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How to Become an Interior Designer

18 October 2020

How to Become an Interior Designer

How to Become an Interior Designer

There is much more to being an interior designer than picking the right fabrics, color scheme, or furniture arrangement. In truth, this is a highly skilled job that helps people make the right decisions to effectively design their space.

Essentially, an interior designers role is a lifestyle problem solver which they do with both technical and creative approaches. It is not just for homes; increasingly, businesses use interior designers to improve functional space. But what are the first steps?

Before we explain how to become an interior designer, it is important to understand:

  • Interior design: Understand human behaviour within a space to create an interior that is aesthetically pleasing while enabling function
  • Interior decorating: Using the interior space to create an attractive and fashionable interior

In short, both can utilise the space to create an attractive interior, but only an interior designer understands the techniques and philosophies of design.

Consider Your Career Options

Not every qualified interior designer will work designing interiors.

If you wish to work in a commercial and residential interior design firm, or work with construction firms, you will certainly need a certification which you can study in the traditional method or distance learning. Without a formal qualification, you will find it almost impossible to seek relevant work. If you are looking to start your own business, you will need a master’s degree and relevant licensure.

However, it is always a good idea to get some training in the field.

Interior Design Education and Accreditation

The most important element when choosing a programme is to ensure accreditation of regulatory bodies

Some states require you to pass a licensing exam before you’re allowed to use the title of an interior designer. And, in some other states, you can’t do any interior design work at all without a license. So the most excellent alternative is to select a great school / institute and take a program that centres particularly on Interior design

Interior Design Education and Accreditation

What You Will Study

What you learn will vary depending on where you study and the school’s traditions and areas of expertise. Typically, you will cover most of the following:

  • Anthropology and culture
  • The built environment
  • Business practices
  • Colour theory
  • Drafting
  • Environment
  • History of design
  • Lighting
  • Materials
  • Philosophy of design
  • Spatial analysis and organisation
  • Sustainability
  • Technical drawing or design illustration
  • Textiles

Such programmes are a mix of creative and technical, communication, project management, spatial awareness, and cultural/social norms. It is important to choose your school and your module options on your strengths and personal interests.

Develop skills Interior Designers Need

Creative - It's important for an interior designer to fully understand the needs of their clients to create functional and aesthetically pleasing design solutions. The interior designer must be able to visualize the objectives of the client and transform them into an attractive and functional interior environment. Not only should the design look attractive, it should also cater to the behavior of space occupants adhere to building codes and regulations, and protect those occupants' safety and health.

Portfolio - Your portfolio not only gives clients a feel for your design skills, but it can also illustrate your professionalism. As you complete more projects, you'll want to choose your best work from a wide variety of different project types to showcase your adaptability

Project Management - An interior designer should have superior project and time management skills. If you have more than one project and strict deadlines, it's crucial that you develop the ability to multitask well and stay organized.

At the same time, you'll need to actively be marketing yourself and your services to procure new clients. This often involves developing design proposals and making presentations to potential clients, all while juggling the tasks for your current clients.

Interior Design Education and Accreditation

Network in the Industry

Although your career concerns buildings and their interiors, people are at the heart of everything you do. Without customers, you will not have a business. The people you encounter are not just customers and potential customers. You need a network of suppliers and their businesses, and even other interior designers to help with contracts and offer advice. Even the professional organisations in your country are a source of information and support.

Your peers are not your competitors, but your support network, and likewise you are for them.

Figuring out how to turn into an interior designer is a stage towards satisfying future doing what you love.