What is Interior design ?

WHAT IS INTERIOR DESIGN ?

Interior design is a combination of disciplines which requires specialized knowledge and skills to create a living environment that is aesthetic, functional and safe. The art or process of designing or remodeling the interior space of a room or building, regardless of its purpose, size or value, forms the basis of the interior designer’s work.

Interior designers take into account the health, safety and welfare considerations in all stages of the space planning process and, as such, play an important role in bridging the gap between architects and engineers and highlighting the complementarity of each profession’s knowledge and expertise.

From concept to occupancy

In order to create a strong identity and a harmonious overall concept that meet the occupant’s requirements, the interior designer bases his research on an analysis of the client’s needs, an understanding of the general context, and a global view of all the factors related to the proposed project. The entire design process involves five phases, with completion dates depending on the nature of the work to be accomplished:

Programming

The program document contains all the information required for the client and the main contractor to execute the design plan in such a way that ensures a cohesive and habitable space. Highly detailed and precise, the document also includes the general guidelines, working drawings, space requirements, a thorough analysis of the functional needs and objectives, and equipment needs.

Concept development

After having studied all the underlying factors, the next steps are to divide, identify and organize the space and to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the traffic patterns in order to both satisfy the requirements and address the limitations identified during the programming phase.

Design development

The logical layout of an area is an essential factor in defining the character, functionality and visual appeal of the interior environment. The aesthetic and harmonious integration of the different elements defining the interior space must simultaneously respect the features of the structure, the personality and character of the occupants, the environmental, architectural and financial constraints, and the building’s accessibility, health and safety standards.

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Building systems

To ensure the comfort and well-being of the occupants, buildings are equipped with mechanical systems connected to rigid internal structures (load-bearing elements, vertical circulation systems, common services, terraces) and utilities (pipes, ventilation ducts, electrical conduits, phone cables). From programming to the production drawings, the interior designer applies his technical skills to ensure that the various structural systems are consistent with the objectives and criteria defined during the programming phase and are fully integrated into the base building infrastructure.

Design execution

Careful consideration of the design process is integral to the successful execution of a project. Accurate drawings of the project’s key components and fundamental details provide a positive incentive for effective contract performance in compliance with best building practices. The interior designer works with the contractor to prepare the documents to obtain the necessary permits; acts as general project manager on the work site; and approves progress payments for work completed up to and until the space can be occupied and used.

This process requires, from start to finish, the specialized knowledge and skills of a professionally qualified interior designer to:

  • Consult with clients to determine needs, preferences, safety requirements and purpose of space.
  • Develop detailed plans and 3-D models showing an arrangement of walls, partitions, displays, lighting and other fixtures using computer-assisted design (CAD) software and graphics software.
  • Develop plans, elevations, cross-sections and detailed drawings.
  • Advise on selection of colors, finishes and materials, floor and wall coverings, interior and exterior lighting, furniture and other items, taking into account ergonomic and occupational health standards.
  • Estimate costs and materials required.
  • If applicable, advise on leasing, real estate and marketing.
  • Prepare plans and specifications for the final interior designs in accordance with current practices and codes.
  • Work in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Direct site work crews and subcontractors.