Interior Design

Color swatches with writing utensils and sketches

The Interior Design program is comprised of a comprehensive, professional curriculum that provides courses focusing on the basic and vital aspects of interior design. Throughout the program, emphasis is placed on the fundamental relationship of interior design, architecture, and the visual and decorative arts. The program prepares students to become professional interior designers who identify, research, and creatively solve problems pertaining to the function and quality of the interior environment.

Interior designers perform services including design analysis, programming, schematic design and space planning, design development, and design documentation and specification, using specialized knowledge of interior construction, building codes, finishes, furnishings, equipment, and sustainable practices. Along with aesthetics, the primary goal of interior design is to enhance and protect the health, safety, and well-being of those who occupy the built environment. The Interior Design program provides students the opportunity to engage in related inquiry and learning on the path to becoming viable members of the interior design professional community.

Career Opportunities

  • Commercial Design
  • Computer Aided Drafting and Design
  • Education & Research
  • Facilities Planning and Design
  • Furniture Design
  • Green Design
  • Healthcare Design
  • Hospitality Design
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Residential Design
  • Restaurant Design
  • Retail Design
  • Space Planning
  • Sustainable Design
  • Textile Design

Profession

Today's interior designer engages with a variety of contemporary issues. They work with the elements and principles of design while considering diverse human needs. They must be familiar with interior building materials and technology as well as governmental health and safety codes. Interior designers make ecologically conscious design decisions to provide energy-efficient spaces and to help preserve the environment. Whether for a store, office, restaurant, hospital room, or home, the interior designer creates spaces that are beautiful, inspirational, and promote well-being.

If you have an art and design inclination, like helping people, or are well-organized and detail-oriented, interior design can be a career for you!

To find more about how interior designers work with clients, visit the American Society of Interior Designers

Why Come Here

  • Comprehensive education and training.
  • High quality and inspiring interior design courses.
  • Award winning faculty, students, and alumni.
  • Active student organization to support engagement and networking.
  • Highly qualified, student-focused faculty—practicing interior designers, architects, artists, product designers.
  • Opportunities to work on real-life projects.
  • High quality computer aided design and drafting training.
  • Consistent graduation rates and job placement.

Program

The Interior Design program is comprised of a comprehensive, professional curriculum that provides courses focusing on the basic and vital aspects of interior design. Throughout the program, emphasis is placed on the fundamental relationship of interior design, architecture, and the visual and decorative arts. The program prepares students to become professional interior designers who identify, research, and creatively solve problems pertaining to the function and quality of the interior environment.

Interior designers perform services including design analysis, programming, schematic design and space planning, design development, and design documentation and specification, using specialized knowledge of interior construction, building codes, finishes, furnishings, equipment, and sustainable practices. Along with aesthetics, the primary goal of interior design is to enhance and protect the health, safety, and well-being of those who occupy the built environment. The Interior Design program provides students the opportunity to engage in related inquiry and learning on the path to becoming viable members of the interior design professional community.

The Interior Design program, within the Cilker School of Art and Design, is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). In the accreditation site visit report, the visiting team noted:

“Student work… is extraordinary. Students are clearly ready for work in the field, clearly evidence a superior development of competency in drawing, presentational design, materials application and relevant architectural requirements. The organization of the presented work is collectively strong, evidencing the clear and coherent structure of the certificate and degree. Likewise, the individual student portfolio and project presentations were thoughtfully developed, neatly presented, and professional in their overall appearance."

Beyond its accreditation, the program offers many advantages:

  • Faculty focused on student needs.
  • Hands-on and "real-life" design projects.
  • Field trips to design and architectural firms, showrooms, museums, historic sites, built environments.
  • Design resource center and maker space.
  • Involvement in professional organizations.
  • Professional guest speakers, jurors, and critics.
  • Internships offering practical experience.
  • National and regional competitions.
  • Multiple opportunities to network with design professionals.
  • High job acquisition rates by graduates.
  • Exhibits of interior design projects and student work.
  • Environment that supports inspiration and creativity.

Organizations

Participating in professional associations provides excellent opportunities for students to network within the interior design and related fields. Following are some of the organizations students can join:

Careers

West Valley College prepares graduates for successful careers within the overall areas of residential and commercial design, as well as the specific areas within (listed below).

Residential Design - Interior designers in this area create functional and aesthetically pleasing home environments. Designers often work in small residential design studios, residential design and architectural firms, residential construction companies, kitchen and bathroom design firms, and retail finishes and furnishings businesses.

Commercial Design - Commercial designers plan the interior spaces of non-residential environments, such as offices, hotels, restaurants, stores, libraries, and schools. Employment can be at or consultants for interior design firms, architectural firms, corporate facilities, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions.

Design careers are found in education, research, historic preservation, and many other specialized areas. The West Valley College Interior Design program and training can lead to a variety of exciting career opportunities:

  • Commercial Design
  • Computer Aided Drafting and Design
  • Education & Research
  • Facilities Planning and Design
  • Furniture Design
  • Green Design
  • Healthcare Design
  • Hospitality Design
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Design
  • Lighting Design
  • Residential Design
  • Restaurant Design
  • Retail Design
  • Space Planning
  • Sustainable Design
  • Textile Design

To learn more about specialties within the interior design profession or Interior Design jobs, please visit IIDA's website or ASID's website.

Last Updated 7/28/22