Interior Designers are essentially artists. The definition of Art as per dictionary, states that “Art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” I think this definition more or less suits for Interior Design as well, with few tweaks.

So, to rephrase the meaning, Interior Design is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination on a structural space, typically in visual forms of varied colors, textures and elements, curating spaces to be appreciated primarily for their beauty and emotional perseverance.

The similarity in the dictionary meaning, itself explains how Art and Design go hand in hand. Interior design being classified as Applied Arts based on its implementation imbued with concepts of art takes inspiration from many forms of art at various stages and concepts of design.

And this also explains how Art necessarily doesn’t have to be associated with disorientation or haphazardness but could be disciplined and regulated too.

The question of what Designers can learn from Art could have multiple answers with various perspectives, starting with the very first idea of what inspiration Interior Designers can draw from various forms of Art which would result in-

What Interior Designers can learn from Art - Sheet1Inspiration from Visual Arts-

  • Paintings were one of the initial sources where designers drew their Color Palettes.
  • Sculptures doubled up as decor, ideas of pelmet, trims, and even a few false ceiling inspirations come from the art of Sculpting.
  • Drawing and Sketching are backbones of design. There can’t be found a great design, that didn’t originate from a sketch on a piece of paper.
  • Photographs give ideas to doll up a place for making it picturesque and the idea of framing spaces to design different views of the space.

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Inspiration from performing arts-

  • The glide, swing and swift movement in Dance, inspire flow in design. Flow is an underrated concept of Interior Design, which is an integral part of space being functional. This refers to the ability of the space to accommodate the flow of movement both for humans, and the elements (furniture/ decor) of the space to move around. Spatial arrangements that allow free dwelling without restrictions to move around always seem more personal and customizable.
  • Harmony is a shared concept between music and design, which is described as Sameness or having an element, color or texture repeats itself in a space to bring about the feeling of pattern- a rhythm.
  • The concept of ​Staging ​in Interior design could be connected back to that in theatrics and performances where the entities in a frame are placed in a certain way to design-focused attention of the viewers and to stimulate certain emotions, in that space.

Inspiration from Applied Arts– Even though Interior Design also fall in the category of Applied Arts, the inspiration from fellow art forms are-

  • The ​Fashion/Textile industry has influenced Interior design on a very wide scale since the emergence of Fabric usage in space. Starting from Upholstery, curtains, rugs to throws, cushions, etc., the presence of fabric has become inevitable in every space and so has the influence of the textile industry in the selection of fabric to get the perfect shade in every space.
  • Architecture ​inspires Interiors with its wide and sustainable material usage and the concepts of creating spaces within spaces.

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Other than inspirations, Interior Designers also learn from the characteristics of Art like,

  • Creativity
  • Experimenting
  • Perception
  • Discipline
  • Story etc.

There is an art all around used in everything we have and see. The more we try to code and decode the things around us, the more interesting our lives get even if space doesn’t change. Just as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, so is an art in the eyes of the perceiver. And to make it obvious, definite is the responsibility of a designer, who brings art, home.

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Deepa Srinivasan, an Interior Designer from Chennai. She is also a self-taught artist, poet, orator, emcee, writer, blogger, mehendi artist, fashion designer. She loves to learn new things and strives to standout in everything she sets her foot in.