What is Interior Design?

Interior design includes the development of all public interior spaces, such as corporate offices, health and long-term care facilities, restaurants, retail stores and shopping malls, academic institutions, airports, detention centres and public facilities. All work is performed under the guiding principles of safeguarding the public while creating effective interior spaces that achieve the client’s objectives and balance practical design solutions with technical requirements and aesthetics.

Interior Designers are formally trained to design spaces that enhance and protect the health and safety of the public.

They are trained in:

  • Building and fire codes;
  • Sustainability and energy efficiency;
  • The flammability and toxicity of materials;
  • Space planning and interior construction;
  • Design for special needs populations;
  • Product quality and durability;
  • As well as residential and private environments.

The scope of practice includes, but is not limited to: (from NCIDQ)

  • Research and analysis of the client’s goals and requirements; and development of documents, drawings and diagrams that outline those needs
  • Formulation of preliminary space plans based on knowledge of the principles of interior design and theories of human behavior. Preliminary space plans and design concepts are safe, functional, aesthetically appropriate, and meet all public health, safety and welfare requirements, including code, accessibility, environmental, and sustainability guidelines
  • Selection of materials and finishes to appropriately convey the design concept and to meet socio-psychological, functional, maintenance, lifecycle performance, environmental, and safety requirements
  • Preparation of construction documents to adhere to regional building and fire codes, municipal codes, and any other jurisdictional statutes, regulations and guidelines applicable to the interior space
  • Coordination and collaboration with other allied design professionals who may be retained to provide consulting services, including but not limited to architects; structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, and various specialty consultants
  • Provision of project management services, including preparation of project budgets and schedules
    Administration of contract documents, bids and negotiations as the client’s agent
  • Observation and reporting on the implementation of projects while in progress and upon completion, as a representative of and on behalf of the client; and conducting post-occupancy evaluation reports.