Part 2: What You Didn't Know About Interior Decorating, Building Code, and Design Standards

Last time (Click here for Part 1) we left off discussing materials and their space application. Now we dive deeper into safety concerns involving interior decorating.


VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds) and off gassing materials, often known mainly in paint, however other materials that you bring into your home can do the same thing including diy or wood pallet projects. (Please research VOC's, this section is too short to address it fully). Part of the manufacturers provided literature on products will go into this in detail. This also goes back to using materials for their intended use listed by the manufacturer and to follow instruction for cleaning. Whether it’s a new material or a reclaimed material or a diy pallet project, healthy and clean air plays a big role in interior decorating.

Building code discusses “sick building syndrome*” and air quality.

The EPA's fact sheet on sick building syndrome** states the sources of VOC's:

Chemical contaminants from indoor sources: Most indoor air pollution comes from sources inside the building. For example, adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood products, copy machines, pesticides, and cleaning agents may emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde

Even when your decorating your introducing new products into your home. Also be aware of older material in your home that may still be off gassing. Part of our design process is reviewing and consultation literature provided by manufacturers and working to meet the needs of our clients.

5. Space Planning:

Many interior decorating project will be simply selecting furniture. Following recommended building codes and design standards for the space planning during the design process is just as important as the beautiful part of interior decorating.

Imagine Your Bedroom Window Isn't To Code. Building Code Offers a Solution With Space Planning. If your interior decorator isn't aware of what building code they won't be aware of what the solution is.

Your Interior Decorator could be creating an unsafe space with simply selecting furniture and telling you were to put it.

6. Light Refraction:

The angle of light when it hits a surface that is light refraction. It can determine a correct selection or an incorrect selection for even a coffee table.

Therein lies a problem if your interior decorator hasn't seen your home in person or hasn't done enough front end research when evaluating your home.

You might have seen light refraction in residential spaces when entering rooms and the sun light or a light is bouncing off into your eye and you can't see. Lighting fixtures can also create shade patterns or hit your eye the wrong way with a certain placement in the room.

Where items are placed and what materials are used can help address this issue. Something small like this can create an issue if you or your decorator only view interior decorating as just the pretty stuff without seeing the exterior influences on a space and the technical side of interior decorating.

And thats the end of Part 2.

With part 3 we go into comfort and how interior decorating with building code and standards effects your ability to enjoy your space.

A few side notes:

1. As a client, we know you will value the time and consideration that goes into these little details to create a successful design. Yes color, pattern, and style matter but so does the guidelines set by manufacturers and building code.

2. Building code is starting to step more into residential interior design with each new publication. With the latest version new details on space planning were added that weren't there before.

3. True interior design is custom to both the home and the owners, takes into account building codes, design standards and principles that are being taught at colleges and universities. Take advantage of a professionally educated interior designer.

* To learn more about interiors and sick building syndrome :


#InteriorDecorating #DesignStandards