An interior design gallery serves as a designer's portfolio and may be used to show his or her craft as well as provide inspiration for clients. These portfolios can take many forms, such as a book of photographs and concept drawings, a virtual tour of a designed interior space, or a physical space where clients can walk from room to room, viewing the designer's work.
Larger design firms may feature a physical gallery of their work in order to let clients get a clear feel for the ability and design sensibility of the company. Being able to actually walk through a bathroom, bedroom, living room, or office space created by a designer can help give clients a clear picture of the level of skill and detail. Firms may also band together to create an interior design gallery in a large commercial space, similar to a mall or shopping center. These design showcases allow buyers to comparison shop, not only for designers but also for furnishings.
Some charity and business events also draw a crowd by giving a each room in a large house or mansion to a designer or design firm, allowing them to redecorate and allowing the public to visit. Often in these ventures, some of the furnishings themselves are on sale and serve as advertising not only for the interior designer but for the manufacturers as well. Check with design firms to see if any showcase-style events take place in the local area; they are a great chance to see designers go all out to grab attention, and may result in a few spectacular finds.
A virtual interior design gallery can allow designers and customers to play with design ideas in a virtual space. Using software, designers can input a room's dimensions to create a virtual model, which can then be designed using paint or wallpaper, as well as specific styles of furniture, appliances, and other room fixtures. The ability to accurately visualize the size and shape of the room can be of great help to clients in understanding what the finished product will look like.
Many interior designers have a strong background in model making and artistic drawings, and these too can play an important part in an interior design gallery. While artistic drawings can help to impart the mood of a planned design, physical miniature models can allow design elements to be moved around like dollhouse furniture, according to the client's wishes. An interior design gallery may also feature photographs of previous work, so that potential customers get a sense of the designer's history as well as ability.