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  • Katherine Walker

10 Things you didn't know about Interior Design

I don't know about you, but I love to learn, I love museums, reading, art, psychology, and the history of people, places, and things. I thought it would be fun to share some things about Interior Design you may not know.

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Katie Walker | Owner + Principle of Slate Studios

I'm always finding myself getting inspired.

Whether it's from my travels or from sourcing for a client. I wanted to take a few minutes to share my current faves I am absolutely crushing on. Some are design chic related, some are cozy home related and some just for fun! It's good to feed your soul with self care of beautiful things, rockin' music, creamy lotions - you name it! I'll share mine below.


1. Interior design dates back to the ancient Egyptians.

People always think of pyramids, ancient civilizations, and when they think of Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians also took pride in the design and decor of their interiors. They had skilled artisans who would produce furniture made of high-quality materials such as wood, gold, and stone. In Ancient Egypt, the design of their homes would serve as a sign of status. Also, the workmanship you can see in preserved examples of the tombs shows how much pride they took in making interiors beautiful with intricate paintings and carvings on walls.


2. Elsie de Wolfe, the first interior designer paid for her services.

This was a defining moment in American History in 1913. Backing up, Elise de Wolf was an American Actress born in New York City. She became known for decorating her home. In 1905, with the help of a long-time architect friend, she earned her first commission for a project. This was the first time anyone had been paid to provide Interior Design services! When the project was finished, it was a huge departure from the normal heavy and dark Victorian style and was a huge success. From that point on, she became extremely influential in her field.

Flatlay photo of desk with interior design sketch, a pack of coded color cards, and a technical drawing for interior design space planning

3. The difference between interior decorating and interior designing.

Interior Design and Interior Decorating are often used interchangeably however, they are different. While many similarities are shared between the two, designers are more versed in space planning, construction documents, managing contractors, and working with Architects. An Interior Designer has formal schooling and certification, whereas decorators do not have the same formal schooling and are typically not licensed. Interior decorating involves adorning a space with decorative elements. Interior designers may decorate, but decorators do not design.

Diagram two colors intersecting, with Interior Design on the left, Psychology on the right, and Design Psychology in the middle where the two intersect

4. There is a psychology behind interior design.

We spent most of our lives indoors, therefore the interiors we spend our time in play a major role in our behavior. The psychology behind interior design is known as environmental psychology. Environmental Psychology studies the relationship between humans and the external world, and how natural and human-built surroundings impact how people feel, think, and behave. There have been many studies done on access to daylight, color perception, acoustics, furniture layouts, workplace productivity, sick building syndrome, retail behavior, well-being, etc all driven by interiors.

Photo of kitchen with mint green painted walls

5. Design trends differ all around the world.

Most of our lives are spent indoors, therefore the interiors we spend our time in play a major role in our behavior. This may seem obvious, but design trends are different in different countries! Although social media brings us all closer together than ever before, much like fashion, certain trends are different around the world. Also much like fashion, many Interior design trends and products originate in Europe before making their way to the States. Many cultural and living differences do play a role in trends as well, but it's interesting to see how trends are adapted in different parts of the world. Some current trends in Classic English kitchens differ because of the age and architecture of the home, as seen by deVOL kitchens.

Photo of living room wall with art placed on top of the fireplace mantle

6. Most interior designers are based in Florida.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there are approximately 58,200 interior designers employed in the United States as of May 201This number is expected to grow by 6% or 3,400 new jobs between 2019 and 2029, which is higher than the national average for all occupations combined.

Florida has the second highest employment level of interior designers! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top five states with the most interior designers are:

• California - 8,330 Interior Designers

• Florida - 6,470 Interior Designers

• New York - 6,110 Interior Designers

• Texas - 4,690 Interior Designers

• Illinois - 2,390 Interior Designers

Photo of a desk with wood tabletop, black iron legs, and chair, against a wall painted in artistic geometric shapes in black and white strokes

7. Interior design is a broad profession.

Interior design is a broad profession, spanning many areas of expertise. While most commonly known in residential, furniture stores, and commercial interior design, interior designers can also specialize in more niche areas. For instance, Healthcare, Workplace, Hospitality, Retail, Film and Video Production, Fashion, Museum and Gallery Exhibition, Cruise Ships and Yachts, Aircraft and Private Jets, and so on. Within Residential, designers can also specialize in a certain area of the home such as offices, and playrooms, have you heard of the new show on Netflix, "How to Design a Sex Room"... interior design is an art, and art can take on many forms!

Overhead photo of living room, with light wooden coffee table.  Placed on the table is a Chanel book and a green plan with small leaves, the carpet is light grey with black stripes

8. The term "Interior Design" is less than 100 years old.

Interior Design is defined by Merriam-Webster as 'the art or practice of planning and supervising the design and execution of architectural interiors and their furnishings.' The term 'interior decorator' was first used in America in the early 1900s. The term 'interior designer' was coined in the 1930s by a magazine called “Interior Design and Decoration.”

Technical design drawing for space planning

9. Interior design is regulated by building codes and ADA.

A qualified interior designer will understand building codes, life safety, proper egress, flammability requirements, and accessibility requirements. Local and State Building codes, and the Americans with Disabilities Act play a huge role in the interior design profession. The Great Chicago fire in 1871 changed building codes forever, as the fire destroyed over 17 THOUSAND buildings. After the fire, laws were passed to prevent that from happening again. The Americas with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law in 1990 to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities.

Diagram: Principles of Interior Design.  Balance, Emphasis, Contrast, Hierarchy, White Space, Rythm.

10. There are 6 principles of Interior design.

Balance, Harmony and Unity, Rhythm, Emphasis and Focus, Contrast and Variety, and Proportion are the six principles of interior design. Balance is the idea of visual weight for a visual equilibrium. Harmony and Unity are the agreement of parts together to the whole, where everything seems to belong together. Rhythm is the repetition of elements in a regular pattern, such as identical objects such as furniture, doors, plants, etc. Contrast and Variety is the juxtaposition of dissimilar elements, black and white, left and right, there needs to be contrast to create liveliness. Finally, Proportion is the relationship between one part of an object to another., this can also be referred to as scale. These principles can be explored in detail, as each plays an important role in interior design.


So there you have it! 10 Things about Interior Design you probably didn't know. We would love to share our expertise with you on your upcoming project. I have extensive experience when it comes to interior design. I love the history and I believe that's why I love learning the history of my clients. So I can curate all your personal heirlooms and loved treasures to highlight in your home with lots of consideration of it bringing joy and personality.

No trends here - your story is center stage! If you're looking to get some help with designing your home to be more of an authentic haven - I'm your girl.

Let's hop on a Discovery Call to chat. 30 minutes can be life-changing.

- xo Katie


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