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Interior Design vs Interior Decoration

Alabama interior designed modern office meeting room

Some people confuse interior decoration for interior design and vice versa. The key difference between them is the level of training required. Any person can work as an interior decorator if they possess a general knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, working as an interior designer necessitates formal training and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree as well as be licensed. Interior designers are taught to make work or living areas attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are two general areas that an interior designer in Alabama may specialize in:

  • Residential Design. Interior Designers frequently work on new construction and existing homes. They can design essentially any room of a house, including bedrooms, basements and closets. Or they may specialize in designing one particular room, for example kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Designing. When working on public or commercial spaces, designers frequently focus primarily on either aesthetic appeal or functionality but take notice of both. For example, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for banks and hospitals might concentrate more on functionality over looks as the primary concern.

There are several areas of residential and commercial interior design that a designer must learn, for example color schemes, lighting, acoustics and furniture. They must be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From picking wall paper and carpeting to integrating Feng shui concepts, Alabama interior designers employ a wide range of skills that contribute to their ultimate creations.

Interior Design Degrees

Alabama interior designed large kitchen

There are four degree alternatives available in interior design to receive the training required to start your new profession in Alabama. Your selection will undoubtedly be motivated by your career goals as well as the time and money that you have budgeted to invest in your education. But no matter which degree program you choose to enroll in, make sure to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is required in order to qualify for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in some states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Following are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees supply the minimum amount of education needed to enter the field. They take approximately 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Alabama vocational schools and community colleges. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that furnish more in depth training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative facets of the business required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a college graduate in order to secure an entry level job as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These two year programs furnish advanced design training after acquiring a Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer choices in specialized majors in general areas such as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to improve their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral programs are largely for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs vary in length but are generally completed in 3 to 5 years.

To work professionally and adopt the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In several instances, two or more years of field experience may be called for before a candidate can take the licensing exam.

Interior Design Online Programs

For anyone wishing' to attend classes in the convenience of their Alabama homes, there are online accredited interior design schools. Attending classes online can be an excellent option for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make attending classes on campus challenging. Classes can instead be attended on a home computer or laptop when convenient for the student. For some students online programs may be the only option if no interior design programs are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be lower than for more traditional options. Additional costs for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated as well. Just make certain that the program you pick is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online programs may also receive accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council, which focuses on distance or online education. If you have the discipline to acquire your degree without the confines of a physical classroom environment, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.

Learn More About Alabama Interior Design Degrees