If you were tasked with designing your own bedroom, would you choose to create a room like the one above, or do you have a different idea in mind? The task of designing rooms takes imagination, creativity, and precise measurement. In the real world, interior designers take on rooms of all shapes and sizes. How do decimals and area figure into their work? Well, take a look.
Why It Matters
Interior designers have a daily job of imagining what a space can look like. They create spaces that are fun but also safe. For an interior designer, everything you can design, build, put up, install, hang, or decorate requires measurements. Sometimes, these measurements can be whole numbers, but they often are decimal numbers.
Imagine that it was your job to design the bedroom space sketched out in the floor plan above. The areas of the walls, the floor, and any furniture would all need to be taken into account. Let’s start by thinking about paint. You could calculate the amount of paint needed to cover the room by converting the length and width of each wall into decimal feet, multiplying the two for each wall, and then adding those products together. Once you've calculated the total area of the walls, you can head to the paint store and figure out how many gallons of paint you would need for the bedroom. Working in this way, you just used the concepts of decimals and area to turn an imagined design into reality.
Watch this video for a glimpse into the life of an interior designer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tW-58Hr2Mw8
Read article below for more examples of how interior designers use math every day. Practice your interior design skills by completing the activity at the next link.