Interior design is one component of building design and architecture which deals with the design, layout, and arrangement of interior spaces in a building. Interior designers use various functional and decorative building elements to increase the aesthetic appearance and functionality of interior spaces. Although interior design is primarily concerned with the appearance of an interior space, it is not the only concern, and interior designers are able to work towards specific targets and styles within budgetary and stylistic restrictions. Interior design focused on functionality is important for industrial and commercial spaces. Industrial spaces in particular are more concerned with the layout of the building than the aesthetics – where the layout should maximise productivity by reducing waste during movement and due to clutter. Commercial and residential spaces on the other hand, are much more concerned with aesthetics. Commercial spaces focus on the presentability and comfort of the space to attract and retain customers, and residential spaces focus more on both functionality and comfort. This can be achieved with various elements including furniture, the building design itself, decorative items such as wooden picture frames, houseplants, lighting arrangements, etc. This article describes several advantages of incorporating a coherent interior design in your buildings and why the practice is important.
One of the primary reasons many people use the services of interior designers is the need for an attractive interior space. This need is common to commercial clients and residential clients alike. Interior design incorporates existing building elements and design features such as finishes and painting to highlight various aspects of the design. It also makes use of lighting arrangements to ensure that the space has adequate lighting for its purpose and all the colours and textures are visible under the available light.
While aesthetics is important, functionality generally prioritised over aesthetics in most cases (except perhaps in customer facing commercial buildings). The functionality of an interior space is generally achieved by the selection of furniture. The furniture gives a room its purpose and adds to its décor. Furniture can be selected according to interior design principles to achieve a blend of aesthetics and functionality.
Interior design can be incorporated with green building principles to create more sustainable spaces. A green building generally refers to one that is efficient with its energy and resource use. Therefore, interior design can be utilised to decrease the overall energy consumption of a building by promoting the use of natural lighting and ventilation. The furniture selection can also be made more sustainable by opting for ethically sourced timber products.
While interior design is generally a premium option, many find it worth the cost due to the character it adds to a building. A professionally designed interior is vastly different from one that is not, and the investment can result in increased property values and cost savings in the long term. Interior designers are also able to advise on the design stage of the building regarding more efficient building layouts and integrated designs.