There is no one definitive path to becoming an interior designer. However, there are some basic steps that anyone interested in the field should take. The first step is to get a general idea of what interior design is and what it involves. Next, you need to acquire the necessary skills and training. Finally, you need to find a job or start your own business.
Table of Contents
- What Is Interior Design?
- What Do Interior Designers Do?
- Skills and Knowledge Needed
- What Training Do Interior Designers Need?
- Steps to Becoming an Interior Designer
What Is Interior Design?
Interior design is the process of shaping the interior environment of space. This can include everything from selecting furniture and finishes to planning the layout of a room. Interior designers must have a strong understanding of both aesthetics and function in order to create spaces that are both beautiful and functional.
What Do Interior Designers Do?
Interior designers typically do the following:
- Plan and design interior spaces
- Select furniture and finishes
- Coordinate with other professionals, such as architects and builders
- Manage projects
- Advise clients on how to maximize the functionality of their spaces
- Create mood boards and samples to help clients visualize their designs
- Stay up to date with the latest design trends
Interior designers often work on a variety of projects, including:
- Residential spaces, such as homes and apartments
- Commercial spaces, such as offices and restaurants
- Healthcare facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes
- Educational facilities, such as schools and universities
- Retail stores
- Public spaces, such as airports and train stations
Skills and Knowledge Needed
In order to become an interior designer, you need to have a mix of artistic and technical skills. Some of the key skills you need are:
- Drawing and visualization skills. You need to be able to create sketches and renderings of your designs.
- Technical skills. You need to be able to understand architectural plans and construction documents. They need to be able to use software programs and other technical tools.
- Creativity. They need to be able to come up with creative solutions to design challenges.
- Space-planning skills. You need to be able to visualize how a space will function and plan the layout accordingly.
- Design principles. You need to understand the principles of design, such as balance, proportion, and symmetry.
- Color theory. You need to understand how different colors can affect a space.
- Material knowledge. You need to be familiar with different types of materials and their properties.
- Furniture and fixture knowledge. You need to know about different styles of furniture and fixtures and how to use them in a design.
In order to develop these skills, you need to have formal training in interior design. There are many schools that offer degree and diploma programs in the field. You can also find shorter courses and workshops that will help you improve your skills.
What Training Do Interior Designers Need?
In order to become an interior designer, you need formal training in the field. Interior designers need training on construction documents and specifications, codes and standards, furniture, finishes, materials and products, space planning, lighting design, color theory, and contract administration.
The type of training you need depends on the type of work you want to do. If you want to work for a design firm, you will need a degree or diploma in interior design. If you want to start your own business, you may need a more general design degree that allows you to specialize in interior design later on.
If you do not have formal training, there are still ways to get involved in interior design. There are many online courses and workshops that you can take, and there are also many books and articles on the subject. You may also want to consider getting a job in a related field, such as architecture or construction, and then specialize in interior design later on.
No matter what type of training you choose, it is important to keep up with the latest trends in the industry. Interior designers need to be familiar with the latest styles and technologies to be successful. You can do this by reading design magazines, attending trade shows, and networking with other professionals in the field.
Steps to Becoming an Interior Designer
1. Earn a Degree in Interior Design
A degree will help you knock on the door of many interior design companies, although it is not a must. The most common degree interior designers have is a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design (BSID) from a school accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA). A degree in architecture, product design or engineering may also help you get started in the field.
Some designers also have a Master of Interior Design (MID), which can help you move up the ladder in your career.
2. Pass the National Council for Interior Design qualification exam
The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) is a qualification that is recognized by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), and other professional organizations.
In order to take the exam, you must have a degree or diploma in interior design from an accredited school, as well as two years of professional experience. The exam is three hours long and consists of 100 questions.
This qualification will help you show potential employers that you have the necessary skills to do the job, making it an excellent starting point for an interior design career.
3. Get Some Experience
Most interior design jobs require some level of experience. You can get this experience by working for a design firm, starting your own business, or freelancing.
It is important to have a solid portfolio that showcases your work. This will help you stand out from the competition and land a job in the field.
4. Look For Continuing Education Opportunities
To stay competitive in the interior design industry, it is important to continuously learn new skills and technologies to get some professional certifications in your area of expertise.
Some professional certifications are a must if you want to enter in a specific niche, such as health care interior design or restaurant interior design.