Interior designer

Published on: 29 Sep 2009

An interior designer is concerned with the decoration, design and renovation of a building's internal spaces.

An interior designer will be primarily responsible for selecting furnishings, fittings, lighting and internal colour schemes. They can work in any sector, from offices and airports to private homes and luxury hotels. An interior designer may also be concerned with structural elements of the building's design, and will ensure that internal spaces are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Project Orange's Pune hotel

Project Orange's design for the interior of a 235-bedroom hotel in India

There are various qualifications and courses in interior design, although the standard qualification is a BA in interior and special design. Students can also take a foundation degree - a vocational qualification which involves two years study and 16 week's practical experience, with the option of transferring directly into the third year of a BA degree programme.

There are other vocational courses available including an HND, a diploma in interior design, a BTEC - National certificate, adult training courses, a certificate in interior decoration and a access to interior design course.

It is also possible to be taken on with no formal qualifications and complete your training in practice.

Interior designers are represented by the British Institute of Interior Design, but the professional body does not provide accreditation for interior design courses and the title interior designer is not protected by law.

An interior designer can expect to earn between £15,000 and £65,000 a year or more depending on sector, experience and seniority.