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The Inspiration and Challenge of Interior Design

Updated on July 4, 2014

Introduction to Interior Design

Most of us who have our own apartment of home, always have that itch to change something or the feel that something could improve. That's what interior decorating is all about, and why it's so fun, but also exasperating at times.

This article will primarily focus on home interior design, but we'll touch a little on commercial design to give you some ideas on the differences, but also some inspiration you can draw from.

For example, maybe you have home bar, but aren't at all satisfied with how it looks. Maybe a trip or look at how a really cool bar or bar & grill is designed will give you some ideas for your living space.

The same with an entry to a hotel, or maybe even restaurant. The point is we can draw inspiration from anywhere, and for most of us, we really need it.

So no matter if you've just moved into a new place or are looking for a huge change in your home, or just want to spruce up an individual room, we'll look at all types of ideas to get you started and motivated.

And if you've been thinking of studying interior design, or going to interior design school, there'll be resources and thoughts on that later as well.
With that said, let's get into what interior design is all about, and what we can do to make our own homes or apartments more enjoyable and satisfying.

In the end, we want it to feel like home, and that's the overall goal of home interior design.

Home Versus Commercial Types of Interior Design

 Like I mentioned, this will primarily be about the interior design of your home, but understanding the difference between commercial and home design does help give a little insight into the process for you, and it could help you if you have a physical business you're thinking about designing.

The major difference between commercial and residential interior design is who you're designing it for.

With commercial, you're trying to design a feel that will appeal to your target market. A sports bar will have a completely different look than a hardware store, or a boutique over a general clothing store.

So you've got to design with the overall mentality of those entering your place of business. In other words, you're designing for a group of people.

For home design, you're designing for an individual, or a family, and that design will take different turns depending on the age and sex of the children, as well as combined interests of the parents. All this changes as children leave home, etc., but you get the idea. It changes with the seasons of our lives, but there will be certain themes in certain seasons, but whatever it is, it expresses who the individuals or family is living in the home.

Commercial design is for a targeted group mentality, home design is for an individual or family. Design decisions are based on those two general ideas.

Interior Dezine in a Minute - Bedroom Wall Color Schemes

Design an Interior Decorating Strategy and Plan

Even if you're going to end up hiring an interior designer or consultant, you're going to want to do some research and understand who you or the individual family members are as far as design desires go, in order to make the right decisions and changes.

So make sure those ideas are clearly articulated and understood by each member of the family before it's all implemented. Once that's done, it's too late. Clear communication is a must, whether you're creating plans yourself, or having professional help.

Just make sure in either case that the individuals wishes aren't thrown aside (as long as they're based in reality and practicality), and you aren't bullied into something you have no desire for. Some professional designers can do this out of professional pride and personal tastes, rather than the tastes and wishes of their clients. Don't allow that to happen, as you'll regret it.

I'm talking here mostly about themes and overall desires of individuals in the home, not the adjustments and additions that good interior designers will offer their expertise on, which should be the reason you hired them.

Interior Design - Slideshow of Ideas

How to Develop your Interior Design Plan

The first thing to do with developing a plan is to identify the desires of those in the household, or any major problems that need renovation. By renovation I don't mean simply something has been ruined and needs to be fixed, I mean from the color of the walls to maybe a lamp or even light switch cover someone hates or wants changed.

All these types of things can come under the umbrella of home renovation, so don't think only of breaking down walls and putting up drywall and painting it as what renovation is.

Here are a few tips to help you in that regard, which should focus on the larger things first, as you can always come back once big things are taken care of and adapt and adjust the smaller, more fun stuff.

1. The first step to take is to decide what you want to do. Is this a total renovation or is only one room? No matter which it is, you must make a plan for an individual room or for each room or area you're going to change.

Work on one room at a time if it's more than one, and get that design figured out before you work on another, to avoid confusion and frustration. Conquer things one at a time and you'll do fine.

2. When you've decided on the rooms you want to change, then it's time to ask yourself or those living in the home what they want changed and what they like that's already there.

Sometimes we'll get too ambitious and take away and change something that was really liked by those in the home, so ask questions before gutting the place. This can include bedrooms or shared living spaces.

Not only does this make everyone happy, it can save a lot of work and money if everyone likes some things as they are.

3. Once decisions are made, it's time to start looking for the equivalent of the changes you're going to work with in magazines or on the Internet.

Get colored images of something exact or close to it and put in on paper so everyone can see that's involved in the decision. You would be surprised at times how different what you're visualizing is from the reality of what it ends up like.
Clip out or print out photos of all the areas you're going to change, whether its furniture, drapes, paint or lamps. This will give an exact idea of what things will look like.

Another good idea here is to take a photo of the rooms being changed and place the clipped or printed images right on them to see.

4. Now before getting too excited, and after these measures are taken, take a step back, breathe, and do the one thing you've been dreading when thinking about all this: find out if you can afford it!

There's nothing worse than putting all this together and find out it's really not within your budget.

How many times have friends, family or neighbors suffered when their well-intentioned plans became a nightmare because the emotional connection to the design changes were too strong to be denied, and what was meant to be a joy and blessing turns into a disaster, when financial strains from the projects make it impossible to be a positive experience.

Work within you budget. If you can't do everything you want, do things in stages, and prioritize the work.

5. Last, don't be afraid to take those first steps once everything is in order. Whether you're doing the work yourself or having some of it done, you've got to put into effect a goal for when you want to complete it and when you're going to start.

If you're doing more than one room, list the order you're going to work on them, so there's no misunderstanding on what's happening first and so on.

To make home interior designing a positive experience, gather up all the information you need, communicate with one another to make a decision, go over your budget to make a plan, set a time frame to start and finish, and you should have a great experience with the results you were hoping for.

Interior Design | Small Spaces

Commercial Interior Design Types

In this section I have included several commercial interior design photos and ideas to show you how we can look at things which can give us thoughts and ideas from a different prespective, which we can downsize and adapt to our home.

The photo designs are from a retail store, restaurant, hotel and bar.

Retail Interior Design

Restaurant Interior Design

Hotel Interior Design

Bar Interior Design

Different Room Designs in Home

Most of us know that the most valuable and desired rooms to design in a home are the kitchen and bathrooms; both for resale value and personal satisfaction. In other words, that's what mamma values and that's what mamma's going to get.

We'll look at various room designs in all parts of the house, and show some in each room to give you some ideas.

Kitchen Interior Designs

Bathroom Interior Designs

Master Bedroom Interior Designs

Children's Bedrooms Interior Designs

Home Entry Interior Designs

Living Room Interior Design

Basement Interior Designs

Home Office Internal Design

Themes, Styles, Lighting Colors of Interior Design

Another major factor in designing your home is the tools you use to do it. I'm not talking about hand tools, but the idea that your home and its rooms are a canvass, and that canvass won't appear like your expectations unless you consider a few things.

The major thing to consider is lighting. Depending on the type of light you have in your home, it'll make colors on the walls look much different than you could imagine when just looking a colors to use to paint it.

Paint on anything will look different depending on the light, and so it's imperative to view the paint under different light to ensure it'll look like what you want once it's on the walls.

Of course most of us are moving toward flourescent lights now, but many are in transitional stages, and so this could definitely be something to consider when choosing paint colors.

Your walls and the entire feel of the room could be different based on this one thing alone.

Whatever style or theme you decide on will be altered by the lighting you have, based on how the color looks in relationship to it.

Interior Design Inspiration and Themes

In this section of the article, I'd like to get into some of the themes available to give you some inspiration, motivation and ideas on what may strike you as fitting you or your family.

Keep in mind these are to inspire and give you ideas, so something small on a wall or sitting on a chair could give you something to think about, not only the larger overall theme.

Feng Shui Interior Design

French Interior Design

Country Interior Design

Luxury Interior Design

Mediterranean Interior Design

Mexican Interior Design

Southwest Interior Design

Traditional Interior Design

Tropical Interior Design

Victorian Interior Design

Online Sources for Interior Design Research and Tips

For further study and interest, I've included a number of major Internet interior designing sites for you to research and look through.

There's as much information as you'll ever need - and more, included in all of them.

These aren't in any order of importance, as each has its own emphasis and voice.

Top Interior Decorators

This is an excellent directory where you can simply input your zip code and find an interior designer or company in your area.

The stated goal of the site is to find a "local interior designer within 10 miles of your zip code."

It's a directory of American-based designers, so unless you're from Puerto Rico or America, it won't apply to you.

With that in mind, you can search the database by state, county, city or zipcode to find a list of the nearest interior designer to you.

Interior Design

Interior design is an online magazine which includes all the latest news and updates on interior-design related issue, and online video channel, research, industry-related classified ads and job opportunities, new products, and just about anything you're interested in looking at.

The magazine itself comes out on a monthly basis, and is full of everything related to interior design.

American Society of Interior Designers

The American Society of Interior Designers is an organization created for interior design professionals, created to teach and share knowledge of interior design and to reach out in a way to help people make positive changes in their lives through design.

American Society of Interior Designers includes about 20,000 practicing interior designers.

Careers in Interior Design

This particular website helps people define more clearly whether they're wired to enter and succeed in a career in the interior design field.

It helps you to see the various stages an interior decorator goes through in their career, along with answers to frequently asked questions, and a list of professional organizations.

Interior Design 101

This interior decorating website gives you just what the name says, the basics of decorating a home or apartment.

But don't let the name itself fool you, as it gives you a very thorough coverage of all aspects of interior home design, and is very user friendly.

I really liked this for beginners or for those just interested in the general idea behind decorating a living space.


This website helps anyone get not only general interior design ideas, but takes you into virtually every aspect of interior design, but in short snippets that help you quickly get the idea of what is needed and how to do it in every part of your home.


Freshome is a site that has the stated purpose of inspiring and motivating you to make where you live a much better place. They do have a lot of great photos and I find myself inspired and getting ideas when I visit there.

It talks about all parts of architecture and all the gadgets and interior accessories that have become part of our daily home experience.

Interior Design Jobs

This is a website that is exactly what it says. It provides a place for those looking for interior design employees a marketplace to look over numerous resumes, while at the same time giving interior design industry professionals a free place to put up their resume for potential hiring.

Someone leaving their resume also has the option of keeping it confidential so they can go over offers without pressure and at their own convenience.

International Interior Design Association

The International Interior Design Association or IIDA, is a network of professional interior designers, with over 13,000 members in 29 Chapters globally.

Another part of their mission is to educate in order to further the interior design industry and professionals, educating themselves and others to help keep up the changing marketplace.

Interior Design Directory

An interior design portal listing from all over America, but also is more than that, as it also includes articles on a number of subjects, and offers some book and magazine ideas, while also adding a list of individual designers you can check out, along with sources for interior design education and events.

AbbeyK on Interior Design

With the tag line of "interior design for the rest of us!" Abbey Koplovitz offers visitors a look at her current projects, while also sharing some interior design insider tips on creating great rooms for your children, how to choose paint colors, and a number of other helpful designing tips and hints.

Interior Design Education

Many people wanting to enter the interior designing profession remind me of a large arts and crafts franchise starting a new store and hiring people to get it launched in the locality.

The manager running the start-up talked to employee wannabees by getting to the point of why they were there. There's no doubt when you get an arts or crafts store going, you're going to attract tons of lovers of arts and crafts ... obviously.

What the manager tried to get through to them was while they may love arts and crafts (which all of them assert they do), that's not the reason for them being there, and they won't be successful if all they do is wonder around taking in the environment of something they love, while they don't pay attention to the business side of it, which means they're there to help customers, and to make sales.

In other words, people in this particular field are romantics, and that also applies to many people looking to enter the interior decorating arena. They picture themselves as these creative geniuses rummaging through these gorgeous accessories and fabrics, entering into all these creative deeds throughout the day.

Just like those that may love arts and crafts, or any area of life, that's far from the reality if you want to make a living in interior design. There is no interior design if you're not making sales. That's the end of it and the bottom line, as far as it relates to the business side of it.

You must develop an entrepreneurial side if you really want to make it in this business, as you do in any business. You have to have a plan, pay attention to all the details, take care of the needs and demands of your customers, make the right bids and deals, pay bills, keep accurate records, follow local regulations, among a plethora of other things.

This isn't said to discourage you, it's only a description of any business in any field in the world. This is just what business is. And even if you want to work for another designer or designing company, these tools and traits will still have to be part of your knowledge and makeup if you're going to succeed.

It's no different than someone training in construction. Learning the skills needed is only the first part. That's just the price to pay to enter the game. From then on those that are best at marketing and business will be the winners.

By the way, don't take this as negative, just as a reality check. There is a lot of satisfaction in what I just talked about, but those that are creative types and romantics alone usually don't take this into consideration or even understand the rules they'll have to play by when entering into the marketplace as an interior designer.

If you've been put off by this, you'll probably struggle tremendously when you must do these things to survive in the business.

Anyway, with that said, I've listed below a number of places where you can pursue an education in interior design if you feel that's what you really want to pursue in your life.
It is my belief that with the ever growing economy interior design and a need for it grows. People are becoming busier and busier these days and they don't have time to decorate and create environments that represent who they are, they rely on professionals, interior designers.

As long as there are homes, offices, restaurants, malls, stores, etc., there will be a need for interior designers.

Furniture and Home Interior Design


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    • profile image

      havadan çekim 

      3 years ago

      thanks for shared my web site is havadan çekim

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      nice images thanx

    • lindsays5624 profile image


      6 years ago

      very comprehensive advise here!! thankyou

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Share, Nice pictures and it gives me a lot of ideas in terms of decorating.

    • AuntySa profile image


      8 years ago from Austalia

      Nice pictures and it gives me a lot of ideas in terms of decorating.

    • spincollective profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent hub with great detail! :)

    • RosWebbART profile image

      Ros Webb 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      That's really interesting, thanks for sharing.

    • MrSpock profile image


      8 years ago

      These pictures are incredibly fascinating and inspiring as well. Excellent!

    • WilfordSy profile image


      9 years ago from The Bahamas

      Very comprehensive indeed. I enjoyed looking through the interior pictures and modern designs.

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      What a comprehensive hub on interior design! My daughter will be starting college in 2 years studying to be an interior designer. She loves redecorating rooms. She and I read this together and we've bookmarked it to come back to. Thanks!


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