Choosing an Interior Design Major


Before choosing an interior design major, students must take their personal needs and career goals into consideration as well as investigate which program best equips them to succeed in this industry.

Employers typically only hire designers who have graduated from accredited programs, including ones which teach how to build a portfolio.

Principles of Proportion and Scale

Proportion and scale are design elements that define an interior space’s visual balance, particularly in relation to furniture size and positioning. Maintaining proper proportion helps designers create harmonious rooms without feeling overcrowded or cluttered; for instance, an oversize sofa in a small room would look out of place; conversely an appropriately-sized piece in a larger space will look balanced and even.

Ancient Greeks discovered a universal principle of proportion that makes any design pleasing to the eye, known as The Golden Ratio, which architects and artists still employ today. Applying proportion to your designs is an effective way of adding visual interest and depth to any space by pairing different sized items together, or mixing objects of differing heights (e.g. combining tall bookcase with short table to achieve balance and proportion).

Proportion is another essential principle of design that should guide how an object interacts with its environment. For instance, furniture should fit seamlessly within any given room while still leaving enough space between furniture and walls for free movement. Effective use of proportion and scale will enable you to craft exquisite rooms that leave a lasting impression with guests and clients.

A quality college interior design program should provide hands-on experience and practical applications of proportion and scale principles within its curriculum. Some programs may even partner with industry partners or host real-world competitions or workshops with top design professionals to give you an edge when entering the field. Being accepted to an interior design program may prove challenging given its stringent admissions standards; applicants typically must submit SAT/ACT scores, transcripts and letters of recommendation before being considered.

Deliberating between degree-granting programs or nondegree certificate courses is crucial when beginning your design education journey. Newcomers might benefit from enrolling in an intensive Bachelor’s program while experienced designers could choose nondegree certificates to sharpen skills or focus on specific aspects of design.

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Attention to Detail

Interior designers recognize that even small details make an enormous impact in interior design. From furniture selection and fabric color and pattern choices, lighting options and flooring materials – interior designers must carefully consider every decision before making them. This requires being able to think from their client’s point of view, taking budget constraints into account and keeping abreast of trends within their field. Furthermore, many successful interior designers do not shy away from taking risks when attempting new styles – something most successful interior designers aren’t afraid of doing!

Interior designers need both creativity and originality in their portfolios to stand out. Top interior designers have developed signature styles that set them apart, which is what attracts clients to them and ensures budgets and timelines can be met successfully. Interior designers are also effective communicators – selling their ideas directly to clients while negotiating budgets and deadlines efficiently.

Interior design offers many undergraduate programs. If you want a bachelor’s degree, choose a program with both creative and practical courses; class sizes; hands-on experience gained during classes; as well as architecture-themed curriculum that ensures you will have a complete education and can function more efficiently once in the industry.

If you are seeking a graduate degree in interior design, top-ranked graduate schools such as Cornell and RISD offer master’s programs in environmental design and human behavior studies. Look for programs with strong faculty and networking opportunities as well as proven job placement success after graduating.

Interior designers typically specialize in various areas, including residential design, commercial design, hospitality design, retail (such as malls and shopping centers, department stores or specialty shops), visual merchandising or spatial branding – and some programs even offer internships in these fields.

Interning in interior design is the best way to gain real-world experience, so contact companies you admire and inquire about their intern programs or do research online to see what opportunities exist. Freelancing projects is another effective way of starting out in this industry and building up your portfolio.

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Sustainable Design

Interior design is an artistic field that allows the creation of innovative and functional environments. A Bachelors degree in interior design equips students with drawing techniques, concept development techniques and computer visualisation software skills; these abilities can then be employed across industries like property and construction management consultancy as well as retail.

Sustainable design has become an increasing focus within the industry, seeking to reduce environmental impacts of buildings or spaces through various strategies such as using recycled materials, energy-saving appliances and lighting, responsible product sourcing practices and natural light sources such as windows or skylights for illumination that helps minimize energy use.

Interior design that embraces sustainability can have a dramatic effect on the environment. By choosing long-term materials from responsible sources instead of products used once and discarded as landfill waste, you will save on landfill space while natural products like bamboo and cork will support forest biodiversity preservation efforts.

Choices in materials and products will have an effect on how much energy is required to manufacture them, too. Plastic products often are created from oil – an unsustainable resource – while choosing more eco-friendly options like ceramics and glass will be greener alternatives.

Another area where sustainability plays an integral part in interior design is furniture selection. By selecting long-wearing products that can be recycled after their lifespan is complete, you will reduce both raw materials and manufacturing energy usage while at the same time choosing eco-friendly paints and fabrics will reduce toxic chemical use in your home or workspace.

Select eco-friendly flooring materials such as bamboo and cork over traditional hardwoods to reduce environmental footprint. Bamboo and cork grow using less pesticides and do not contain harmful chemicals that may leach into groundwater supplies. In addition, selecting energy-efficient lighting such as LEDs, halogens or compact fluorescent bulbs will save money while simultaneously decreasing environmental footprint.

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When choosing an interior design major, it’s essential that you find a program that complements both your learning style and educational objectives. If you prefer hands-on learning experiences like fieldwork or creating decor items yourself, or prefer discussing theory over practice more generally, choose a program with emphasis on discussion-based courses instead. Furthermore, if international design work is what interests you most, look for programs offering study abroad opportunities so that you can experience firsthand any innovative trends that become real-world trends.

An online bachelor’s degree in interior design typically covers subjects like interior and design theory, manual and computer aided drafting (CAD), art studio work, furniture planning and space programming – as well as hospitality or retail store design specialization options. Some programs may offer opportunities to specialize such as hospitality store design. Depending on the program chosen, additional topics might also include computer-aided drafting presentation design history of design and architecture.

Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky provides a CIDA-accredited interior design degree. Their school has earned an excellent reputation for high-quality instruction and an engaging learning environment; faculty are experienced professionals with decades of industry knowledge who also possess a passion for teaching; group projects are encouraged so students can develop key teamwork skills while building professional relationships.

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program at Parsons in New York City will take art and design theory courses that develop research, writing and critical thinking abilities while networking with working designers through seminars and workshops. With such high rankings for its art and design programs, this university stands to help graduates secure employment upon graduating.

An interior design degree opens many career doors, from residential and commercial design for houses, offices and restaurants to furniture design, architecture and environmental design, antiques, museum exhibit design and historic preservation. Most interior designers work freelancely; however, full-time employment may exist for those with the appropriate qualifications.