Many individuals are interested in interior design as a career option but struggle to make the right decisions and find the right process to follow. Most people can’t figure out the starting point of their career and need someone to guide them along the way.
If you think that becoming an interior designer is an easy way to make money or does not require much effort, you absolutely misunderstand the entire thing. If you wish to become a professional and successful interior designer, you should be willing to go the extra mile.
How to become a good interior designer? That’s something many people wish to know. The conventional process that leads you to become a good and professional interior designer requires appropriate education, job experience, practice, and clearance of NCIDQ examination, which is well recognized and well accepted.
If you need to know about the path to interior designing, then you are reading the right article. This guide contains the basic idea that you should have before stepping into interior design and will help you see a clearer picture.
Process of Becoming a Professional Interior Designer
1. Ask Yourself the Right Questions
Many people interested in interior design do not know much about it as a career, but those who know are often confused about their decision. Deciding on a career for yourself can be a tough choice to make, but with some soul searching and a few good sessions of career counseling, you can easily make up your mind about your future.
Many of you who have a basic sense of design but lack professional education and experience might think of it as an impossible option as a career. Well, before you terminate the idea of becoming an interior designer, why don’t you analyze yourself by answering some of these questions?
- What Do You Really Want To Do?
Before you throw yourself into a profession, it’s always important to know if that is what you really want to do. Ask yourself if you are doing it for the sake of money or pressure from your parents, peers, etc. Pursuing a profession is mostly a long-term commitment that can become quite unpleasant if you don’t seem to enjoy it. This can lead to problems and inconvenience for both you and your clients or boss. Therefore, you need to be sure about choosing the right fit for yourself.
- Do You Have the Basic Sense of Design?
Another big deciding factor than wanting to become an interior designer is possessing a basic sense of interior design. This does not have anything to do with your education or professional experience; it’s just about the reasons that lead to your interest in interior design.
For instance, when you enter a room or office and involuntarily start redesigning that place in your head, that’s one sign. If you are good at differentiating between various shades of colors, that’s a good trait as well.
Not having any of these qualities does not mean that you are not cut out for interior design. It just means that you have to get a little more interested and involved in it.
- Are you willing to do what it takes?
A basic requirement in pretty much every profession is that you need to put on your best show every single time you go out there. The same thing goes for interior design as well. To become a successful interior designer, you need to check a few boxes.
This profession requires you to interact with several new and familiar people to build contacts and get your name out there. It will help you in building your career and gather clients.
2. A Proper Education Always Help
Let’s begin with the question we get a lot. Can you become an interior designer without a degree? Answering that question on a practical basis, one does not need to have a degree to become an interior designer. It is as simple as that. But even though you can go for it without a degree, it is always better to prepare and polish your skills a little.
The more you know, the better it is. You will also have much more confidence in yourself if you know everything in the books. Another good and simple reason to go through the whole process is to earn more acceptance from your clients.
Most people prefer hiring designers with a degree to ensure desired outcomes. All interior design institutes offer different programs for their students. With enough knowledge about each of these programs and their courses and contents, you can easily decide which one is the most suitable for you.
- Quick Courses
If you are just looking to learn the basics and sharpen your skills, there are a variety of short cases that will help you gain both knowledge and skills. Many online courses and workshops offer you some quick and important tips that will help improve your craft.
These are also short courses but a little more extensive than ordinary workshops and quick courses but less broad than a degree program. Most interior design diplomas take almost a year to finish off, which offer you a wider stance at interior design. There are many great schools and institutions that provide interior design diplomas and can be pretty helpful for boosting your career.
- Higher Education
Higher education plays an important part in making you an expert in the field and fills you with confidence and professionalism. Many interior designing schools offer a wide range of courses to their students that help them shape their careers better.
The usual length of most of these undergraduate programs is about three to four years, following a specialization if you require. Many foundation courses are also accessible before beginning the undergraduate program.
There are some amazing schools for interior design that you should look into if you are looking for a suitable program. For instance, Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, Georgia), Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), New York School of Interior Design, Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York), Drexel University (Philadelphia), Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, Rhode Island), and The New School, Parsons School of Design (New York) are some of the notable places that offer a degree in interior design.
3. Extra Set of Skills
Proper education can make it easier for you to survive in this field, but with the help of some additional skills, you can excel at your job. These are not some complex or out-of-the-world skills; in fact, they are a bunch of basic techniques and abilities that you should possess.
- A Good Eye for Creativity and Details
One of the most essential elements that will help you as an interior designer is your creativity and imagination. All your clients will not like the same designs or agree with the same choices, and that is where your creative side comes in.
Choosing the right and most appropriate design for each client and fulfilling their needs can be achieved only if you tap into your creative zone. Not many schools and mentors teach you how to be creative. It is something that you learn with time, practice, and experience, except the ones who are naturally gifted.
- Artistic, Drawing, and Sketching Skills
If you think that you need to have extraordinary drawing and sketching abilities to become an interior designer, don’t panic because it’s not necessarily a requirement. Even with poor drawing skills, several designers make it to the top because of all the other amazing talents and abilities they own.
But again, having artistic mastery can never go in vain, especially if you are a designer. All it does is intensify the value of your work and impress the clients. Even though most interior designers use computer-based design programs these days to help make their designs visually appealing and understandable for the clients, they should still be able to produce good designs with the help of pencil and paper.
- Organization and Management Skills
Many people think of interior designing as an easy career choice, and even though it is enjoyable and fun, there’s nothing easy about it. One of the most fundamental qualities that a good interior designer must have is proper organization.
In order to accomplish your goals by completing your projects timely, it is important to plan and organize everything efficiently. It is also essential for you to keep your client’s budget in mind while designing the place; otherwise, it may become difficult to handle if you are not well-organized.
This is why designers are expected to be well-prepared and well-organized to avoid uncertain blunders and errors during the projects.
4. Communicating and Making Contacts is the Real Game
Many beginners enter the market with the idea of getting great jobs and big clients right away. Well, it’s not always that simple. It’s better to start slow and progress gradually. A common problem that many beginners face is not knowing where to start from and the lack of contacts. Both these problems are big enough and can lessen your enthusiasm and energy.
Many of you don’t realize that your first clients do not have to be big and prominent. When you are looking for clients far away, the solution can actually be around you.
Communicating and engaging with your friends, family, relatives, neighbors, any local businesses and organizations can be a good first step towards a bright future. Designing for the people you know or by starting small, you can learn a lot about yourself and your skills and improve them for your next projects.
If you were thinking of pursuing interior design as a career but didn’t know much about it, we hope we could guide you towards the right path. It can be fun, exciting, and offer a great deal of money. However, nothing comes without a price, which is why you will need to work as hard as you can with dedication and creativity.