The interior design industry deals with either the designing and execution of designs into complete indoor spaces or the manufacture of products used by designers. The two main industry segments are residential and commercial. Within those areas are many different interior design specialties that include health care, kitchens, offices and environmentally friendly designs.
Materials that are "green," or environmentally friendly, such as fast-growing bamboo and recycled steel, are becoming increasingly popular in the interior design industry. The focus is on green living spaces that fit in with the drive for a more sustainable planet. Building and furnishing materials available in what is known as environmental design products contain no harmful chemicals or wood from endangered forests. Energy efficient appliances are also used in green interior designs.
Although professionally executed indoor designs must always look attractive as well as function efficiently, interior design encompasses much more than styling or decorating. Qualified interior design industry professionals create finished living or working spaces from basic floor plans or bare rooms. They decide on the best furniture placement, lighting and storage options. Interior designers also use their knowledge of building codes and safety laws in their work.
Whether geared to residential homes or commercial businesses, interior design industry professionals and products must meet the needs and tastes of end user clients. Furniture, flooring and cabinetry manufacturers base their designs on what interior designers as well as their clients are looking for to create well-designed homes or offices. Research into what people want in their home and business designs is a necessary part of the industry of interior design.
Interior design industry trade shows are held annually, or more frequently, in many different countries. Manufacturers present new products for designers to help promote client interest. Interior design trade events typically showcase fresh, trendy designs that get people interested in having these new products as part of their home or business. For example, the introduction of curved kitchen counters helped give buyers and designers an exciting, new alternative to the traditional rectangular models.
Since interior design is about designing as well as decorating indoor spaces, it shares an often blurry borderline with architecture. In this way, architecture is a part of the interior design industry. Some architects are also interior designers. For instance, the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright is renowned for designing many buildings that include residential homes as well as museums, churches and office towers. Yet, he also designed items such as decorative sterling silver containers, chairs, lamps and fabric with which to furnish the interiors of his buildings.