What is Interior Design? -Things you need to know

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Take a second to look around your environment, and you’d see how diverse things are when it comes to aesthetics. Is the quote accurate? We think it is. Great Interior Design can sometimes make or break the chances of a budding business. It makes a good impression on potential clients because it tells them a lot of things about you and the company that they are dealing with.

Good interior décor also represents the personality of the homeowner. It can exude pride, status, and character. This is a special Interior Designer Houston article as we’re going to talk about all things about home decoration. We aim to inspire and explore the beauty of creativity.

A Brief History of Interior Design

We know that decoration and design go way back, and we’re not going to discuss ancient civilization with you all. By history, we are going to give you a brief background of Interior Design as a profession.

To date, home design has only been a profession for over 100 years. It developed so fast into a discipline that nowadays, the school of interior design has already been divided into several specialized areas and embraces a lot of form, function, and style.

The terms Interior Decorator was first used in America in the early 1900. The term interior designer was coined in the 1930s by a magazine called Interior Design and Decoration. AID was the largest professional organization at that time and was founded when a group of designers convened to create a national professional organization.

In the 1970s, the Foundation for Interior Design Educational Research and National Council for Interior Design Qualification were both formed. These organizations then maintained the standards for interior decoration education and examination.

In 1982, the first US legislation supporting the rapid growth of interior design was passed. That’s the history of how home design has evolved and has now become a global force as well as a passion for a lot of people worldwide.

Interior Design
Interior Designer Houston

So what is Interior Design?

We’ve come to the meat of our discussion, and we here from Interior Designer Houston, Texas, will now shed some light on our topic question.

Interior Design, by definition, is a multifaceted profession that involves both creative and technical solutions within a structure to build interior environments. The field hopes to create functional solutions to problems and concerns that, in a way, would improve the quality of life, enhance the culture of the occupants or owners, and that the designs are aesthetically attractive.

Designs are usually tailored to adhere to certain codes and, as much as possible, take into consideration environmental sustainability.

There are a few steps involved when you do home décor. As an interior designer, you will be involved in the initial research and analysis of a project. Then you will proceed with the necessary planning needed.

Planning would include making sure that the designs are not only aesthetically appropriate but, at the same time, should be safe not just for the occupants but the public. The fun part is where you get to decide what materials, colors, shapes, furniture, fixture, and equipment will be involved in the project.

Next up is to get proper approval of the things you came up with during the planning and acquire all necessary documents. You also have to determine if you need to collaborate with our designers or parties to realize your project. Lastly, execute the plan.

Designing takes more than a concept or a beautiful idea. It involves planning, making critical decisions, and proper execution. You follow trends but don’t forget to be innovative. You never know, you might be the trendsetter this time.

Principles of Interior Design

Principles of interior design are basics that an interior designer keeps in mind when styling their home. They include


The first thing designers do is pick the interior design style they want to create before proceeding with the decoration project. This helps you to keep the working space cohesive and focused. You can pick traditional, modern, contemporary, Bohemian, minimalists, industrial, and so on.

Each design had unique features such as color scheme, furniture, flooring, upholstery, wall art styles, among others.

We recommend every interior designer to be conversant with each style and its decorating ideas.


We create balance by the way we distribute furniture and accent in the house. You need to think of three elements when creating balance in a space. First is texture, whether it’s soft or hard. Second is the position, whether it will be left or right placement, low level, eye level, or high level.

Focal point

The house has interesting or beautiful points that we want to stand out. These features draw the viewer’s attention, and they include a piece of art, fireplace, or unique furniture.

Interior designers are careful when creating a focal point to avoid going overboard by crowding a single space with several items. Creating two focal points in a single area can be overpowering and can cause it to appear unfocused.

Status Quo of Interior Design (What’s New, What’s Hot, and What’s Not)

Interior decor is much like art and fashion. You need to be creative, and you need to always follow the trend and keep up with what’s in style. Let’s discuss a few.

When it comes to color, the latest trends are classic blue colors or cool tones and earthy tones, which is quietly emerging. Our best guess is that people nowadays are becoming more aware of their surroundings and moving towards eco-friendly activities.

Colors like olive green, burnt orange, and yellow ochre are quite popular. For furniture and other accessories, it’s quite often that any design or color representing earthy elements is on the trend.

For shapes, it looks like curvy shapes are on-trend. It’s actually a reemergence as curvy shapes were also trendy way back in the 60s and 70s. Rounded furniture with line and curve mesh to highlight its form is quite popular.

You’ll see a lot of upholstered sofas, benches, and chaises with curved designs.

Nowadays, multifunctional spaces are also trending. The advent of the internet comes to a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs and for companies big and small to adapt to a work from home system.

So when it comes to design, you’ll now often see houses that have areas that can be both living and home office space. Of course, you can’t leave out work from home parents from the equation.

Sometimes home offices are also designed to be kid-friendly to be their playground. The bottom line is efficient designs are on-trend as of late.

Floral and Biophilic designs are also in as well as layered contrasting decors. You will also see a lot of mixed metals in interior designs nowadays. Lastly, rattan and wicker furniture is also quite popular as well as canopy beds.

What’s out, you may ask? Well, in terms of color grays is out, cherry wood cabinets are also becoming unpopular, darker colors give way to cooler colors, and minimalism is also taking a backseat compared to maximalism.

House Interior Design

Let’s continue this special Interior Designer Houston TX article by discussing a few areas that are covered by interior designers. First up, is house interior decor, which is by far aside from office spaces should be the most common places that designers get to work on.

Arabic royal interior
Arabic royal interior

While house interior decor can be exciting given the multitude of choices that we can do for ourselves or a client, it can also be quite delicate and even nerve-wracking. As a homeowner, you’d want something that would elicit your personality on to your dwelling place.

Sometimes, people don’t know what they really want or don’t know what they need simply because they have no idea of what’s available for them. Interior designers stepped in and discussed the possibilities, thinking out of the box to creatively come up with a proper solution and take what’s on the client’s minds and turn ideas into a reality.

We know we mentioned that earthy and cooler designs are now the trend but again don’t forget to look elsewhere too if that’s what a client wants. You have a wide range of choices including, modern, contemporary, minimalistic, industrial, mid-century modern, Scandinavian, traditional, transitional, French country, and bohemian designs.

These are all perfect house interior designs, and you’ll have lots of fun mixing and matching for sure.

Home Interior Design Styles

There are several rooms in the house. The standard ones are living rooms, kitchen, bedrooms, and bathrooms. The number, size, and layout of these rooms vary from one home to the other. We style these rooms differently because they differ from one another, and their functions are not the same also.

Living Room Design Styles

This is the room where we entertain our visitors and family spend time here conversing or watching movies. The space should be calm and welcoming as much as possible.

Its décor and furnishing should have lovely pops of color. We usually make the fireplace, artwork, light fixture, or furniture the focal point in every living room we design. Think of a pink fireplace in a white wall surrounding.

We can also mimic the outdoor environment such as the ocean using bright greens and blues color pops, beachy art, and natural materials to add texture.

Art deco has geometric shapes and bright colors. Adding gold accents, artwork and light fixtures, faceted mirrors, brass coffee table, or plush jewel-toned furniture help Interior Designer Houston to create deco inspired living room. This is just a sample of what our experienced interior designers can create.

Kitchen Design Styles

Gone are the days when the kitchen was placed somewhere outside or behind closed doors. Actually, some modern kitchens have entertainment spaces. That means that your family and guests are with you as you cook, and eat together in the kitchen as you converse.

Others are designed to give you a weekend getaway feel while living in the middle of a suburb. This is a country farmhouse kitchen. We add handmade ceramic accessories, copper pots, and provencal fabrics to create a Mediterranean kitchen style.

Gourmet cooking equipment, a wide island, and comfortable seats create a contemporary kitchen.

Bedroom Design Styles

A bedroom is a room where we go to decompress and rest after the day’s activities. Its ambiance should support just that as well as promote a positive mood. We use colors, patterns, and materials to change the look and feel.

A high-impact photograph, chartreuse lamp, scone light, and gingham upholstery are some of the items that we use to later the mood as well as make the space more relaxing. Besides sleeping, we want you to read a book or listen to relaxing music as you wait to fall asleep.

Bathroom Design Styles

We create gorgeous bathrooms because it’s the first place you visit when you wake up or return from work.

Atmospheric lighting schemes and accessories are elements of a bathroom after installing essential facilities unusual color schemes, a mix of finishes, materials, and textures changes bathroom mood.

So we can make a bathroom a simplistic look or use a sparkling crystal chandelier to give it an electric appearance.

Outdoor Interior Design

Outdoor home decor may sound like a contradiction, but it is a trend. It mostly refers to a patio, veranda, or balcony design. And yes, it looks exactly how it is in your mind. Think of sofas or couches outside right under the sun.

That’s why this type of design is common during summer as that means there’d be lesser chances of rain so more bright sunshine. You get to relax and bash under the sun in style.

Restaurant Interior Design

A restaurant does not only rely on good food to attract or keep loyal customers from coming. You’d also need great ambiance and feel into your establishment so that people would feel more comfortable and at home when dining in.

Nowadays, restaurants that present a narrative of their background through design are quite common. It gives the customers a better perspective on the food that they eat and the kind of people that prepares them.

With the addition of social media into the equation where everything or everyone can be critique almost immediately, the need for beautifully designed dining places has never been more important. Not mentioning that the competition has never been tougher.

Good restaurant interior design does not only make the establishment aesthetically pleasing, but it addresses a lot of problems and needs of the business. It balances the seating capacity, addresses problematic areas, gives way for other means of entertainment like live music, makes it functional with style like for ventilation, and even designs neat and cool restrooms.

There are a lot of ways that unique home decor can help a restaurant. You just need to think out of the box and always stick to your inspirations.

Interior Design Styles

Before jumping into the interior design discipline, you need to learn different interior decorating styles available for you. That means you need to tell what is unique about a design and to differentiate it from the rest. The following are common interior decoration styles.

1.    Traditional Design

The design has a classic look, thus universally acceptable. Its appeal has endured for decades, and it continues to thrive.

Traditional design has a European influence or decor and was common in the 18th-19th centuries. The elegant furnishings comprises of classic lamps, candleholders, book collections.

The home space has area rugs, heavy curtains, and drapes. It has pieces of furniture with wood and metallic details. Popular accent colors in traditional design are brown, warm jewel, red, and green tones.

2.    Contemporary Design

The design offers a lot of freedom, and its goal is to showcase the space rather than the items in it.

You find white, black, and neutral tones in the contemporary interior design style. Light fixtures have metallic elements placed at eye level and directed to a painting, print, or poster.

Contemporary design uses simple and uncluttered furniture, and the upholstery is of natural fiber like wool, cotton, silk, and linen to give it a textural appeal.

3.   Modern Design

The modern interior design style has fewer accessories, simple elements, and less clutter which leaves it sleek.

It uses elements made from natural neutral and earthy colors such as unpainted wood, leather, metal, and monochromatic colors.

The space has many, wider, unadorned windows to allow natural light while pieces of furniture have minimal ornamentation.

4.   Minimalist Design

It’s an ultra-clean lines design with simple, streamlined furnishings. Its accessories are plain and with nothing excess.

Other home décor and design styles are industrial, bohemian, and mid-century modern designs.

Interior Design Tools

Interior designers have their tools of the trade, just like any other profession. These are software and physical tools that enhance their creativity, artistic ability, and color sense.

Color Wheel: The wheel has a wide array of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. We use the wheel when creating a color scheme to be used when styling a room.

Measuring Tools: we confirm interior spaces and furnishings dimensions to avoid purchasing items that don’t fit well. Cloth tapes are the best measuring tools for curved or angled surfaces. Rigid tables are appropriate for measuring straight lengths. Compasses, triangular scales, rulers, and paralleled gliders help to ensure we have correct, precise angles, straight lines, or perfect circles.

Digital Camera: Every designer should have a record of their work. We take photos and integrate them with various design plans. We also download them into Interior Designer Houston CAD programs. They are important when showcasing our work.

Sample Swatches and Books: These are fabric samples provided by manufacturers when promoting their materials. We use them when selecting materials to use when developing a certain interior design style.  As stated, some pieces of furniture are made of natural materials such as leather, cotton, silk, or wool. Thus fabric samples help when creating a color palette for each room.

Paint Chips: They are color strips provided by paint makers to help designers when coordinating and selecting colors. We blend colors of various items like fabric, furniture, and accessories.

CAD/Drawing Tools: We use pencils, ruler, graph paper, compass, and protractor when sketching or drawing designs that we intend to implement. We use CAD software to convert them into a 3-D format.

Interior Design Hotspots

Aside from staying on-trend, you also need to be aware of the hottest places and areas for interior decor. This will give you a broader overview of the field that’s being practiced worldwide.


Taj mahal Mosque
Taj Mahal Mosque, India

Asia has always been a hotbed for interior design from unique materials, and as we’ve mentioned a reconnection to nature has been the trend. Places like Bali and India are top destinations for home decorations.

Bali is known for its carved wood and cushions, while India’s graphic tribal motifs are quite popular.

Speaking of nature, South Africa is no doubt a part of the movement. Tribal art, beadings, and masks are quite popular today. The color movement from Mexico is also quite a treat. Flowers, food, fruits, and the art of celebrating life and death are also quite appealing.

Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,mexico
Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Mexico

Lastly, Australia is your best bet when it comes to hand-painted materials, weavings, and fabrics. They also have trendy ceramics in all shapes and forms that you could ever ask for.

Terracotta tones from Spain and vivid textiles from Thailand are also worth checking out.

Not just the places, you should also know who’s who in the interior design world.

Some of the top interior designers today are:

  • Jean-Louis Deniot
  • Kelly Hoppen
  • Philippe Starck
  • Kelly Wearstler
  • Ryan Korban
  • The Rockwell Group
  • Timothy Corrigan
  • Sig Bergamin
  • Mark Cunningham
  • Robert Couturier

These people and groups are worth following if you want to learn from the best of the best.

What Does it Take to be an Interior Designer?

Here at Houston Interior Design want to help you be a better home designer or start your journey anew. But we understand if you are having second thoughts as it could be an intimidating field. Here are some tips!

  • The design must be in your DNA. Take note that there is a difference between a decorator and a designer. Designers have a knack from choosing colors, shapes, and concepts for certain projects. You’re not just throwing one object next to each other and hope that they will look good together. Designers are meant to be visionaries like artists.
  • It’s not all about the tangible things that you can put together. It’s about knowing the philosophy about certain designs, why these matches, and why it doesn’t. When working with the client, you need to put yourself in their shoes and see from their eyes to realize what they really mean.
  • There are other things involved aside from creating or designing concepts. Maybe it was mentioned above, but there are should we say “boring stuff” involved too, get ready for those.
  • You need to be a people person and develop your portfolio as early as possible.
  • Competition is fierce so toughen up!
  • Know the rules and codes at all times.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree will only take you so far. You need to constantly innovate and create and practice. Live and breathe design if you want to be successful, rediscover your passion and yourself all the time.

Top Interior Design Colleges

An interior design bachelor’s degree provides you with the necessary skills that help you to meet client’s and organizations’ requirements. Many institutions are offering the interior design degree program. Some of them have mandatory technology programs to help meet real life’s growing demands.

These institutions deliver lectures in small briefs, and students are required to complete a project by graduating. Some of the world’s top institutions are;

  • Dublin Institute of Design
  • Florence Design Academy, Florence
  • Pratt Institute, Brooklyn NY
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • The Interior Design School, London
  • The New York School of Interior Design
  • The Visual College of Art and Design, Vancouver

Interior Design Books

You can also learn interior design skills or sharpen it by reading books authored by experienced designers. These experts want to help beginners grasp basics, thus giving them a good foundation into the industry.

We recommend the following books whether you’re a beginner or skilled.

·   Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life by Erin Gates

A great resource for beginners for it covers every room in the house. It has several unique ideas and tons of photos.

·   Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy by Deborah Needleman, Dara Caponigro & Sara Ruffin Costello

The books teach you home decor styles and help you to replicate them to make you’re your home calm and welcoming through decorations.

·   Interior Design: The Best Beginner’s Guide for Newbies by Simon Brake

The book has 66 pages that cover décor basics and home decoration styles, room organization, color matching, and material selection.

·   The Color Scheme Bible by Anna Starmer

The book discusses the color scheme because it’s an important feature in interior design. The author teaches you how colors interact and how you can mix them to create a design.

·   Interior Design Master Class by Carl Dellatore

It’s an excellent resource that addresses the theory part and practical style choice. The author will help you create an American décor, spacious living, and how to apply Fengshui techniques in your house.

·   The Inspired Room by Melissa Michaels

Michaels provides decorating tips that touch all rooms in the house. It helps you to decorate rooms of any type, size, and style.

Final Thoughts

We hope that we’ve accomplished our goal of inspiring you to enter the realm of interior design. That first step is always the hardest, but you’re already halfway to your goal when you do make it.

Just as how home decor brightens up people’s lives, we at Interior Designer Houston aims to do the same thing. The article embodies our character and our capabilities. Keep your eyes on this space as we will have more fun, interesting, and informative reads for everyone.

The world is our canvass, and we’ve yet to get started. So stay curious, and always prioritize creativity.

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