About Interior Designers
An interior designer is trained to create a functional and quality interior environment. Qualified through education, experience, and examination, a professional designer can identify, research and creatively resolve issues and lead to a healthy, safe and comfortable physical environment. For comprehensive information on what interior designers do, watch the videos “Interior Design: More Than Meets the Eye” and “A Career in Interior Design” on ASID’s YouTube Channel, and go here to read more about the complexities that interior designers must consider when working on a project.
The career path of a professional Interior Designer involves formal education, entry-level work experience, and a national qualifying examination. Professional members of ASID must pass rigorous acceptance standards: they must have an accredited design education and equivalent work experience in interior design, and have successfully passed a two-day accreditation examination administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification [NCIDQ].
Go here to find out why you should hire an interior designer for your next commercial or residential project.
State and provincial licensing boards now require proof of quality interior design experience for licensure and/or registration. Legislative rules vary from state to state. Texas is a “Title State.” This means that, unless an individual was “grandfathered in” back in 1991 when the original Title Act was adopted, an individual cannot call himself a Registered Interior Designer [RID] until he has passed the NCIDQ Exam, shown the state proof of this achievement, paid a registration fee to the state, and, finally, registered with the state. If one calls oneself a Registered Interior Designer and someone who knows otherwise reports that person, he can be fined heavily and prosecuted either in civil and/or criminal court.
The Texas Board of Architectural Examiners [TBAE] is the multi-profession regulatory agency that oversees the examination, registration, and professional regulation of architects, interior designers, and landscape architects in the state of Texas. It requires that every year a RID must accrue a total of eight Continuing Education Program Hours [CEPHs]. All of these educational hours must have to do with the health, safety and welfare [HSW] of the public. In other words, programs and classes on popular new colors or the introduction of new fabrics and furniture would not qualify. One of these hours must address sustainable or energy-efficient design, and one must address barrier-free design, which deals with special regulations for designing for people dealing with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] and the Texas Accessibility Standards [TAS] play a huge part in Commercial and Institutional design fields, and they are being incorporated more and more into Residential design.
Interior Designers provide various services, some of which include:
- Consulting services to help determine project goals and objective
- Generating ideas for the functional and aesthetic possibilities of the space
- Creating illustrations and renderings
- Developing documents and specifications relative to interior spaces in compliance with applicable building and safety codes allocating, organizing, and arranging a space to suit its function monitoring and managing construction and installation of design
- Selecting and specifying fixtures, furnishings, products, materials and colors
- Purchasing products and fixtures
- Designing and managing fabrication of custom furnishings and interior details
- Designing lighting and specifying
Frequently Asked Questions About Interior Design and Designers
What is the difference between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator?
Interior Designers are professionally trained in space planning. In a many states, they must pass a strict exam and be licensed. While both designers and decorators are concerned with aesthetic, style and mood, interior designers have comprehensive training and command skills that may include an understanding of:
- Flame spread ratings, smoke, toxicity and fire rating
- Classification and materials
- Space planning for public and private facilities
- National, state and local building codes
- Standards regarding to the needs of disabled or elderly persons and other special needs groups
- Lighting quality and quantity
- Acoustics and sound transmission
An Interior Decorator works only with surface decoration – paint, fabric, furnishing, lighting and other materials. Because no license is required, upholsterers, housepainters and other trades people also claim the name “Decorator”.
Are Architects and Engineers ultimately responsible for most of the jobs that Interior Designers perform?
No. Increasingly, buildings are designed not as completed objects, but as “shells” into which tenants and others create their own design. Think of the numerous examples of completed exteriors with incomplete interiors such as shopping malls, restaurants, office buildings, hotels and apartment complexes. Interior Designers focus on and specialize in the planning of the interior elements of a building’s design and take into consideration how the materials they specify and the environment they create and will ultimately affect its occupants’ health, behavior and overall well-being. In addition to the aesthetic of a space, an Interior Designer creates a space that is functional, efficient, and safe, enhancing the quality of the working and living environment.