5 Most Important Tools An Interior Designer Needs


You might be able to guess the essential tools of your plumber or electrician. But do you know what the essential tools are for an interior designer?

Interior designers have become a vital resource for home owners and home builders. Designers are the authority on cutting edge design and styling for homes and workplaces. Interior designers are not just experts in styles, trends, and fashions, they are experts at optimizing the atmosphere and functionality of your home. Along with their own keen eye for detail, artistic taste and a commitment to excellence, there are 5 important practical tools that are essential for interior designers.

2013 Interior Design Codes Reference Manual from the CLCID

Code Manual

The main focus for certified interior designers is the overall look and design of a space. The appearance of a space centers around not only color, design and style, but the safety, performance and ergonomics.

Knowledge of the interior structure and adherence to relevant building codes is crucial for a designer. One of the most essential tools for any interior designer is a building codes manual for to the state, county or city where the designer practices. Keeping a building code manual on hand throughout a project allows an interior designer to work effectively with other building professionals such as architects and contractors to achieve an outstanding result.

Color Scheme Guide

When homeowners think about designing a new space in their home, the color scheme is one of the first areas considered. Many certified interior designers carry a color scheme guide to help clients map the color usage for their space. The color scheme or swatch guide provides a collage of colors, textures and patterns for a designer to show to clients. A color scheme guide or swatch guide helps a designer and a homeowner choose the right palette to fit floors, walls, ceilings, soft furnishings and furniture. This provides a realistic rendering for how a room will look once completed.

Computer Aided Drafting Software

Computer aided drafting software is extremely useful for interior designers. Computer aided drafting (CAD) allows accurate blueprints for the project space to be generated efficiently and precisely. CAD drawings save time over hand drawn drafts, and allows for more focus on the details. CAD designs are easy to create and change, so that a designer can quickly experiment with accurate designs. CAD drawings make communication easy with other building professionals and to indicate realistic impressions of the design to the client.

Measuring Tape

Sounds simple, but a measuring tape is the underrated essential tool of an interior designer. Accurate measurements are vital to ensure that all elements of the room design fit together perfectly. A measuring tape guarantees a designer will get precise measurements of the working space, ensuring that the windows, curtains, couches, rugs, will properly fit into the room. Measuring tape should always be carried. Designers will inevitably need to take measurements for an amazing piece of furniture found by chance, or will have to give a quote on a last-minute call.


Proper interior design is about paying attention to the smallest details, and keeping a level on hand helps a designer achieve visual perfection. Levels are useful for hanging a variety of items evenly on the wall or installing features and fixtures properly. A level ensures a room will come together through symmetry and balance when hanging pictures, paintings, shelves or light fixtures. Often overlooked, a level will reduce frustration by verifying that the pictures in a room are straight!


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