The Interior Design industry is not just about designing pretty homes, it is far more extensive than that and far more complex than that.

The words Interior Design mean “the art or practice of planning and supervising the design and execution of architectural interiors and their furnishings.” This applies to any space from a commercial factory to a small apartment.

The advantage of this for someone considering interior design as a career is that there are no limits as to what type of spaces you can design. You can really set up your business to design the interiors of any space you want to.

Interior Designers work in all sectors, with some focusing on one certain area while others move from sector to sector, keeping it interesting and exciting because each project they work on is different and unique. 

If you are just starting out your career as an interior designer, it might take you some time to figure out which style is going to work for you. You could start designing homes but end up working on the design of a cruise ship – the world really is your oyster when it comes to design.

We have narrowed the down the interior design sectors to make it a little easier for you to decide where to spend your time. 


This is probably the most commonly known sector of interior design and while it has generally focused on high-end properties where the owner has a specific theme in mind, this is not always the case, and you could find smaller projects that are just as lucrative. 

Residential design also includes the design of multi-unit developments or marketing suites and again this can range from designing one or two units to designing large developments and estates. Another possible revenue stream for residential interior designers is working with retail outlets to dress their showrooms, encouraging people to buy the furniture. AS a residential interior designer you could work with a wide range of varied projects that include smaller homes to large luxury mansions. 


Hotels, guest houses and Airbnb’s all need interior designers to help them create the look and feel they want. It is not only suites and rooms that need to be designed but lobbies, restaurants and lounges within the establishment all need to be carefully designed to make sure that guests feel comfortable and relaxed. With the rise in Airbnb units, this has become a niche all on its own with many interior designers specializing in the design of short-stay units. This can be a lucrative sector to work in because the budgets tend to be substantial, especially in the higher end hospitality establishments.


Designing the interior of a restaurant is very different to designing the interior of a home. A restaurant needs to be inviting and comfortable while still being functional and allow for the flow of traffic from guests and the restaurant staff. It is for this reason that designers will tend to stick to this niche once they have established themselves. It can be a very exciting sector to work in because no two restaurants are exactly the same, which makes designing for these spaces exciting and different. 


There is a lot of psychology that goes into the design of a retail space. It is not simply a case of putting up some shelves and a window display. It is a lot more complicated than that and interior designers need to be involved in this process to make sure that customers feel relaxed once in the store and that the shopping experience is positive for them and the store owner. If this is a sector you want to consider, you need to be aware of how people shop and what is important when creating a retail space. 


The office environment has changed dramatically over the last two years and so too will how offices and workspaces be designed. The interior design of an office can makes a huge difference in the attitude and morale of the employees and many businesses recognize this and hire interior designers to create spaces that are not only practical but also create a space that makes employees feel comfortable and productive. Like with any other sector, designing an office is not about putting some desks and chairs in a space, it is about creating the right atmosphere, making sure the space is inviting and makes people want to be in it. 


In order to learn the space needs to be welcoming, comfortable and open. When designing for an educational institution you need to enhance the learning process by making sure the entire environment is conducive to learning. There is a lot to consider when designing for a school or a university because the learners will range in age, and the higher institutes may cater for a certain type of student. An art school can not be designed in the same way as a business school for example. 


Designing cruise ships and other luxury boats might not have been a sector you considered but it can be a lucrative and exciting sector. While it is in many ways similar to hospitality the spaces you will be working with on boats and ships is completely different and you will need to account for the practicalities of being on sea. This can be a really exciting sector to work in as the budgets are bigger and you will have to get creative to make the spaces amazing.


Design in the aviation field is generally focused on the practical because of the longevity of airplanes but the trend has been to start enhancing the passenger experience by making designs more approachable and softer. There is also the design of private jets and airplanes that can make this sector both exciting and challenging. As an interior designer you could focus on the high-end clients and design both their yacht and their private planes, making it extremely lucrative for you.