What is Residential Interior Design?

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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Residential interior design refers to the designing of people's homes as opposed to commercial property. The object of these designers is to create interiors that fit the functioning of clients' homes, but also reflect each client's personal taste. A home is a personal space and excellent residential interior design personalizes the designs of homes.

For example, an interior designer could have several homeowner clients that live in the same complex of cookie cutter condominiums. Effective residential design would ensure that each condo uniquely fits the homeowner as much as possible. The color scheme is likely to be different in each home as is the function and look of the rooms.

Home designs for parents of young children are different from residential interior design for childless singles. The same three-bedroom apartment layout needs to be used quite differently in terms of function. Furniture in a child’s bedroom needs to be easily accessible and fit the child. A childless single person may use the extra bedroom space as an office or guest bedroom.


Interior designers have architectural knowledge and understand the construction details of rooms. For instance, if a homeowner wants to remove walls to create larger, more open living spaces, a designer with experience in interior residential design can advise if this is possible. He or she can draw up a plan for completing the project as well as make suggestions for which materials to use. Residential interior designers are familiar with working within floor plans and building codes. They understand not only the architectural details of windows, doors and walls, but how these affect a home’s overall design.

Residential interior designers work with contractors to create well-built interiors that offer stylish and functional living spaces. An interior designer may also be an architect. Both architecture and residential interior design careers require a good understanding of both art and science since building design must be efficiently usable as well as stylishly attractive.

Residential interior design includes everything from the ceiling to floor of a home, but the scope of each project varies. Designers must work within each homeowner’s budget and tastes. Designers that offer residential interior designing services may work for a small or large design company or be self-employed. They may specialize in a certain type of residential design for interiors such as tropical or eco-friendly.


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