Becoming an interior designer takes a lot more than painting a wall and finding cushions to match it; interior designers have to have a natural skill and aptitude towards art that allows them to visualise the perfect designs for any given space.
If you’re thinking of starting a career in interior design then not only do you have to have a natural ability when it comes to design, but it’s also recommended that you have some sort if design qualifications. A lot of interior designers actually have university degrees in an area of design. If university I not a path that you wish to take then a foundation degree along with design related A-Levels will be essential – especially if you want to work for the big companies. The A-Level or degree subjects that you choose don’t have to be interior design as long as they are design related so 3D design or art and design would be perfect too.
As well as the academic qualifications, interior designers also have to have a number of other qualities including the ability to visualise their project and sticking to a budget and time schedule. They also have great communication skills that allow them to communicate with a variety of people including contractors, clients and business suppliers.
There are different types of interior designers; usually they are either freelance designers or they work for a big company as part of a design team. Interior designers could be redesigning any space from offices to homes and depending on whether they are freelance workers – who usually work alone – or members of a big design team is usually what determines the size of the job that they will be given.
Freelance interior designers usually build up relationships with companies that will continue to contract them out for some of their jobs if they make a good impression. Interior designers that work for design companies don’t have this problem as they are automatically contracted out to do jobs by the company that they work for. It can however, sometimes be difficult to get a job with a design company straightaway so a lot of interior designers have no choice but to start off as freelancers.
In order to become an interior designer you will need to have excellent organisational skills – especially if you’re a freelance designer – in order to be able to organise projects around each other. Although good organisation is essential through all areas of interior design, it is not usually as important for you to manage your own projects if you are working for a design company.
Most of your time as an interior designer will be spent in an office, or at home – if you work for yourself. You will have to be willing to work long hours if clients need projects finishing for certain deadlines such as shop openings and company launches etc. When you are first starting out as a designer you will also have to be willing to take any job that comes your way and complete to the best of your ability, no matter how small, in order to build up a rapport with clients in order to help you build your portfolio of projects.
Jenna Stanton, a top interior designer, writes about Art VPS and how it helps visualise her ideas.