• Paulina Stelmach


Every time I mention to someone that I am an interior designer, the first response I get is 'that's so cool, you can decorate my house when I buy one.' - I am not exaggerating; that is the typical response I get. But why? We watch those interior decorating shows on TV all the time, but they never show you what really goes behind the schemes when planning a space...

If you are one of those people who think that interior design is all about choosing fabrics and wallpaper, think again. Studying interior design is so much more in-depth that that. I had an image in my head of what interior design will be before attending University, but now that I have finished my course; that perception changed completely!

The role of an interior designer

So, let’s start with the basics; what does an interior designer do.

Basically, interior designers are there to help advise clients when it comes to an interior of a space. It could be something like seeking advice in terms of cost and design to creating a full living space for them. An interior designer must have a number of skills such as knowledge to costing, function and creativity. Interior designers don’t just design homes; we design spaces in commercial, retail and leisure environments to name a few.

  • Interior designers need to make sure that the space they are designing is functional, safe and designed to the clients’ brief

  • Bidding on new projects

  • Conduct feasibility studies for a project/design

  • Consider how the space will be used, who will be using it and how people will move throughout the space

  • Estimating project timelines and costs

  • Sketch design plans – this includes electrical, plumbing and partition layouts

  • Specify materials that will be used within a particular project – lighting, paint, fall finishes, flooring, plumbing, ventilation, furniture, fixtures and many more

  • Place orders with suppliers and coordinate with general building contractors in order to make sure that the plans and specifications are correct

  • Visit the site throughout the whole process

Who do interior designers work with?

  • Architects

  • Clients

  • Contractors

  • Decorators

  • Engineers

  • Interior Designer

  • Painters

  • Plumbers

  • Surveyors

What else does an interior designer need to know?

  • Need a basic knowledge of design history

  • Knowledge of building regulations

  • Knowledge of ergonomics and anthropometrics

  • Sociology and psychology side – how does design make people feel – what colours to use in specific areas

  • Computer-Aided Drawings (CAD) – develop plans, sections and elevations and then bring them into 3D programs

  • Knowledge of spatial designs and some architecture background

  • Knowledge on how to create a sample board

  • Be able to make models to represent the space

I believe that I covered all important points of what an interior designer really is and what we are required to do. Some people still mix interior designers up with interior decorators, yet they are two separate professions.

If you have any questions regards becoming an interior designer or you would like to know what it is to study it at university, don’t be afraid to drop me a message on Instagram or Twitter and I’ll be happy to answer them for you!