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What does an interior designer do?

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Quick Answer

Interior designers come up with creative plans for decorating a space by balancing individual design elements, such as furniture layout, color scheme and functionality. Interior designers typically need a diverse skill set to produce layout sketches, provide cost estimates for clients and foster business relationships with contractors.

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Full Answer

Since interior designers work in various settings, such as retail stores, private homes, hotels, restaurants and offices, their designs must reflect the occupants and each room's intended use. For example, designers working with health care facilities may concentrate on maximizing space for medical equipment and providing safe housing for patients. Professionals designing entertainment venues may devote more time to the space's aesthetic value.

Interior designers typically oversee the selection and purchase of the furniture, accents, lighting and fixtures in a room. They choose specific colors or finishes for the walls and floor, and they often use drawings or digital blueprints to pitch their ideas to clients. Depending on the job requirements, interior designers may collaborate with engineers, architects, furniture designers, builders, plumbers and other skilled professionals.

As project leaders, interior designers are often responsible for managing a timeline and meeting with collaborators to stay on track. They also need to make sure their designs comply with the health codes of the client's industry. In addition to industry specialties, interior designers may develop niche skills, such as sustainable, eco-friendly design.

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