aren’t just for the home. Though popular thought may be that interior designers are only used to create cozy home environments, this is not always true. As an Interior Design student, you may be interested in working with commercial or corporate spaces. If this is you, we have some quick tips to keep in mind.
8 items | 53m read
6m read | Advanced

Tips for Decorating a Small Space

Just because you don’t have a huge home doesn’t mean you can’t flaunt your style. Decorating a small space, just like decorating a large one, simply requires ingenuity of design and a good eye for what works and what doesn’t. And while the focus is naturally going to be a little bit different when you’re working with less square footage, the general rules of design are pretty much the same.
6m read | Advanced

How To Use Accessories In Interior Design

Decorative items are the most inexpensive way to freshen or add a new look to a room, but if a decorator is not careful, these items can quickly overtake the home. These simple tips for choosing, combining, and decorating with accessories can help you pull together your room like a pro and avoid the common mistakes many home dwellers make with their decor.
7m read | Advanced

Types of Wood For Your Interiors

Let the countdown of fine woods commence! Discover ten amazing lumber attributes that once installed in your home will help unlock the greatest potential a room can display. From its unique knots and grains to stunning colors, what would our home be without wood?
5m read | Advanced

How to Create a Cohesive Color Flow

One simple way to create a cohesive feel is to use a consistent paint color on the walls of connecting spaces. “Particularly in homes that have more of an open floor plan, it’s best to choose one color that is going to serve as your main color or your neutral,” says Kelly Porter, an interior designer based in Washington, D.C.
7m read | Advanced

The Psychology of Color for Interior Design

People perceive colors differently. Generally, they respond to colors in the same way, but the effects will not be the same for every person. For example, one certain color can unconsciously awakens you some memories or feelings, this can happen with someone else but sensations and memories being different.
6m read | Advanced

How to Choose the Right Paint Colors

Model homes are a perfect example of having a color theme throughout a home. They typically keep the main living space wall color neutral and use fabrics and accessories to add color. Then in the bedrooms they may have the accent colors from the living space on the walls and keep the bedding neutral.
6m read | Advanced

How to Calculate Interior Design Fees

The rates I’m going to share here will protect your bottom line and give you confidence while your client will feel comfortable paying you for your value in a clear and understandable way. Your responsibility is to find the right rate or combination of rates that works in your unique practice. How businesses are run varies from state to state and country to country. Knowing your market will go a long way toward making the best decision for your business.
10m read | Advanced

How Much Does Interior Design Cost?

In the age of the DIY internet tutorials and 30-minute home reveals, it’s common to believe interior design cost is easy to figure out, but behind the scenes, the interior design price is made up of several important factors. Check out this guide about the real cost of an interior designer and how to pick the right one.
9 items | 109m read
8m read | Expert

Interior Design Mistakes To Avoid

Too many colours, styles, frames here and there, a cold or a cluttered space and poorly placed lighting are common mistakes amateur decorators often make. Designers Mélyssa Robert and Tania Scardellato explain how to prevent or correct those mistakes.
12m read | Expert

Interior Design Tips from Experts

To get you inspired (and to show off just how smart our designers are), we polled our pros for their most essential and invaluable tips and tricks—from clever hacks to philosophical approaches that help you center your design journey. Bookmark these to use over and over then book your project today.
7m read | Expert

How to Create a Good First Impression with Your Interior

Creating inspiring interior design that makes a good first impression on guests is something that every homeowner wants as it’s a nice feeling to hear the oohs and aahs of your guests as they admire your home’s impressive interior design.

To help you make a killer interior design impression, here are 13 ways you can impress guests with brilliant interior design, including tips from Décor Aid interior designers.
20m read | Expert

Different Interior Design Styles Explained

This is an overview of 22 different interior design styles, including Scandinavian, Modern, Bohemian, Contemporary, Shabby-Chic and Mid-Century design.
12m read | Expert

Interior Design Tips for Beginners

Designing your space can be incredibly exciting, but also intimidating, daunting, and challengingly complex. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged when the vision in your head doesn’t seem to be materializing. That’s why it’s important to have a clear idea of what you want and a plan of action for making your vision a reality. You should also know what you want to spend on the entire project from start to end while keeping in mind that decorating your home on a budget is possible – all it takes is a little creativity and resourcefulness.
10m read | Expert

The Best Modern Interior Designers in the World

A modern interior design approach creates the optimum conditions for artistic licence and self-expression, providing room for experimentation and a canvas for playing with white space, sleek materials and clean lines. Swoon over our list of modern interior designers that are not only making a powerful contemporary impact on the spaces they put their creative hand to but the entire industry as a result.
20m read | Expert

Latest Trends in Interior Decorating

We asked some of the top designers in the world for their advice on everything from styling a cocktail table to creating a dreamy bedroom. Transform your space with these smart tips and tricks from the pros, including Alexa Hampton, Ryan Korban, and Justina Blakeney.
10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Interior Design Books

New York School of Interior Design: Home: The Foundations of Enduring Spaces. This lavishly illustrated and highly detailed interior design bible provides a comprehensive education on home design and decor, from color theory principles to space-specific considerations (choosing furniture for a living room) and collaborating with architects and other professionals for the best results.

Interior Design Master Class: 100 Lessons from America’s Finest Designers on the Art of Decoration. This book highlights the knowledge, experience, expertise, insight, and work of established design legends, as well as members of the new guard, spanning over four decades of work. Unique in the quality of its contributors, this book will be a landmark publication in the field, helpful and inspirational for the home decorator, as well as students of design and design professionals.

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave. Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style.

The Interior Design Reference & Specification Book. This book collects the information essential to planning and executing interior projects of all shapes and sizes, and distills it in a format that is as easy to use as it is to carry. In this new, revised edition, you’ll also find interviews with top practitioners drawn across the field of interior design.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Interior Design Courses

How to Work with Interior Design Styles Like a Pro. This course has been created to help you understand the defining characteristics of 18 different popular interior design styles today so that you can either create one of those styles in your own home or learn how to easily and effectively mix different styles on your own.

How to Design a Room in 10 Easy Steps. In this course, you will learn that you can actually use an easy, systematic approach for creating beautiful and functional designs for the primary rooms  in your home, primarily focusing on family and living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.

Design is in the Details: How to Accessorize Like a Pro. This is a class devoted to the main details that make up beautiful room design, including accessorizing, mixing wood and metal finishes, and moldings. Please be aware that this course only covers the topics of accessorizing, mixing wood and metal finishes, and different types of room molding.

How to Use Minimalist Interior Design. Minimalist interior design is a hot design trend right now, and for good reason.  This course will show you exactly why it’s so popular today, but more importantly, it will help you translate this beautiful and chic design style into your own home.

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