All of us visit multiple places pretty much every day and from time to time, we walk into somewhere that we automatically appreciate as being really well laid out and aesthetically beautiful. Making a place eye catching is far from simple and takes the work of creative interior designers, who use multiple skills to produce that which can sometimes be almost a work of art in itself. Interior design is a science that is largely not understood by many, and it is a lot more complicated than some might think, especially when we are looking at commercial spaces, as opposed to decorating the inside of a house. Interior design can be described as a science and art, which enhances the interior of a building, to provide a more aesthetically pleasing and healthier environment for the people using it. It is a multi-faceted profession which needs to travel from initial concept through to execution, to the satisfaction of not only the customer, but for the visitor too.

Historical Interior Design

Interior design is nothing new, as any visitor to historical sites such as the Sistine chapel, or Canterbury Cathedral can tell you, though the process has changed quite a lot. Historically, interiors were put together as a part of the overall construction process, with the end design coming together as the project progressed. Society has developed and the complexity of architecture has increased with our better engineering skills and quality of materials available. Previously the architect of the building was generally also in charge of the interior, while today, interior design is an industry in its own right. The architect designs the building and the interior designer subsequently then focuses on the most effective use of interior space, to provide the user with a functional design, using innovative ideas in decoration. Studying history can show us how the process has gradually evolved, from ancient Egyptian times, to the science we have today. It is highly unusual today to find an architect for a large commercial building to be employing craftsmen and artisans to complete the interior design.

The Progression of Interior Design

The Victorian era saw the first real steps in bringing interior design into homes and other buildings, as the middle and upper classes grew in size and prosperity, and began to want the trappings of wealth to show off their new status. Full house furnishings began to be available, rather than just the standard furniture offerings and firms started up offering the beginnings of today’s interior design industry. Having ones house look stylish was in growing demand and so the industry flourished and gradually department stores realised the opportunity and began to set up different areas of the store to show examples of that which was available. Exhibitions grew in number and provided top quality firms the opportunity to show off their skills and designs to larger and larger audiences and we’re finding that many of their potential customers needed serious help, in selecting furniture and fittings that showed taste and style. This led to many furniture manufacturers taking on contracts to assist with the design and furnishings of many historical buildings throughout Britain.

The Move to Modern Times

By the beginning of the twentieth century more and more people were beginning to question if furniture manufacturers were doing a good job in helping people to furnish their homes. They were accused of offering rigid designs that made many houses look exactly the same and a search for individuality, tailor made to an individual’s needs and preferences began. Where previously the customer would go to the furniture store and select from what was available, now he became equally likely to invite a designer or art dealer to visit the home and create something individual and perfectly designed for the space and surroundings. Interior design as a real industry had been born. Following the Second World War, expenditure on building interiors grew and courses on interior design began to be offered. Differing points of view led to the creation of industry bodies, and so education, qualifications and quality standards and practices were established, which still govern industry practice today. So, if you are in London or looking for interior design companies in Dubai, many of the principles remain the same.

Interior Design for Everywhere

Interior design has moved from being something generally used to improve the aesthetics of a domestic property and is now found in a wide range of specific sectors, such as hospitality, healthcare, commercial property, exhibition design and many others. Interior design focuses an emphasis on functionality and the effective use of space, which determines the basic layout of a building’s interior, involving aspects such as lighting and acoustics, in addition to the basics such as door and window placement. The interior designer will generally work alongside or confer with the building architect, to ensure their designs will not impact upon structural integrity. There are, especially in commercial premises, many regulations and codes that must be followed to ensure above all, that’s what they are planning is totally safe and adheres to all building regulations. Maintenance of the building must be considered and designed in, to ensure mechanical, electrical and plumbing work can be achieved without creating a significant disturbance. Only once these considerations have been taken into account, can the design of colours, shapes and decoration really begin.

Specialist Nature of Interior Designers

While it all really began with people wanting the interior of their home to look good, today interior design has become highly specialised. Some companies focus purely on the domestic customer where the wants and needs can be highly individualistic and may involve a new building, or the revitalisation of an existing structure. It is in the commercial side of things, where specialisation really happens though, as can be witnessed every time we go shopping or to a company office, or even the bank. Corporates like to have something reassuringly familiar, while the mall will be looking for something exciting, unique and eye catching. The list becomes endless, with everything from a wedding to a theme park all benefiting from the expertise of today’s modern interior designer, one of whom is behind the decoration of pretty much everywhere you go.