Do you constantly look at your room and visualize different ways to redesign it? Do you regularly rearrange your furniture to spruce up your space? Then you might consider a career in interior design.
What is an interior designer?
a space. An interior designer must have a creative mind to design unique spaces but also be analytical to make sure the design will be achievable. An interior designer will meet with clients to design an interior for a home, apartment, hotel, restaurant, office or any other type of interior. After meeting with the client an interior designer will sketch a d
esign based off the client’s needs, wants and style . They also must calculate the estimated cost of the design and develop a reasonable timeline. Once the original design is complete they will select colors, patterns, textures, lighting, surfaces, and furnishings. Finally they will bring the design to life. Interior designers often work closely with architects and building contractors because they have to make sure the design meets all legal and safety requirements. Interior designers often specialize in either residential or commercial and from there they specialize in a specific type such as hotels or green design.
How much does an interior designer earn?
According to BLS.gov on average an interior designer makes $25.05 an hour or $52,100 annually. Like most professions interior designers salaries vary based on experience, reputation, specialties, and employer. Those in larger specialty firms tend to make higher salaries, while those in smaller firms or self employed usually charge a by the hour consulting fee plus a percentage of the total cost of the design. Depending on what state your in can also affect how much you earn. New York has the highest paying average at $64,400, California $56,240, Texas $51470, Illinois $49810, and Florida $48,770. It’s also important to take into consideration the states with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation.
How to be an interior Designer:
Get a college degree in interior design.
Having a degree in interior design will help educate you on different design requirements and different aspects of design that you may not already know. If your wanting to get a job with an established design firm then a college degree is usually a requirement. Most colleges and universities offer an interior design program. It’s important to find a school that meets your needs and expectations. There are 2 year assocatiates degrees available but those usually only qualify you to be an assistant interior designer. A 4 year bachelors degree usually qualifies you for an internship program at a design firm with opportunity to be an interior designer afterwards. Develop a list of possible schools your interested in and see when they have tours, you may also call and schedule a tour. Some schools may require a portfolio of sample sketches to get into their interior design program. Once you choose a school and start class remember the number one success tool in college is to actually go to class and when it gets hard remind yourself of your goals and it’s going to take hard work to get there.
Another valid option in some states is the get licensed or registered. To qualify to be a registered interior designer, The National Council for Interior Design Qualification administers a licensing exam. To be eligible to take the exam, applicants must have at least 6 years of combined education and experience in interior design, of which at least 2 years must be postsecondary education. Keep in mind that continuing education is usually a requirement to maintain the license.
Develop attention to details
You may think interior design is all about being creative with colors, textures, and patterns but there is so much more to interior design. You must also be technical and take into account the functionality, safety and legal/environmental requirements of your design. To be an interior designer you need to learn to read a blueprint to understand the interiors construction, fire codes and how to make it accessible for everyone for example, someone needing wheelchair access. If you overlook a small detail it could compromise the safety of your client which could then possibly lead to legal problems . Overall your design may be exceptionally designed and beautiful to the eye but it won’t do any good if your client cannot comfortably sit on the couch or eat at their table. You can train your brain to become more attentive to details by doing detail oriented exercises such as looking at an object for a moment then removing it and recalling all the details of it you can. There are two other simply things you can do to help improve your attention to details. One is to stay organized by making lists of things that need to be done. For example make a list of all the things that need to get done around the house, just writing them down will help make you think of the details. Second is to start training yourself to pick up on the details that you miss during your normal routine. For example, while driving to work start to note the signs, trees, buildings you may be surprised at what you’ve been missing. Having attention to detail is such an important trait to be an interior designer because an interior designer is more than being creative it’s also being technical.
Keep up with the trends
To be a good interior designer you must stay in the know. You need to relate to your clients and know what the current trends are and how to accomplish them. Subscribe to all interior design websites, magazines and groups to stay up to date on the latest trends. You may also want to shop around at least once a month to see what retailers are merchandising. If you see turquoise in a few stores then you can conclude that it is probably an important trend you want to pick up on. When you see a trend that you would like to do make a trend board. take everything from that trend and things that complement it and make it into a design trend board. For example if the trend is glass find pictures, samples anything that relates to the trend and design a board that powerfully represents that trend.
Build a portfolio
Most clients want to see what other work you’ve done before hiring you so it’s important to build a portfolio. Your portfolio is what can make or break your chances. A portfolio should include high quality large photos of rooms you’ve designed. A portfolio should include your qualifications, design boards you’ve created, interior sketches and a completed project s process. If your just starting your career you may need to start your portfolio with your own home designs. When designing your portfolio keep in mind you will usually not be there to walk the person through the presentation so your portfolio needs to be in depth enough to do the talking for you. A portfolio should show the viewer your skills, variety, creativity, method ,and objective . Your portfolio is what says “this is what sets me apart from the rest and why you should hire me”. Other than the traditional bound portfolios another option is to do a video portfolio, or to really set you apart include a video portfolio within the bounded portfolio.