10 Terms to Increase Your Interior Design IQ

Impress clients (or family and friends!) with your savvy interior design and model merchandising knowledge. This easy to follow cheat sheet, courtesy of Best in American Living Design Committee member Lita Dirks of Lita Dirks & Co. Interior Design, gives you 10 “words to know” in the industry.



Acrylic: Plastic resins to make synthetic fibers as coating or to bind pigment

Bevel: The slopping on the edge of a material (mirror) that diminishes the apparent size of the surface; it provides play of light and shade on the material

CAD: Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer programs to create two- or three-dimensional (2D or 3D) graphical representations of physical objects

Chinoiserie: A style of art depicting Asian/ Chinese motifs popular in France and England

Partition wall

Partition wall

Finial: A decorative finish hardware of any material, used to cap drapery rods, newel posts, furnishings; used as a crowning ornament for furniture/ architecture

Inlay: It is a an ornamentation process whereas to set one material into the surface of another creating a pattern; inserting any material like ivory, stone, or shells to a surface; is a decorative technique of inserting pieces of contrasting, often colored materials into depressions in a base object to form patterns

Partition Wall: A non-structural dividing wall

Scale: The relative size of something as related to another element of known size

Valance: Decorative window treatment mounted across the top of a window (outside the casing). Usually combined with blinds, curtain panels, or sheers

Wainscoting: Wood panels or boards that cover the lower portion of a wall, often capped with molding

More words to come in a later blog! Stay tuned…

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