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   Information for the Aspiring Interior Designer in the United States

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American Society of Interior Designers (ASID)

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Foundation for Interior Design Education Research (FIDER)

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Residential Interior Design
Just as the name implies, residential interior design focuses on the planning and/or specifying of interior materials and products used in private residences. Residential interior designers must be aware of such issues as child safety, family traffic patterns, home wiring and cable needs, switching and security systems, and space requirements for home theater electronics and computer hardware, and the different challenges facing the design of single-family and multi-unit dwellings.

Commercial Interior Design
Commercial interior design focuses on the planning and design of public buildings and businesses -- everything from retail stores to restaurants and from museums to hospitals. Since this type of design encompasses such a wide array of building types, some designers concentrate on very particular areas, including: entertainment (theaters, concert venues, theme parks), government/institutional (federal buildings, courts, libraries), health care (hospitals, clinics, examination rooms), hospitality/restaurant (nightclubs, restaurants, hotels), offices (both public and private areas), and retail/store planning (boutiques, department stores, shopping malls).

Exhibit Designer
Most large museums employ an Exhibit Designer whose job it is to translate curatorial and educational ideas into gallery installations. Not only must the Exhibit Designer have a highly refined understanding of art objects and how they interact with one another in terms of color and scale, but he or she must also be aware of the principles of conservation and preservation of artworks so that they may be installed with proper light and safety precautions. The Exhibit Designer works closely with the preparator and his or her crew to fabricate special exhibition cabinets, cases, pedestals, or display tables, and supervises the installation of the exhibition or permanent installation and designs proper lighting once artworks are in place.

Lighting Designer
A room's lighting should be aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. A good lighting designer will use combine intensities, direction and color of light to create pleasing spaces. The knowledge and expertise of a lighting designer includes an interior design background that can help size up your architectural needs; an up-to-date knowledge of electrical codes; word on the latest technical advancements in lighting and control systems; and experience with maintenance and energy issues.

Space Planner
A space planner creatively diagrams how a particular interior space will be organized -- typically by working with commercial clients to maximize space within offices, institutions or other large structures to ensure the space is used efficiently. Space planners typically work alongside interior designers or architectural firms.

Kitchen and Bath Designer
It's been recently estimated that nearly 60% of all home construction spending goes towards renovations -- and the kitchen and bathrooms are the spaces of homes most often renovated. As a result, there's great potential for interior designers specializing in kitchen and bath design. These designers focus on construction and mechanical systems, basics of kitchen and bath design, materials and estimation, lighting, universal design and theme application, and computer-aided-drafting specific for the kitchen and bathroom design industry. There is even a professional organization -- the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) -- for this specialized form of interior design.

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Interior Design | Bathroom Design | Kitchen Design | Computer Aided Drafting | Interior Decorating | Residential Planning | Architectural Design