Interior design is “the art or process of designing the interior, often including the exterior, of a room or building”. An interior designer is someone who coordinates and manages such projects. Interior design is a multifaceted profession that includes conceptual development, communicating with the stakeholders of a project and the management and execution of the design. In the past, interiors were put together instinctively as a part of the process of building. The profession of interior design has been a consequence of the development of society and the complex architecture that has resulted from the development of industrial processes.
The pursuit of effective use of space, user well-being and functional design has contributed to the development of the contemporary interior design profession. The profession of interior design is separate and distinct from the role of Interior Decorator, a term commonly used in the US.
The term is less common in the UK where the profession of interior design is still unregulated and therefore, strictly speaking, not yet officially a profession. A typical Western living room may contain furnishings such as a sofa, chairs, occasional tables, and bookshelves, electric lamps, rugs, or other furniture. Traditionally, a sitting room in the United Kingdom and New Zealand has a fireplace, dating from when this was necessary for heating. In a Japanese sitting room, called a washitsu, the floor is covered with tatami, sectioned mats, on which people can sit comfortably. In larger homes in the United States and Canada, the living room may be reserved for more formal and quiet entertaining, while a separate room—such as a den, family room, or recreation room is used for leisure and informal entertainment. A great room combines the functions of one or more of these rooms.