# When students interview a skilled tradesperson as part of Module 2

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```					                                   Math for the Workplace 12
Interior Decorating Information Sheet

Number Sense
Interior Decorators work with integers, decimals, fractions, ratios, proportions, and percentages. As
well, they work with monetary values. Therefore, decorators must be very comfortable working with
numbers to the hundredth place value and accurately rounding numbers to the hundredth place.
They must be comfortable incorporating information such as building and fire codes into their designs.

Operation Sense
Calculations performed by decorators include, but are not limited to, calculating the amount of materials
being used, such as flooring, wall paper, or fabric for furniture or drapery. (See the attached sheet for
sample cost quotes). They must also calculate the cost price and in turn the retail price charged to the
consumer to obtain a profit. The business calculation of Profit = Retail Price – Cost Price is critical to
the viability of a decorating business. Adhering to a customer’s budget is also critical to success.
A well developed sense of estimation is also important. Initially many of the calculations can be done
using estimates, then eventually all calculations must be done with 100% accuracy due to the effect on
cost.
They must be very comfortable using technology such as calculators. Decorators also need well
developed problem solving skills. Working with and through obstacles such as space and monetary
restrictions are vital skills.

Measurement
Measurement for reading blueprints and using scales requires proportional thinking. Measuring with
both precision and accuracy is essential. Measurement estimation strategies are also important when
developing a concept for a particular room or space.

Geometry
Well developed spatial sense is essential for an interior decorator. Understanding angles, symmetry and
other geometric properties cannot be understated. The use of Computer Assisted Design (CAD) software
is also an asset for a decorator.

Possible Project Ideas
1. Design a Room and Develop Cost Quote - Using a floor plan or blueprint, decorate a room,
including wall dressings, window dressings, and furniture.
2. Design Window Dressings and Develop a Cost Quote for a House – Design window dressings
using a variety of styles for an entire house.

Math For The Workplace 12: Interior Decorating Information Sheet                              August 2008
Examples of Calculations:

1. Drapery (pinched pleats) Calculation:

Window Width + 8″ (spring back) x 2.5 (for fullness) = Finished Width
Finished Width ÷ 54″ (fabric width) = Number of Widths required.
Number of Widths x (Length desired + 16″ (headers and hems)) ÷ 36″ = Yards required
Yards x Material Cost per yard = Fabric Cost

Number of Widths x Labour per width = Total Labour

Fabric Cost + Total Labour = Quote Price

2. Wallpaper Calculation:

Length x Height ÷ 22 sq feet per single roll = Number of Rolls

Note: deduct 1 single roll for every two average size openings.

Number of Rolls x Price per single roll = Retail Cost

Number of Rolls x Labour per roll = Total Labour

Retail Cost + Total Labour = Quote Price

3. Paint Calculation:

Length x Height = Total sq. feet
Total sq. feet ÷ 400 sq. feet (coverage per gallon) = Total Gallons of Paint.

Note: Calculations above are based on imperial measurement. If material are available in metric measurements

Math For The Workplace 12: Interior Decorating Information Sheet                           August 2008

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