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Interior Design: Images/Media

Useful databases, websites and information on Interior Design

Downloading images

All Public Domain and Creative Commons images can be saved to your computer and reused in your own work, whether it is a PowerPoint, blog, wiki or other instance.  It is always best practice to reference your images even if they are in the Public Domain. You can also hyperlink your image to its source page. See Best practices for attribution for tips on referencing your images. 

Below is an example of good attribution or referencing of an image from Wikimedia Commons. Note that text and image are hyperlinked to the source page.


 "Everything is Going to be Alright" artwork by Martin Creed, Christchurch Art Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand by Michal Klajban - CC-BY-SA 4.0

How to automatically reference images in PowerPoint and Word

1. Click Insert in the top ribbon

2. Click Online Pictures

3. Search for an image

4. Keep Creative Commons Only ticked

5. Click the image and choose Insert

6. Your image shows with hyperlinks to the source and the Creative Commons Licence below it.


This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0           

Images - Free Sources

The Creative Commons search tools CC Search and Let's CC do not cover all image resources. See below for specialised, publicly available sources with more refined search options.

Jump to: PhotographsClip Art, Other Public Domain Image Sources.


  • This commercial site has a section containing free images.
  • There is no copyright on these images and they can be altered.
  • everystockphoto Use the Advanced Search option to search by topic, licence, image resolution, shape, etc.
  • Similar to the above site. Contains images that people have contributed for others to use. Check the terms of use.
  • Similar to the above sites but check individual images in case of restrictions.
  • morgueFile. Photographs freely available for educational or creative use and can be altered. Credit the photographer where possible. Request permission to use for a private blog or for commercial use.
  • Pixabay. Free photos, vectors and art illustrations. All are public domain and do not require you to give credit to the artist.

Clip Art

  • WPClipart Very large, searchable database of public domain images on a variety of topics, including famous artworks. All are free to use and modify.
  • Openclipart Especially good for icons, avatars, simple illustrations. Clipart requests invited.
  • Public Domain Clip Art  Browse by category or search. Especially good for people, animals, plants, sports & recreation.
  • Google icons Icons (symbols) used in Google applications.  Open access files allow icons to be downloaded and altered.
  • The Noun Project  Icons and images. Sign up to be eligible for free downloads (image credit will be included).
  • Freepik Free, editable graphic designs suitable for posters, menus, cards, etc. Include  the attribution "Designed by Freepik".
  • Brusheezy Free Photoshop textures, patterns and brushes.

Other Public Domain Image Sources

  • Artsy.  Art & architecture images from the world's leading galleries. Images with a download icon may be downloaded and used for any purpose.  Terms of use.
  • Bing Image Search. Results are filtered to retrieve Creative Commons images but you should follow the link to the source of each image to check the CC license provision.
  • DPLA (Digital Public Library of America). Text and audio visual resources from USA libraries and museums. Especially useful for world and American history. Most material is free for educational use but check the supplier of each item for copyright restrictions. Further information
  • Flickr Commons. Images uploaded by museums, galleries and libraries which claim no known copyright restrictions on these images. The "Commons" search box is lower down on screen. Don't use the regular search box at top of screen. Rights statements.
  • Google Advanced Image Search. Search for images by keyword, size, colour, URL domain, file type or usage rights. Under "Usage Rights", select "Labeled for noncommercial use". When you find a suitable image, click "Visit Page" to verify the copyright permissions.
  • Internet Archive Book Images. Millions of photos and drawings from scanned books that were published 1500 to 1922. No copyright restrictions on most images. Copyright explanation.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Images. When you find an image, go to "More details about this file" for notes and several download size options. Most images are free to use for educational purposes. Terms of use.
  • Wikimedia Commons: Photographs. Useful for examples of photographic style or technique. Most images are free to use for educational purposes. Terms of use.
  • Yahoo! Image search. As for Bing Image Search - check copyright permissions for each image.
  • More Public Domain Image Sources (...from Wikipedia)

Referencing "free" resources


Photo by Keila Hötzel on Unsplash

Remember since you are working in an academic environment referencing will ALWAYS be required. Referencing means you are covered in relation to copyright and plagiarism by acknowledging the resource is not yours and it also helps you or someone else find it again if required. For more information on copyright and referencing have a look at the above tab called  APA Referencing

Sound - Mostly Free Sources

Note : All Ara computers can access Audacity which is software you can use to record your own sounds.

Video - Mostly free resources

Using Google images

Everyone tends to "Google" images. To avoid copyright breaches, follow this process: 

1) Search in Google images

2) Click on Tools

3) Click on Usage Rights

4) Select Labeled for reuse - these images are usually from the Public Domain or Creative Commons.

5) Click on the image to see the terms of use and get the URL of the source page.