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Interior Design and Interior Decoration

Arizona interior designed board meeting room

Many people confuse interior decoration for interior design and conversely. The main distinction between the two is the amount of training required. Any person can do business as an interior decorator if they have a basic knowledge of or a skill for decorating interior spaces. However, doing business as an interior designer necessitates a formal education and in many states one must have an accredited Associate or Bachelor's Degree and be licensed. Interior designers are trained to make work or residential spaces attractive as well as functional. On various occasions they may team up with architects and building engineers. There are 2 broad areas that an interior designer in Arizona can specialize in:

  • Residential Designing. Interior Designers often work on existing homes as well as new construction. They can design essentially any room of the home, including bedrooms, closets and basements. Or they can specialize in designing one specific room, such as kitchens or bathrooms.
  • Commercial Design. When working on commercial or public areas, designers often concentrate predominantly on either functionality or aesthetic appeal but pay attention to both. For instance, business reception areas and meeting rooms are areas where aesthetics may be focused on over function. Designs for hospitals and banks might concentrate more on functionality over appearance as the primary consideration.

There are numerous areas of commercial and residential interior design that a designer needs to learn, for example lighting, color schemes, furniture and acoustics. Designers need to be able to use graphic design and read blue prints in order to produce their visions. From choosing carpeting and wall paper to including Feng shui concepts, Arizona interior designers implement a wide range of skills that help bring about their final designs.

Interior Design Degree Programs

Arizona interior designed eat-in kitchen

There are four degree options offered in interior design to receive the training necessary to start your new profession in Arizona. Your decision will undoubtedly be motivated by your career objectives in addition to the money and time that you have budgeted to devote to your education. But regardless of which degree program you opt to enroll in, make certain to pick one that is accredited. Accreditation is needed in order to take the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination mandated in several states. More will be covered on additional benefits of accreditation later. Below are brief explanations of the interior design degrees that are available.

  • Associate Degree. Interior Design Associate Degrees furnish the minimum amount of training required to enter the profession. They take roughly 2 years to complete and programs are offered at numerous Arizona community colleges and vocational schools. Graduates can normally obtain entry level employment as design assistants.
  • Bachelor's Degree. Bachelor's degrees are four year programs that deliver more extensive training than the Associate Degree. They deal with the technical and creative aspects of the trade required to become a designer. They are the lowest credential needed by a graduating student in order to secure an entry level position as an interior designer.
  • Master's Degree. These 2 year programs furnish advanced training in design after achieving the Bachelor's Degree. Master's Degrees offer options in specialized majors for such things as business offices or residential bathrooms. A number of students enroll to enhance their skills to be more competitive in the job market.
  • Doctorate Degree. Doctoral degrees are mostly for those professionals who wish to teach interior design at a college or university level. The degree programs differ in length but are typically completed in three to five years.

To work as a professional and use the title of "Interior Designer", a number of states require that graduates of accredited degree programs become licensed. In some instances, two or more years of professional experience may be required before a candidate can take the licensing examination.

Interior Design Online Programs

For individuals who wish to attend classes in the convenience of their Arizona homes, there are accredited online interior design classes. Attending classes online can be a great solution for those students that are employed or have hectic schedules that make going to classes on campus difficult. Classes can instead be attended on a laptop or a personal computer when convenient for the student. For some students online colleges may be the sole alternative if no interior design schools are within commuting distance. And as an added benefit, the tuition may be cheaper than for more conventional options. Additional expenses for such things as study materials or commuting may be minimized or eliminated also. Just be sure that the college you select is accredited by a recognized accrediting organization, such as the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (more on accreditation later). Online schools 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 setting, then an online interior design school may be the ideal alternative for you.

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