Why go into interior design?
Interior design is an extremely creative job that combines academic knowledge of the subject with product know-how, style and flair. On top of that, you need a large dose of professionalism, diplomacy and great personal skills to deal with clients and contractors.
What are the main benefits of being an interior designer?
The main benefits are you are in industry that will satisfy your creative needs, and one that is always changing in terms of fashion and trends. As an Interior Designer, you can encounter some amazing people and clients along the way, as well take your skills with you, so you could work pretty much anywhere in the world.
What are the downsides?
It can sometimes be tricky when dealing with clients if, for example they change their minds or aren’t happy with a particular direction you’re going in. Having said that, the experience you’ll gain of how to deal with a difficult client, or an unfortunate pitch, is invaluable and will help you develop a slightly thicker skin.
Do you need to specialise?
Specialising in a particular area, such as high end and luxury interior design, can give you a unique position in the market. This could make you the “go-to” person in the industry for a specific job, but it could also rule you out of other areas should you wish to move in another direction, so it’s good to know which area you want to focus before committing to one specific area.
What personal talents do you need?
One of the main things you have to have is professionalism. This means you need to be reliable, punctual, efficient and smart – essentially, you are your business and first impressions are all important.
Do I need to be good with people?
Yes. You need to know how to read them so you can navigate your way through the project, steering your client towards certain areas and ideas, and capitulating where necessary. Being a good Interior Designer also means being patient and allowing the client to have their say and express their ideas – in an ideal world, you want your client to be happy with the process of the project, as well as the end product.
Do you have to be in a major city to start as a designer?
No, but the majority of reputable interior design companies are in major cities, which means if you’re starting out they would be good places to approach to get the best experience possible.
Can you start your own business with little experience?
You can, but you’d have to start very small, ideally doing little projects for family and friends. Then, when you’ve got a few projects under your belt, you can build up your website, begin distributing your business card and relying on word of mouth for other projects.
Do you have to be young or can interior design be something to move into as a second career?
You don’t necessarily have to be young, although the more experience and expertise the better. Many people move into interior design from a totally different background, but have always had a craving to use their creative talents. It’s never too late, and often they have lots of transferable talents, such as a cool head for business as well as good interpersonal and organizational skills. Depending on how seriously you want to take it as a career, doing an academic qualification can give you the confidence and expertise you need before taking the leap.
Can you make lots of money as an interior designer?
The industry of interior design can be lucrative, but much of this depends on how you work (whether or not you have your own business or work for a company). Usually, having your own business and being able to expand it, is the way to the top.
What do you need to be successful/make it big?
Being a successful interior designer very much depends on the quality of your work and whether you’ve managed to build up a good, solid reputation and client list. If you can manage all these, and are prepared to work extremely hard, the sky’s the limit!