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The Hidden Decisions of Interior Designers: Behind the Perfect Space

A beautifully designed room may feel effortless, but behind every stunning interior lies a multitude of intricate decisions, expertly made by interior designers. Professional designers do much more than select paint colors and arrange furniture; they are meticulously involved in every aspect to create environments that are not only visually appealing but also functional according to their client’s needs. Below are some of the decisions interior designers make that often go unnoticed:

floor plan
Photo by Antoni Shkraba (

Space Planning & Layout

One of the first and most critical steps in interior design is space planning. Interior designers analyze the flow and functionality of a room, ensuring that the layout meets the occupants' needs. They consider traffic patterns, the purpose of each area, and how people will interact within the space. This often involves creative solutions to maximize space in small areas or to make large, open spaces feel more intimate and utilized. 

Kitchen pendant lights
Kitchen Design By Rachel T.

Natural & Artificial Lighting

Lighting is a powerful element in any design, and interior designers carefully plan both natural and artificial lighting to create a balanced and functional environment. They often use layered lighting, incorporating ambient, task, and accent lighting as well as select windows and window treatments to control natural light, influencing the overall atmosphere of the space. 

Mood board and color schemes
Photo by Cottonbro Studio (

Color Schemes & Palette

Color goes beyond personal preference. Interior designers understand the psychological impacts of color and use this knowledge to create specific moods and atmospheres. They also ensure the chosen palette flows seamlessly throughout the space, creating visual cohesion and harmony. 

Material & Finish Selection

Designers are well-versed in selecting materials and finishes that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also practical. They consider factors like durability, maintenance, and sustainability in addition to their experience working with certain materials and brands. For instance, in high-traffic areas, a designer might choose a durable flooring option they've worked with before, knowing it can withstand wear and tear while still looking stylish. 

table and decor
Living Room Design by Tiffany Brooks

Furniture & Decor Sourcing

Finding the perfect furniture and decor involves more than just having an eye for beautiful pieces. Designers often source or have custom furniture made to tailor to the specific needs and styles of a space. They also manage budgets carefully, ensuring high-quality items without overspending. This balance between aesthetic appeal and practicality is something designers have down to a science. 

Technical Details

Interior designers have a keen understanding of technical aspects like building codes, accessibility standards, and the placement of electrical outlets and plumbing. They coordinate with contractors and tradespeople to ensure that every element aligns with the design plan. This attention to detail is necessary to ensure a space is both safe and functional. 

home renovation
Photo by Rene Terp (

Project Management

Interior design projects involve coordinating various elements to ensure everything progresses smoothly. Designers often create detailed timelines, manage schedules, and collaborate with different trades and contractors. They also help in addressing unexpected issues that arise, from structural problems to sourcing delays, making sure the project stays on track and within budget. 

Client Personalization & Satisfaction

Last but not least, interior designers customize their creations to their client's lifestyle and personality. Designers weave in personal touches all while preserving the overall design integrity. They also plan for future needs, crafting spaces that can evolve over time, ensuring longevity and continued satisfaction. 

Interior design is a complex blend of creativity, technical knowledge, and meticulous planning. While the final result may look effortless, it is the culmination of countless behind-the-scenes decisions that make the space functional, beautiful, and uniquely tailored to the occupants. 

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