What is Interior Designing? History, Elements, Process & Examples

Published: October 11, 2023

Welcome to the fascinating world of interior design! So, what is interior designing exactly? Well, it’s the art and science of enhancing the interiors of spaces to create functional, aesthetically pleasing environments

But it’s not just about making things look good; it goes much deeper than that. Interior design plays a crucial role in our daily lives, influencing how we live, work, play, and even heal.

Imagine stepping into a thoughtfully designed home that instantly calms your mind and uplifts your spirits. Picture working in an office space that inspires creativity and boosts productivity

Consider a restaurant where the ambiance creates a delightful dining experience. Even hospitals and healthcare facilities are transformed into comforting spaces that aid in the healing process.

Interior design is all about creating harmony, balance, and functionality. It involves selecting the right colors, materials, furniture, lighting, and accessories to craft spaces that cater to our needs and desires. 

So, join us on this journey as we explore the profound impact of interior design on our daily lives and discover how it transforms our environments for the better.

This article will delve into the captivating world of interior design, its importance in our daily lives, and its remarkable impact on how we live, work, play, and heal. So, let’s embark on this enlightening journey and uncover the secrets behind the art of interior design!

Interior Design vs. Interior Decorating

Many people often confuse interior design with interior decorating, but they are distinct disciplines.

While interior decorating focuses primarily on enhancing a space’s aesthetic appeal through furniture, accessories, and color schemes, interior design goes beyond surface-level elements. 

It encompasses the art and science of planning, designing, and coordinating various aspects of an interior environment

The interior design considers factors such as functionality, spatial layout, ergonomics, lighting, materials, and overall user experience. It aims to create spaces that are not only visually pleasing but also efficient, safe, and tailored to the specific needs and lifestyles of the occupants. 

So what is interior design? Interior design is the holistic approach to transforming spaces into harmonious and purposeful environments.

Evolution of Interior Design

interior design of sitting room early 20th century

The evolution of interior design as a profession has a rich and captivating history. It emerged as a distinct field in the early 20th century, marking a significant shift in how we approached the design of our living spaces. Prior to this, interior design was predominantly a luxury afforded only by the wealthy.

In the early 20th century, interior design began to gain recognition and relevance beyond mere decoration. Influenced by social and technological changes, it embraced functionality, efficiency, and ergonomics

Architects and designers started considering the needs and lifestyles of occupants, leading to the birth of modern interior design principles.

Over time, interior design continued to transform and develop, embracing new styles, materials, and approaches. The mid-20th century witnessed a surge in innovative designs, influenced by movements like Art Deco, Mid-Century Modern, and Minimalism.

Today, interior design is about much more than just aesthetics. It’s a multidisciplinary profession that combines creativity, functionality, and problem-solving. Interior designers carefully analyze spaces, incorporating elements like color, lighting, furniture, and layout to create harmonious environments that enhance well-being and serve specific purposes.

The Process of Interior Design

Interior designers discussing ideas

Interior design includes carefully planned steps to bring a vision to life and create well-designed spaces. Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Defining the Scope: Understand the client’s needs, goals, and budget.
  2. Conducting Research: Gather inspiration, explore design styles, and analyze the space.
  3. Developing Concepts: Create design concepts, mood boards, and color palettes.
  4. Space Planning: Determine the optimal layout and functionality of the space.
  5. Selection of Materials and Furnishings: Choose appropriate materials, finishes, furniture, and accessories.
  6. Lighting Design: Design and implement a lighting plan to enhance ambiance and functionality.
  7. Creating Detailed Drawings: Produce detailed floor plans, elevations, and 3D renderings.
  8. Procurement and Project Management: Order and coordinate the delivery of materials and oversee the construction process.
  9. Installation and Styling: Execute the design plan, arrange furniture, and add finishing touches.
  10. Final Inspection: Ensure the project meets quality standards and client expectations.

The process of interior design is a collaborative journey between the designer and the client, transforming spaces into aesthetically pleasing, functional, and personalized environments.

Example Of Interior Design

Before After Interior Designer Revamp Living Room

Imagine an interior designer transforming a space into a stunning masterpiece. Here’s an example of what is an interior designer’s work and what they  can do:

  • Revamping a Living Room: An interior designer creates a cohesive design concept, selects a color scheme, and suggests furniture and decor to reflect the client’s style and preferences. They consider factors like lighting, traffic flow, and comfort to optimize the space for relaxation and socializing.
  • Designing a Functional Kitchen: An interior designer maximizes the functionality and efficiency of a kitchen by optimizing the layout, selecting suitable materials, and recommending storage solutions. They pay attention to details such as the ergonomic placement of appliances and the effective use of countertop space.
  • Creating a Tranquil Bedroom: An interior designer curates a soothing atmosphere by selecting calming colors, designing a cozy layout, and choosing comfortable bedding and lighting. They focus on creating a peaceful retreat that promotes rest and relaxation.

An interior designer’s expertise combines aesthetics, functionality, and personalization to transform spaces into beautiful, practical, and harmonious environments that cater to the client’s needs and preferences.

Role of Interior Designers

Interior designers play a vital role in shaping a space’s functionality, aesthetics, and overall experience. Their skills and expertise encompass a wide range of areas:

  • Comprehensive Design Knowledge: Interior designers possess a deep understanding of textiles, materials, color theory, space planning, and sustainable design practices.
  • Technical Proficiency: They are proficient in utilizing software applications like CAD and BIM for creating detailed designs and visualizations.
  • Building Regulations and Safety: Interior designers have knowledge of structural requirements, safety regulations, and local building codes to ensure compliance and the well-being of occupants.

Becoming an interior designer requires a combination of education, creativity, and practical experience. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in interior design and understanding what interior designing can open up a world of opportunities to contribute to the fascinating field of creating exceptional environments.

Collaboration and Professional Connections

In the world of interior design, professionals collaborate with various experts, including contractors, architects, engineers, artisans, furniture dealers, and clients. 

Interdisciplinary collaboration is essential to achieve remarkable results. Working with different professionals brings diverse perspectives, innovative ideas, and specialized knowledge to the table. 

It enhances problem-solving, optimizes functionality, and ensures seamless coordination throughout the project.

So, this is the thing about interior design, collaboration and connections with different professionals play a crucial role in creating exceptional spaces that delight and inspire.

Education and Career Paths

Education plays a vital role in shaping the understanding and skills of aspiring interior designers. A degree in interior design provides a solid foundation in what is interior design, covering key aspects such as space planning, color theory, materials, and sustainable practices

It offers credibility and a competitive edge in the industry, demonstrating expertise and professionalism.

The field of interior design offers diverse career paths, including residential design, commercial design, and hospitality design, among others

Specializing in a specific area allows designers to focus their skills and cater to specific client needs. To embark on this exciting journey, consider exploring the best interior design courses that offer comprehensive education and hands-on experience, setting the stage for a successful career in this dynamic field.

Job Prospects and Networking

In the competitive interior design industry, job prospects are enhanced through marketability and self-promotion. The thing about interior design is that presenting your work effectively is crucial, highlighting your skills, creativity, and unique approach. 

Strong presentation skills and the ability to articulate design concepts can set you apart. Continued professional development is essential to stay updated with industry trends and advancements.

Networking plays a vital role in career growth. Leveraging an alumni network can provide valuable connections and mentorship opportunities. Engaging with professional organizations fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing, and access to industry events. 

Building a strong professional network enhances visibility and opens doors to exciting job prospects, collaborations, and future opportunities in the dynamic field of interior design.

What is Interior Designing - FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become An Interior Designer?

The duration varies, but it typically takes around 2-4 years to complete a degree in interior design. However, gaining practical experience and continuing professional development are ongoing aspects of the career.

What Skills Are Important For An Interior Designer?

Essential skills for an interior designer include creativity, spatial awareness, attention to detail, strong communication abilities, proficiency in design software, knowledge of building codes and regulations, and a keen eye for aesthetics and color coordination.


In conclusion, the interior design holds immense significance in our lives, transforming our surroundings and impacting how we live, work, play, and heal. 

Education in interior design and continuous professional development equips designers with the knowledge and skills to create harmonious, functional, and aesthetically pleasing spaces. 

By understanding what is interior design and its multifaceted nature, we can appreciate the depth and creativity involved in this field

So, let your passion for design flourish as you explore the diverse career opportunities that interior design offers and embark on a journey to shape the spaces we inhabit for a better future.