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Posted at: Apr 11, 2018, 12:09 AM; last updated: Apr 11, 2018, 12:09 AM (IST)CAREER COMPASS: INTERIOR DESIGNING

Create room for design

Create room for design

Prabhdeep Singh

Decorating homes and apartments have always been interior designers’ mainstay. In the last decade, more domains have been added to their resume. They now design exhibitions, showrooms and office spaces. The pictures of exotic structures, buildings, homes, offices and new and innovative urban complexes that we daily spot on magazine covers and newspapers are a product or their hard work and creativity.  

Today, when you buy a home or an office, you just don’t get a shell structure. The interior space is paid attention to as well and handled in a creative manner. Interior designers render space meaning and a pleasing aura. The domain encompasses planning space and furnishing the interiors, whether they are private homes, public buildings, or commercial establishments such as offices, hotels, and showrooms, including their renovation and redesign. The profile of interior designers includes working in coordination with architects, painters, artisans, craftsmen and carpenters. It is their job to create space within a given structure, developed by the architect and putting it to good use in keeping with the client’s needs and demands.

Areas of work

Interior designers are equipped with technical knowledge of buildings and structures. They are trained to plan interior spaces, keeping in mind ventilation, electrical circuits and installations, drainage and water supply, air conditioning and heating systems. 

An interior designer, after taking the client into confidence, prepares the interiors’ plan. Planning an interior (i.e. of a house/ shop/ office/ hotel/ auditorium, etc.) requires extensive and meticulous research before the actual designing begins. 

An interior designer should also be aware of the different types of materials available in the market so as to be able to use the appropriate one, while at the same time, keeping in mind the utility, aesthetic appeal and economic viability of the design. She then prepares layout plans, elevations, perspectives or even sample models, if required. 

On the other hand, interior decorators handle the selection and display of the decorative aspects of a given space. They suggest use of colour, textures, fabrics and light effects. They also advice on layout and furniture while creating an attractive and functional interior.

Course clues

Training is both theoretical as well as practical. Students are taught drawing work to begin with. They then undertake basic design exercises. Also history of architecture and furniture and viability of materials relevant to interiors are taught. 

Training is also provided in the functioning of electrical systems, air conditioning, plumbing and acoustics in a detailed manner. Budgeting and public relations are also a part of the course just as preparing students to work as independent interior designers in future. There are also one-two year diploma courses that can be pursued after Class XII in any stream.  Polytechnics and vocational training schools in most cities conduct these courses. 

Interior designers must have an aesthetic sense, creative sensibility and imagination, coupled with a logical and analytical mind. As each design project is based on an individual’s need, they must also understand people and their lifestyle and have interest in the social environment and the community’s tastes, needs and customs. They should be able to express their ideas in sketches and translate them into accurate working specifications. They should be able to work in a team and handle clients and skilled and unskilled workers effectively.

Job prospects

Going by the real-estate boom, there is great scope for interior designers. You can choose to work with established interior-design organisations, in architects’ firms, consultancy firms, or with builders and contractors. You can even choose to work as design consultants with hotels, hospitals, shopping arcades, or even in design studios and furniture stores. It is best for beginners to start as an apprentice with an established firm of interior designers, and learn the basics before venturing out on your own. Even though this may not be a well-paid job initially, it will give you tremendous opportunities to learn the basics of the area. Interior designers can also look for jobs as theatre and set designers, working on stage decor for theatre, drama productions or musical shows, and also for creating the scenic background for films, TV shows and serials.

Institute watch

  • Indian Institute of Art and Design, New Delhi.
  • Chhattisgarh Swami Vivekanand Technical University, Bhilai. 
  • Chandigarh University Gharuan, Punjab
  • IIT Kanpur 
  • IIT Guwahati 


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