Is interior design art?

Here is one to think about. I spent part of my summer this year visiting a friend in Milan. While there, she introduced me to a friend who is currently working towards his masters in industrial design.  During one of our many wine filled conversations he explained his view on how interior design was not actually a form of design at all.  He truly believed that design is only in the products and Interior design is the simple act of placing real design items together.  I do not think he realized when he started this conversation who he was really talking to.  Selecting someone who stopped her career, moved to another country and spent the past 5 years spending her nights and weekends at school to get her interior design degree … was probably the wrong person to talk to.  However, I was in Italy, drinking great wine, and sitting on the Italian Riviera while the sun was setting so what better time to talk than this? It has been about 2 months since that conversation and I still think about it constantly.  Every time I open a new magazine, turn on HGTV, or research up and coming designers I still cannot believe how some people do not consider Interior Design as a creative art form. I quickly turned the conversation into the backbones of great interior design and realized I was lecturing him on what it meant to me.  So here is my own definition of Interior Design…

Interior Design (done properly of course) is livable art.  It is an art form that touches everyone on a daily basis.  Granted we use objects from other designers and may be use an architects structure however the combination of pieces, mixed with the colors, patterns, textures and the correct space plan need to be in perfect balance to one another.  A painting can help tell a story of the artist.  A great interior can help tell the story of an individual, couple, family, company, institution… etc.  The list is endless because Interior Design is an art form unlike any other that impacts everyone, whether you notice it or not.  Here are some images of my favorite designer rooms.

What do you think?

Michael Smith

Kelly Wearstler

John Saladino

Lauren Muse


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