You can think of interior design as the process of decorating a building. The job involves precise considerations about every decorative element inside. The furniture, color scheme, and the room’s architectural features need to be cohesive to meet the designer’s vision. The profession is complex because it requires both creativities to make a project proposal and technical skills to bring it to life. You will need to know how to take an empty shell and make a piece of art from it.
Becoming a Designer
You need several more years of education after high school for this career path. You could attend a professional interior design school. You can also get your four-year bachelor’s degree. While not required, you can also get a master’s or doctoral degree as well. Many students choose to take out private student loans for undergrad school. That lets them pay for educational costs like tuition, living expenses, and books. Once you have your bachelor’s, you’ll also need to go through a one to three-year apprenticeship. During this time, you may be a clerk, receptionist, or buyer while learning more about the business. You’ll work under an experienced designer to arrange furniture, match patterns, deal with customers, or perform other tasks. Your school might be able to place you as a trainee. You can also apply directly to furniture or department stores online. Many who don’t get a job right away often sell accessories or furniture until they find a position they want.
What the Career Involves
You might work for an architectural firm, retail store, or an organization’s design department. You could even start your own business. Often, you might specialize in something like homes, banks, or hospitals. When you plan a new design or remodel an old one, you’ll likely work with an architect. They’ll consult with you about traffic patterns, which means you’ll plan where doors, windows, and stairways go. You will also carry out other tasks like:
- Advising on color schemes
- Planning window treatments
- Picking light fixtures and hardware
- Suggesting the ceiling, floor, and wall finishes
- Choosing accessories, like paintings or plants
How the Interior Design Process Works
You’ll meet with your clients to discuss their tastes, habits, and budget before coming up with a proposal. Based on this information, you will draw up sketches or floor plans. Today, this isn’t done by hand. Instead, you’ll use computer-aided design (CAD). Then you’ll present your plans to the clients, along with fabric swatches, photographs, and color charts, along with an estimate of the process. You might have to go over these plans several times before getting approval from the client. The next step involves supervising the decorating work. You will order materials and find workers to carry out your plans. If you aren’t custom-making furnishings, you’ll shop for those as well. If you work for a retail store, you will probably only talk with clients while they’re at the store. You will have to sell the store’s merchandise. But you can suggest to the store’s management what their customers want or need.