The role of interior designer probably came into existence in the 1720s in Western Europe, mostly being performed by men of diverse backgrounds. William Kent, who was trained as a history painter, is often cited as the first person to take charge of an entire interior, including internal architecture, furniture selection, and the hanging of paintings.
In London, this role was frequently filled by the upholsterer (sometimes called the upholder), while in Paris the marchand-mercier (a "merchant of goods" who acts as general contractor) often filled this role. Architects both in Great Britain and on the European continent also often served as interior designers. Robert Adam, the neoclassical architect, is perhaps the most well-know late-century example of an architect who took on entire interiors, down to the doorknobs and fire-irons. Other 18th-century men who filled the role of interior designer include Sir William Chambers, James Wyatt and Dominique Daguerre (marchand-mercier who emigrated to England).
During the 1830s, interior decorators were responsible for the revival of interest in Gothic and Rococo styles in England. By the late 19th century, some firms set themselves apart as "art furnishers."
Modern interior decorators began with Lenygon and Morant in London, Charles Alavoine and Jeanselme in Paris, and Herter Brothers (from 1864) and Elsie De Wolfe and Ogden Codman in New York.
Size of the industry
The industry revenue in the United States for interior design was $11,108.4 million in 2007 with a revenue growth of .6%. That same year, there was around 84,018 establishments and 72,377 enterprises recorded.
Interior designers can specialize in a particular interior design discipline, such as residential and commercial design, they can also help with making rooms in the hospital and even work with schools to make offices or another things with some developing expertise within a niche design area such as hospitality, health care and institutional design. In jurisdictions where the profession is regulated by the government, designers must meet broad qualifications and show competency in the entire scope of the profession, not only in a specialty. Designers may elect to obtain specialist certification offered by private organizations. Interior designers who also possess environmental expertise in design solutions for sustainable construction can receive accreditation in this area by taking the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) examination.
The specialty areas that involve interior designers are limited only by the imagination and are continually growing and changing. With the increase in the aging population, an increased focus has been placed on developing solutions to improve the living environment of the elderly population, which takes into account health and accessibility issues that can affect the design. Awareness of the ability of interior spaces to create positive changes in people's lives is increasing, so interior design is also becoming relevant to this type of advocacy.
There is a wide range of disciplines within the career of interior design. Some of the disciplines include: structure, function, specialized performance, special group needs, discipline needed for business, computer technology, presentation skills, craft skills, social disciplines, promotional disciplines, professional disciplines, aesthetic disciplines, and disciplines with cultural implications. This list shows how interior designing encompasses many different disciplines and requires both education in science and technology as well as being moved.
There are a wide range of working conditions and employment opportunities within interior design. Large corporations often hire interior designers for regular day-to-day working hours. Designers for smaller firms usually work on a contract or per-job basis. Self-employed designers, which make up 26% of interior designers , usually work the most hours and often stress to find clients to provide for themselves. Interior designers often work under stress to meet deadlines, stay on budgets, and meet clients' needs. Their work tends to involve a great deal of traveling to visit different locations, studios, or clients' homes and offices. With the aid of recent technology, the process of contacting clients and communicating design alternatives has become a lot easier and requires less travel. Some argue that virtual makeovers have revolutionized interior design from a customer perspective, making the design process more interactive and exciting, in a relatively technological but labor intensive environment