How a Passion for Interior Design
Can Transform into a Career
The career path you’re on right now is not necessarily one that will take you through the rest of your working life. You might realize your true passion lies in something else, like interior design. However, not everyone knows how to turn their passion for interior design into a career and regular form of income.
If you’re starting to wonder whether your organizational skills and eye for detail could see you thrive in an interior design role, here are a few helpful ways to set yourself up on this new and exciting path.
Consider Interior Design Specialties
Several different interior design specialties exist under a single umbrella. For example, businesses like Texas Land and Home often see homeowners use interior designers to help them stage their homes for sale, with residential interior design quite popular throughout the United States.
However, you can also specialize in retail, hotels, office buildings, and even restaurants. Some interior designers tackle a broad range of design projects, while others only take on the projects that they’re passionate about to ensure they can learn everything there is to know about that specific interior design type and give it their full dedication. By focusing on one interior design specialty, you might find it easier to become an expert in your craft and make a name for yourself in the interior design industry.
Choosing Interior Design vs. Interior Decorating
Interior design and interior decorating are two worthwhile career paths you might consider embarking on. However, as similar as they sound, they require two different sets of skills. They can also lead you on remarkably different career journeys.
Interior designers typically enter formal education to learn about business, technology, functional design, and creative processes. Upon graduating from your chosen interior design school, you’ll undertake an extensive range of tasks, such as designing beautiful interiors and working with installers, manufacturers, suppliers, and accountants to ensure work can be completed to high standards.
In contrast, interior decorators don’t always need a formal education to enter their line of business. You’ll enjoy on-the-job training and acquire skills over time to help your clients with painting, wallpaper hanging, and other hands-on jobs within the interior design field.
Enroll in an Interior Design School
When you decide that a career in interior design holds your passion more than your current line of work, you might think about types of study that can help you learn all the necessary skills to provide a standout service for your future clients.
A bachelor’s degree is a requirement for many interior design businesses, but any university or college interior design program that teaches business knowledge, computer-aided design (CAD), and drawing might also make you a desirable candidate for interior design roles with well-established businesses.
Before enrolling in any particular education form, consider browsing through various job applications to find out what levels of education businesses are looking for and the skills they require. You might then have a better idea of the educational path you’ll need to take to land your dream job in the future.
Pass Your Exams
While many people land interior design jobs without qualifications, you undoubtedly improve your chances of standing out against other job applicants if you are qualified in your role. After enrolling in an interior design school, you might be able to sit your National Council for Interior Design Qualification exam and earn a license to claim your interior designer role officially.
Sometimes, this official title can require education, experience, a bachelor’s degree, and on-the-job training. While the process might be long and sometimes arduous, it can often be worth it when you’re able to provide a high-quality interior design service backed by experience and education to give your clients peace of mind.
Landing your first job as a qualified interior designer can sometimes be challenging, especially when you don’t yet have a portfolio to offer prospective clients or employers. However, as challenging as it can be, it might be made much easier by providing your services to charitable and non-profit organizations for free.
Many charities would jump at the chance to receive a free interior design consultation that might cost them thousands of dollars otherwise. You can then incorporate that work into a portfolio to show other businesses. Free work isn’t a sustainable business practice, but it might lay the foundation for paying business in the future, especially if anyone you offered free services to is happy to recommend you to others.
Once you graduate with a qualification in interior design, you might think that’s where the educational component of interior design ends. However, trends change frequently, so upskilling and training are ongoing in this industry.
Attend conferences, meetings, and events that provide information on the latest interior design trends, and don’t be afraid to enroll in further training opportunities that cover new areas of the field you haven’t yet studied, such as sustainability and green design. The more up to date you remain in your field, the easier you might find it to offer clients design ideas that are at the cutting edge of innovation.
Sharpen Your Skills
Interior designers require many skills to become experts in their field. While you might have the most appropriate qualifications, you might not have all the soft skills employers and clients are looking for in someone they wish to hire. By being aware of the skills you need, you can put time and effort into sharpening them to potentially improve your career prospects.
Communication is one of the most crucial skills required, with interior designers having to listen to the wants and needs of their clients to be able to bring their vision to life. You’ll also be required to communicate with a broad range of people, especially on commercial projects like hotels, restaurants, and retail stores.
Budgeting skills will also be required, especially when they enable you to provide your clients with an accurate idea of the level of service and the interior design they can receive for their budget. You might also like to work on your time management skills to bring projects to a successful conclusion on time and attention to detail for a picture-perfect outcome.
A passion for interior design doesn’t have to remain just a passion. With enough planning, education, and hard work, you might be able to embark on an entirely new career path that sees you able to tackle interior design projects for a living.
About the Author
Ronica Samuel: I began writing as a professional on my personal blog and then discovered my true calling, which is writing about technology, news and gadgets in general. I have been a technical writer, author, and blogger since 2010. I am an industry watcher who stays on top of the latest features and am extremely passionate about juicy tech news and anything related to gadgets.