Interior Design by Color

For the last several days, I've been  focusing on color...what are the trends in interiors for 2011? What are the fashion experts saying? (I have to confess, I have a new client that has hired me to assist her with, among other things, the interior paint in her new home. Not that I haven't study the theory of color and know how it plays into interior design but as a professional, I try to stay abreast of what may be available for my clients, hence the sudden research into what's "hot" right now.)

All of the sources provide a great deal of what we use in our interiors and also what we wear; interior color and fashion are directly correlated and strongly affect our everyday lives. Interesting thing is, they all have somewhat different predictions of what the newest trend in color will be. From Benjamin Moore to Farrow & Ball to Pantone to Sherwin Williams to Architectural Digest and Veranda...I studied there predictions and here's my take:

What I have confirmed, is that color, specifically that of which is used in home interiors, makes a resurgence from the past...everyone knows that fact. Who would have ever thought, as an example that peach-tones and avocado-tones would be back? Perhaps these colors aren't on the "hot" list for 2011 but they have certainly been popular, especially for those whom decorate in the nostalgic. Nonetheless, my point is this: no matter what the trends may dictate (although I personally appreciate the studies and development of new shades), I believe we should color our world with what makes us happy, comfortable, energized, confident and true...whatever the mood we wish to create. Whether in our clothes, color on our walls or upholstery, what appeals to one may not appeal - or be popular - for all.

Many years ago, I sold high-end retail clothing at a very upscale boutique. I'll never forget a middle-aged woman who desperately wanted to wear the clothing but felt the "style" too young for her age. My advice to her was to wear whatever she felt comfortable in...whether or not the current "fad" agreed. Therefore, I encouraged her to hold herself in confidence and show her personality. Lesson: don't limit yourself to what others's much too boring!

Very much the same thing goes with your interior design: don't limit yourself to what may or may not be the trend. Interior design is, and should be for the individual interior space in which you live. Pick up any magazine and you'll see multiple interiors designed in multiple ways...everyone has a different take on what is beautiful. The goal of a good professional interior designer is to interpret what the client wishes, not to impress upon them your taste or style.

So...this brings me to what the experts say is the trend for 2011, because I believe everyone should be knowledgeable. Check out the websites of Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, Pantone, Architectural Digest and Veranda, regarding color and interior design. I do love the colors but remember, if they don't appeal to you, so what? Use your comfort indicator...your gut feeling.

A Brief Guide to Becoming an Interior Designer - Information For an Aspiring Designer

The world of an interior designer is filled with opportunities for creativity, handling of multiple projects at any one time, and meeting and working with different types of people. However, a common misconception about interior design is that it is a glamorous profession where all you need to do is match colors and fabric. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Interior designers are expected to know not only color and fabric but also elements of architecture, engineering, building and contract language. A knowledge of electrical facilities and placements is also important as a professional designer will need to plan the layout of the room even before the room has been physically constructed. Courses in salesmanship and marketing are also important as you will need to sell your work to prospective clients. As such, interior design is a very specialized field which requires specific qualifications and not just an 'eye' or 'flair' for color or knowledge of fabric.

The first and probably the more obvious requirement to become an interior designer is an accepted degree. Here, it is important that the interior design student applicants look for colleges or institutions that are accredited to the governing body. This way, they get the best out of their courses and also obtain credible qualifications which look impressive enough for them to have a head start in job hunting.

As interior design is not just about color and fabric, an awareness or qualifications in architectural drawing, mechanical engineering and like-minded areas cannot be stressed enough. It is important that training on 'industry standard' interior design software is taken up as a part of the degree wherever possible. A working knowledge of design software used in the industry is a very valuable skill and can guarantee you a better graduate salary.

Gaining experience through internships is a good way of adding professional knowledge to your resume. Also look out for opportunities to design for friends and neighbors who can later provide positive references to add to your resume. Another effective way of increasing your chances of successfully finding employment after graduating is by building a portfolio.

And finally, whilst studying for your degree and also when you become an interior designer, always continue to learn and keep aware of the latest trends by participating in trade shows, looking through websites and interior design magazines.

Interior Designing That Makes Sense

For those looking for a fabulous job who might have an understanding of architectural elements, interior designing just might be the place to look. You can not only use your knowledge and understanding of architecture, but you can put your creative skills to good use. Those who go into the field of interior design are typically required to have a four year degree in interior design, but those in interior decorating usually only require certification. Interior design is more complex and involved than interior decorating, and many organizations might require their designers to get other certifications or accreditations beyond their degree.

Whether you are self-employed, employed at a large design firm, or employed at a tiny company, there are many opportunities in this field. Those working in interior design industry that are self-employed make up a little more than ¼ of all interior designers. You typically work under a tight schedule with deadlines and budgets to follow. You might also be required to travel to different clients or offices. This job typically pays pretty well with the median income of designers in 2006 being a little over $42,000. The earnings can vary widely, however, based on things like reputation, experience, and your employer.

Since shows like Trading Spaces have become so popular, there are now several other show on television highlighting interior design and interior decorating. Many people don't realize that they are different. Interior decorating typically involved quick renovations that are relatively easy and less involved with the structure of the space. Designers do much more than that. They take the entire building into consideration and design the entire space with a style or theme. They not only change the paint, but they might build something else into the room so you get the best possible way to utilize that space. Everything is taken into account so you as the customer get exactly what you want.

Technology has dramatically altered the way designers work. Much of the traveling has been eliminated by the use of computers and virtual makeovers. Those working on the interior design of the space can now send their clients the e-mail of their project so they can see exactly what the space will look like when the project is completed. There is no more guesswork involved. The client simply looks at the computer model and works with the designer to change whatever they want before anything is even started. This is truly a useful tool that satisfies both the designer and the customer.

Famous Interior Designers and Their Styles in Interior Design - Part 1


This series of 4 articles takes a brief but informative look at 21 of the most famous and Interior Designers, from the earliest pioneers right through to the most celebrated modern day designers.

The Pioneers of Interior Design

Jean-Henri Jansen (1854-1928)

Dutch designer, Jean-Henri Jansen, launched one of the first ever international interior design companies 'Maison Jansen' (House of Jansen) in 1880, which became renowned for designing and creating exceptionally beautiful and high quality furniture which would be utilized in a multitude of interior decoration projects. House of Jansen opened branches in 8 of the major cities of the world. Jansen worked closely with the talented interior designer Stephane Boudin whom he made director of the company. The clients of House of Jansen included Royalty and the rich and famous.

Elsie de Wolfe (1865-1950)

The first lady of interior decoration, Elsie de Wolfe considered herself an 'ugly child'. This Victorian stage actress was a rebel of her times and was credited by many to be the inventor of the modern profession of interior design, even though there were already established interior designers in her time. Elsie disliked Victorian tastes altogether, her designs were therefore generally made up of light and bright colors, contrary to the drab and gloomy Victorian décor coupled with unnecessary excesses such as heavy velvet draperies. This was a pioneering departure from the contemporary designs of the time. Elsie's influence continues to be felt in the modern world of interior design.

Ogden Codman (1863-1951)

American interior decorator and architect, Ogden Codman spent his childhood in his birthplace of Boston before heading to France in his youth for a period of time. Codman had two uncles who influenced him tremendously - architect John Hubbard and decorator Richard Ogden. Some of Ogden Codman's works include Edith Wharton's Newport home, Land's End, the Rockefeller family estate of New York client John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the Newport summer home of Cornelius Vanderbilt II. Along with novelist Edith Wharton, Codman co-authored a guidepost of American interior design, 'The Decoration of Houses' in 1897.

Frances Elkins (1888-1953)

Born in Milwaukee, Frances Adler Elkins was one of the most prominent interior decorator and designer of the previous century. Sister of the famed Chicago architect David Adler, Elkins was known for her futuristic designs that brought together different styles and elements from various periods. They included country French styles, chinoiserie and art deco. The furnishings featured in her designs included designers such as Jean-Michel Frank and Alberto Giacometti. The career of Elkins that spanned over three decades is glittered with many high profile commissions in Hawaii, the Midwest and northern and southern California, none more interesting than the restoration of the 1830s structure, Casa Amesti in Monterrey, California.

Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959)

Frank Lloyd Wright was an interior designer and architect whose career included more than 1000 projects, 500 of them that have been complete. Wright was known for his promotion of organic architecture, an example of which is Fallingwater. The Robie House is an example of Wright's leadership of the Prairie School architectural movement, while the Rosenbaum House depicts Wright's Usonian home concept. Wright also had refreshing ideas for every kind of building, be it church, office, school, hotel or museum. Along with excellent architectural renderings, Wright also designed much of the interiors of his buildings including the Décor, layout and furniture.

What Does an Architect Do Versus an Interior Design Firm?

Many people who are considering doing some redecoration are forced to make the decision whether to hire an architect or an interior design firm. The truth is, these two careers can overlap in many ways, but there are some important differences. Before making a decision which type of professional to hire you should determine your needs and do some research to find out what kind of professional would serve you best.


An architect is an individual who is trained and licensed in the planning and designing of buildings who also supervises the construction. Architects are responsible for adhering to public safety and building codes, so a license is required to practice architecture. Generally, architects award their building projects to general contractors who complete the building process under the supervision of the architect.

Interior Design Firm

Interior design involves applying creative and technical solutions to a building or structure to achieve the desired interior environment. These solutions are both functional and aesthetic serving to enhance the quality of life of the inhabitants and to be aesthetically attractive. The design process involves research and planning in addition to the integration of design knowledge in order to satisfy the needs of a client. Interior designers draw upon the concepts of product design, architecture, and environmental psychology in order to create the atmosphere and design the client wishes to achieve.

The difference between an architect and an interior design firm can be simplified so much as to say that architects work with building structure and interior designers work with building decoration. The lines are not always so well-defined, however. Many architects also possess design degrees and many interior designers are also trained in the disciplines of architecture. Depending on the project, hiring a professional who possesses both qualifications may be exceedingly useful. Projects which involve extensive redecorating or construction may require the license and legal knowledge of an architect in addition to the design knowledge of an interior design firm. The answer to the question of what an architect does versus what an interior design firm does cannot always be answered simply because in many cases, these professionals are capable of the same things.