Interior Design

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Christian Interior Design Schools

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“We glorify God by reshaping the raw materials of the world in such a way that, for those with eyes to see, God’s glory and presence are made visible.” ~John Mark Comer

Who doesn’t love a good episode of “Fixer Upper” or “Flip or Flop?” Shows like this have glamorized interior design as a career. And yet, for the visually oriented, highly creative individual, interior design from Christian colleges with interior design is often a great career fit, especially if you are driven to create indoor spaces that are functional, safe and aesthetically appealing. These spaces could range from hotels to schools to restaurants to residential homes to offices.  An interior design major finds fascination in “playing with” details such as paint color, upholstery, window treatments, fabric swatches, light fixtures and flooring. As a college major, interior design teaches students how to create high quality floor plans through computer-aided drafting programs, as well as to read blueprints, estimate project costs and draw up business contracts. Topics of study range from period styles to portfolio/business development to marketing to project management to state and federal building codes. An interior design major also equips students with the specific design software skills necessary to succeed in the industry.

There is a myriad of skills needed in this business-related, applied visual arts degree. Having an intuitive eye for aesthetics and the ability to create a smooth, cohesive look is imperative. Other helpful traits and skills for this major include being attentive to detail, the ability to solve problems creatively, and a strong sense of spacial visualization. In addition, design work is often done in collaboration and for a wide-array of clients so it is important to be a team-player and have strong communication skills, including the ability to listen carefully and pick up on nuance so as to translate wishes into specific types of environments for a vast array of needs, purposes and styles. Individuals who thrive in the interior design industry are those who are able to multitask, meet deadlines, stay focused, work within a budget and maintain a posture of lifelong learning in a sea of constantly evolving technology and design styles.

Stepping into an interior design program, you can expect to take business and art classes and general courses like communication and psychology. You will likely work to create a design portfolio over the course of your educational journey and may participate in an internship before graduating. Examples of courses you might expect to take include:

  • Principles of interior design
  • Drawing and perspectives
  • History of design
  • Space planning
  • Interior lighting design
  • 3-D design
  • Interior design professional practice  

Interior design careers tend to be fairly competitive. For this reason, some interior designer majors go on to pursue a master’s degree or further training in areas of specialization in order to become experts in a wide variety of design areas such as industrial, healthcare, residential or green interior design. Roughly 33% of interior designers find employment through some form of freelance work. Though a majority of interior design majors become interior designers for a design firm, other related career areas include:

  • Set designer  
  • Art director
  • Space planner
  • Landmark design preservationist
  • Historic residential designer
  • Textile designer

If creative juices pulse through your veins and artistic ability seems hard-wired into your brain, then perhaps part of God’s good plan for your life involves taking your abilities and showcasing his inventive, beautiful image to the world through the diverse and unique field of interior design. 

A future in Interior Design

By Jennifer Bailey

Do you love decorating your room and arranging and rearranging furniture? Does moving a piece of furniture to the left three inches change your whole world?! Do others tell you what great taste you have? The first step to a successful career is to follow your passion. After all, doing something you love will never feel like work. Keep in mind, there is a difference between loving to decorate and being an actual interior designer. Mainly, it’s education. There are associate and bachelor degree programs for interior design. Designers develop new ideas which are often turned into reality for clients and companies, generally under a deadline and a budget. They need to be able to maintain a positive attitude at all times, to be the best they can be at their current assignment and not get easily discouraged when plans change or clients change their minds, which happens all the time.

It may seem obvious, but yes, in order to become an interior designer, you need to have a natural flair for color, space, architecture and textiles. While fabrics, furniture and color may play a large part in interior design, there are plenty of other things that are required of interior designers - many of which may seem less like fun and more like actual work. So, you may love art, color and architecture but do you also like lighting, wiring, plumbing, drawing and building codes? Are you thinking…wow - interior designers need to do a little bit of everything? Well, sort of. Designers work with lots of different people from the homeowners, to the builders, architects, agencies and business owners.  Interior designers perform services such as programming, design analysis, space planning, preparing drawings and documents, and job site observation using specialized knowledge obtained through schooling and beyond.

Interior design is a career in which the satisfaction and safety of their client is the focus. The perfect combination, in terms of natural personality, would be someone who is a naturally gifted people-pleaser and also someone who can learn to become a master at mitigating— meaning you can direct clients toward a good design outcome while at the same time making them feel they are in control of the design choices. Interior designers are constantly balancing their design decisions and their clients’ desires. This field is very competitive so being a person who thrives in that environment will serve you well.

Interior design classes teach you to apply artistic principles and techniques to the professional stages of planning, designing, equipping and furnishing of residential and commercial interior spaces. It would also include instruction in human behavior, construction documentation, computer applications, drafting and graphic techniques along with principles of interior lighting, acoustics, systems integration and color coordination, furniture and furnishings, textiles and their finishing, the history of interior design and period styles, basic structural design, building codes and inspection regulations. A designer can work in several modalities from residential to office, hotel, factory, hospitals, restaurant and more.