Residential interior designers work with homeowners and apartment-dwellers to enhance the safety, function, and overall aesthetic of their homes. They help their client make decisions about textures, furniture, lighting, space, and colors.
Traditionally, interior designers help their clients with decorating -- selecting a style and color palette, and then choosing the appropriate furnishings, lighting, artwork, and floor and window coverings. In more expansive renovations, these designers plan layouts and choose new locations of doors, windows, and stairways.
Similar to commercial interior designers work closely with their clients to understand their desires and needs. They will usually do this in a face-to-face meeting to discover how the space will be used and to get an idea of the client's preferences and budget. After this inventory, the designer sketches a plan (often using computer-aided design (CAD) software), meets with the client to finalize it, and then works with a variety of contractors, engineers, and possibly also architects, to ensure completion.
An associate or bachelor's degree is required for most entry-level jobs in residential interior design. Those with an associate's degree are generally employed as assistants to interior designers. Those with bachelor's degrees usually qualify for a formal design apprenticeship program, which they will need in order to take the NCDIQ test and be licensed in their state.