Interior design is a competitive industry that can be difficult to break into. If you set yourself on the right path, however, you can make it as a designer. The trouble is, you may not know where to get started. If you’re considering a career in interior design, here is a guide from M&Y Interiors, interior designers in Hertfordshire, on starting out.
What Does an Interior Designer Do?
What many people don’t realize is that interior design is a wide field. There are several types of design and areas to specialize in. The difference between designing in a commercial versus a residential setting, for example, can be stark.
Designers who work on commercial projects often work for a design firm, as part of a large team. Typically, a great deal of collaboration with other designers as well as the client is part of these projects. Interior designers might also work with surveyors, structural engineers, architects, or contractors. Within the commercial interior design sector, you can specialize even further, into areas like offices, retail, and public buildings, historic buildings, and luxury yachts and aircraft.
Residential projects, on the other hand, may see an interior designer working freelance or with a smaller team. Freelance designers often take on the role of the project manager as well, by tracking the tasks of the contractor, or sometimes an architect.
Typical tasks of an interior designer could range from liaising with clients on a design proposal to presenting in front of an architectural board. Holding meetings, creating models with computer-assisted design, tracking the project budget, and adhering to building regulation standards are all part of an interior designer’s day as well.
What Training and Qualifications Are Required?
Typically, you need a special course or degree to work as an interior designer. While it’s possible to start up a freelance design business and seek clients without a qualification, having a formal background in the subject can help. And if you’re aiming to work with an interior design firm, many of them will require a degree or course.
In the UK, there are several ways to go about your interior design training. If you’d like to make a career out of interior design, avoid short courses and go for the ones with more technical aspects. There are BTEC Level 3 courses, as well as BA degrees. Whichever route you pursue depends on your circumstances and the kind of designer you want to be.
Getting Work Experience
You’re certainly on the right path by seeking education in interior design. But that’s often not enough to land you a job. Applying for an apprenticeship, internship, or some other work experience is important as well.
In interior design, your success is measured by your portfolio. Employers and potential clients will always ask to see previous work when they’re considering hiring you. It can be difficult to build up a portfolio just out of school, though – unless you’re willing to take pro bono work.
By doing an internship, you can begin building your experience while working with talented designers already in the field. Work experience also gives you a taste of what your chosen career will be like. You can see if it’s a good fit and try to narrow down which area of interior design you’d like to work in.
Some Final Tips for Being Successful in Interior Design
Apart from getting the right training and finding solid work experience, here are a few more tips to boost your success in interior design.
Live and Breathe Design
Don’t just leave your schoolwork in the classroom or your work in the office. Surround yourself with magazines, podcasts, articles, websites, and any other content you can about design. Read up on the classics and discover the newest trends. Immersing yourself in a design mindset will make your work more enjoyable and beneficial to you.
Hone in on Your Signature Style
It’s never too early to develop your own design style. When you’re soaking in as much design content as you can, take note of what you like and don’t like. Don’t just copy other designers, try to craft a style that’s your own, that others will recognise when they see it. This can be difficult, especially for beginners. Once you’ve established a style, though, and you stick with it, you’ll more easily see what appeals to you and what doesn’t.
A career as an interior designer is within reach if you have a passion – and develop the skills to back it up. As interior designers in North London and St. Albans, we’ve had many years of experience in this business. We’re still successful because we love what we do and constantly work to improve and challenge ourselves. If you possess these kinds of qualities, you’re already on the right track to becoming a great interior designer.