Does design, colour fabric and texture excite you? If yes, then interior design is a profession you want to consider. But before jumping in know what it entails so you come out a winner!
Are you always looking for ways to give your home a mini makeover? Do you often get complimented for your aesthetic sense or your design style? Or perhaps, spend hours leafing through home decor magazines, looking for new inspiration?
If you answered any of those questions in the affirmative, it’s likely you’ve considered interior design – at some point – as more than just a hobby. Taking up interior design as a profession is a tempting prospect for many design enthusiasts, but there are some things you should know before taking that leap of faith.
Interior Decorators and Interior Designers Aren’t the Same
If you’ve always used these terms interchangeably, it may surprise you to learn that interior decoration and interior design are actually two distinct skill sets. An interior decorator doesn’t require formal education or training to get started; just a basic flair for design. Moreover, a decorator’s sensibilities are usually seeded in colours, fabrics, materials, prints and patterns. Conversely, an interior designer must have at least a bachelor’s degree in interior design. If you do decide to pursue a career in home interiors, consider whether you want to take up decoration or design, and the requisite accreditations you may need for either.
You Must Have a Flair For Design
If the design is second nature to you, you’re likely a good fit for interior design. Something to think about when assessing your inclination is whether you enjoy colours, textiles, architecture and spatial arrangements in equal measure. All these are important ingredients in interior design, and will form the foundation of your profession.
Interior Design Isn’t a Cakewalk
While many aspects of interior design will likely satiate your eclectic soul, the profession isn’t as easy-breezy as many make it out to be. As a designer, you will also be a collaborator with clients, vendors, architects, builders and government agencies. Moreover, interior design entails the understanding of several complex subjects including building codes, ergonomics, spatial concepts, psychology, computer-aided drawing (CAD), the history of design and more. So, if you thought it would be a walk in the park, perhaps you chose the wrong park!
You Have to Love People
If you thought it was all about design, think again. Learning to handle clients, vendors, agencies, contractors and architects with equal elan is an art you ought to master. Also, it’s wise to accept sooner rather than later that clients will be fussy, ask for revisions and drive you towards their design goals. As a successful interior designer, you need to be a diplomat, willing to allow your clients to take reign of the project while steering them towards a viable outcome. Finding the right balance is the key to interior design success, and a love of people can serve as a bonus.
You Need to Have a Portfolio
A picture is worth a thousand words, and a portfolio is worth a million. It isn’t enough to convince a client about your repertoire without showing them proof. A beautiful portfolio can be enough to get you through the finish line with a prospect, convincing them of your calibre. Also, with virtual design opening up by way of digital communication and media, people are more open to hiring designers in other countries. In this light, a sterling portfolio can set you apart from anyone, anywhere in the world.
If you’re considering taking up interior design as a career, think hard about whether you’re up to taking on all the added responsibility that comes with the profession. Making the change now can be a blessing if you play your cards right. You’ll never know if you never try.