Take a look around the room you are in this very minute. What kind of physical space is it? What kind of mood does the space inspire in you? Does it energize or drain you?
Interior space, whether it is the inside of an adobe hut or the lobby of some expansive public building, is the result of some plan or design. While it is true that some "designs" may be the result of nothing more than the incidental outcome of a structure's overall construction, most habitations are built with some kind of sympathy towards the needs of its occupants. Environment affects how we feel about ourselves and about what we are doing, and it is the task of the interior designer to enhance those feelings as much as possible.
There are two main divisions of interior design: residential and commercial. These two divisions can be further subdivided into various subcategories. Some commercial subcategories may include restaurant design or hotel lobby design.
Residential interior designers may specialize in any room in the house, from living rooms to kitchens. But all interior designers must take into account many of the same variables when creating a space.
Interior designers must understand the ultimate purpose of the spaces they are designing. They must incorporate knowledge of local building codes. And they need to take into account the tastes, cultures and physical limitations of the end users.
In addition to considering issues of functionality, designers must familiarize themselves with what the physical environment already has on hand -- from the material the builder is using to construct the room to light source to temperatures and seasons.
An interior space can be made to blend and meld with the larger interior and exterior spaces surrounding the room or it can be made to contrast it and offer an escape.
Interior designers, like other types of designers, must be able to blend the artistic with the pragmatic. As artists, they should be knowledgeable about artistic trends and fashions. They should be able to draw and to use graphical programs on computers to create renderings of their ideas. As business persons, they need to be familiar with the costs and availabilities of materials they wish to use and how those materials will hold up overtime and how they will interact together. They must also marshal the skills needed to manage a business.
Most interior designers are self-employed, which means they will have to be organized and self motivated.