Career Focus: Work as an Interior Designer

During the last twenty years, thanks to an explosion of reality TV and home decorating shows, interior designers have become celebrities in their own right.

Of course, it takes more than throwing around a few cushions and sticking up fancy wallpaper to qualify as an interior design specialist.

While aesthetics obviously do come into this role, there’s more to a career in interior and home design than that.

How are your architectural skills?

In fact, an interest and flair for architecture wouldn’t go amiss in this role, because you’ll need to plan out interior spaces and floor plans, ensuring your clients’ home spaces are optimised and efficient.

Basically it all boils down to making your clients’ lives more comfortable by making their abodes spacious, safe and relaxing.

Key skills interior designers need

This entails coming up with interior design ideas and even becoming involved in the planning stages, which could well require you to collaborate with building developers and suppliers.

Career Focus: Work as an Interior Designer

As well as a head for design and architectural planning, it also helps if you are happy crunching numbers because you’ll have to work within your clients’ budgets and balance the need to be creative with the need to keep costs down.

Key to the whole interior and home design process is articulation – the ability to articulate your ideas from your creative mind onto paper, before conveying your ideas to construction teams in order for them to become reality.

Why do people use interior designers?

Why would someone turn to an interior designer to spruce up their living spaces rather than just doing it all themselves?

Mainly because designers are more qualified to bring their expertise and experience to projects – especially if they have gained CAD and architectural skills.

To become an interior design whizz and work your way into the profession, you’ll clearly need to prove that you have a creative streak and talent.

You can do this by completing interior design courses or a degree in something like graphic design, art and design, digital design or architecture.

“It’s important to remember interior design isn’t always about your particular tastes and tendencies – it’s about those of your clients”

Once you’re armed with a qualification and CAD, Photoshop and 3D design skills – plus a dazzling portfolio packed full of your brilliant home decor ideas – you can approach companies and apply for junior interior design jobs and work experience.

Interior design work experience: a blueprint for success

While placements, internships and insight schemes in interior design aren’t all that common, relevant work experience can be acquired in graphic design and design engineer roles with companies like Unilever, BP and Siemens.

These will allow you to tryout your technical skills and gain experience of tackling real-world projects, which can only improve your chances of landing a job in interior design.

Undertaking work experience will also allow you to sharpen your organisation and time management skills, which are crucial if you want to be a successful interior designer because you’ll need to complete work on time, within budget, juggle projects and hit deadlines.

Never a dull moment

As an interior design expert the only predictable thing about your job from day-to-day is that it will be unpredictable.

Your time could be split between bashing out ideas with other designers if you’re part of an interior design company, meeting with clients, scouting out products, fittings and furnishings, working on marketing materials or visiting galleries or project sites.

Communication is crucial

It’s important to remember interior design isn’t always about your particular tastes and tendencies – it’s about those of your clients.

This is why communication is so vital to success in this profession – you have to glean from your clients what it is they want and what the brief is. It’s tricky to redesign someone’s house when you don’t know what it is they want...

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