Interior design is a vast area of study, making it a good career choice for aspiring professionals. This article will give you a step-by-step guide on how to become an interior designer and prosper in the field.
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How to Become an Interior Designer?
Before we understand how to become an interior designer, let us first figure out who an interior designer is? The answer is straightforward. An interior designer decorates different indoor and outdoor spaces with several designs, patterns, and aesthetic themes.
Moreover, they use various fabrics, paint, decorative pieces, lighting, etc., to do so. Using several design software and applications are also a part of their daily job. They have to stay updated on all the old and new design trends and tailor their work according to their customer needs.
Besides, interior designing is a fascinating career path for those interested in creative work and designing. These professionals can be employed by design firms, retails stores, or even by large corporations.
However, they have the utmost flexibility to work as self-employed designers and build their client base through various channels.
Therefore, aspiring professionals can choose this as an occupation if they are into design and decorating. Considering all these, the big question is, how to become an interior designer?
So, to answer that question, we will be mentioning 15 easy steps to become an interior designer and help you develop your dream career.
Step 01: Nourish Your Creative Skills.
Are you creative enough to become an interior designer? Well, it is not a very easy question to answer, to be honest. Human beings can not unlock their creativity unless they are exposed to something.
So, to understand yourself and your creative instincts even more, you have to put yourself out there in different situations and bring out your creative side.
You can take try working in any situation around you.
For example, if a particular section of your home looks very dull and backdated to you, try reforming it using your inner creativity. You could add some patterns or paintings to add some texture, for example.
However, you don’t need to restrict yourself to just redesigning open areas or spaces; you can also style a distinct look with choices of ornaments or other accessories.
Styling is also a form of creativity.
Therefore, if you nourish your creative skills and try to apply them to your daily routine, you can be a better interior designer in the future because practice makes a man perfect!
Step 02: Get Enrolled In An Interior Design Course.
To all of you who must be wondering that just being creative is sufficient to become an interior designer, you are wrong! Because this profession is more than just designing and decoration. It is a highly skilled profession, and for this, you would need an academic degree to help you get into this field in the UK.
Additionally, the academic degree would give you high-end professional training on using several design techniques and professional etiquettes.
So, how to get into interior design school? Getting into an interior design school in the UK is pretty simple. You can choose to get into both online and on-campus courses.
If you have a full-time job or are extremely busy attending the campus, you can kickstart your career in interior design by getting enrolled in a degree online.
Online Interior design course-Design Principles and Elements– this course can be a good option if you want to get the certification online. Lessons like these will teach you starting from basics such as different shapes and patterns, styling interior spaces and furniture styling to very advanced interior designing such as accumulating a new way to design software, coding practices and figures required for designing, colour theory, health issues, etc.
Apart from getting trained on the hard skills required in this profession, you would also learn new skills like project management, time management, client handling, researching design trends, and problem-solving. In addition, you will also become a master in IT skills required for an interior designer.
Therefore, a specialised and accredited interior design degree/certification would be a stepping stone in your career as an interior designer in the UK.
Step 03: Networking
Nothing works best in building industry-level connections compared to networking. Networking helps you get to know people working in the same industry and increases your chances of getting hired when you are ready.
For example, Word of mouth advertising plays a crucial role in selling yourself or a brand and getting recommendations later if you do an excellent job of convincing someone.
Also, you can start by going to different interior design seminars. If you are an introvert, you have to try to get out of your comfort zone and approach people there. Engage yourself in a meaningful conversation with industry giants as well as newbies like yourself.
In addition, setting up a professional profile on LinkedIn also helps you build connections. You can include all your experiences, certifications, etc. Employers and recruiters always have their eyes on LinkedIn. They approach new professionals based on their profile information.
Making friends at design schools is also a part of networking. If there are any opportunities available, they can reach out to you to build a good connection with them. It works vice versa.
Step 04: Stay Updated On Market Trends
If you are in a specific industry, you need to understand the market very well to operate effectively. So you need to start asking yourself market-specific questions and check if you know the answers.
For instance, some of these questions include-
- What are the current market trends?
- How to get into interior design with no experience?
- How to become an interior designer in the UK?
- Who are the industry giants?
- Are the developing companies building towers and building on the open spaces in your area? Which companies are actively hiring?
Therefore, practising this questionnaire with yourself would brush up your knowledge of the market even more. You can also research the answers that would remain unknown to you. You can explore big multimillion-dollar projects taking place in your region or even small renovation projects currently in the pipeline.
However, understanding the different types of projects, sectors, and areas of interior design work currently in the market would help you understand trends and figure out which route has been stable over the years. In addition, it will help you determine your short and long-term goals and assist you in understanding how to become an interior designer in the UK.
Step 05: Create A Strong Portfolio
It is a must for anyone getting into the field of creative design and art. After research different market trends and find out the industry hot topics, build up your professional portfolio, including all your ideas on specific areas.
Hence, it is highly recommended to include the designs and layouts that you have created so far. You do not need to worry if you don’t have any professional assignments from clients yet. You can decorate any space at your home using different techniques and patterns.
Also, you have to pour out all you know in that portfolio and make it look like a reflection of you. Your design portfolio can be in any form. It can be a simple PDF file or even a digital flipbook. If you want to be extra creative and do something out of the box, you can record a video showing all your work, and you can talk about everything you know on that video.
Besides, purchasing a domain and creating your website is also considered a great portfolio. But, again, you can take help from a web developer to assist you in designing your website.
Step 06: Recognize Your Niche.
The next step, after understanding a market and researching several industry-specific topics, you will need to identify your target market and your audience. You now have to figure out which areas you are more interested in.
For example, would you be more passionate about designing commercial complexes and residential complexes? Or you want to consider other options in mind, such as heritage sites, office spaces, venue designing, restaurants and coffee shops, etc.
Basically, figuring out your style of work also falls under recognising your niche. You can select a target audience group based on your type of design. For example, are you more into the vintage Victorian style or Bohemian style? Or are you someone who believes in modern and chic styles?
Also, you can design anything, literally. Be it designing your cousins’ wedding party venue or redecorating a nursing home. After you settle down on what type of style you want to go for or what sort of work you should look for, research your competitors if you are self-employed. Look at the prices they are offering for their services.
Additionally, if you want to work under a company as their interior designer, make a list of all the companies that go well with your areas of interest or expertise.
Step 07: Get A Job Or An Internship!
The whole idea of getting a degree, conducting market research, creating your professional portfolio, finding your niche and target customers come down to this particular step. Get hired! Start looking for available opportunities using different job sites such as Linkedin, Seek, Indeed, etc.
For this, you need to build up a professional resume with a convincing cover letter that included all your degrees and experiences. You can keep a design portfolio ready as well. Employees love it when they get to see your work at interviews.
Eventually, there are also several internship opportunities to be available for newbies. It can be either paid or unpaid. It doesn’t matter if it’s paid or unpaid at the beginning stages of your career because all you need is professional experience to start from somewhere.
In addition, you can also work as self-employed and offer complimentary work to friends and family. You can decorate your friend’s flat or even arrange your cousin’s birthday party. Take photos of these works and open your design page on social media.
These days, the most trending social networking sites are Instagram and Facebook, and they offer your followers or clients discounts.
Henceforth, most interior designers do a lot of freelance work for their clients. Therefore, if you can build up a good client base, you are good to go!
Step 08: Broaden Your Knowledge Base
Interior design as a profession is comprehensive, and it doesn’t only limit one specific sector. It is intertwined with other creative works such as interior architecture, art, fashion designing, styling, etc. All of these industries have a common factor that always goes hand in hand.
So, instead of restricting your research and understanding to just interior designing, look at the roles of architects or engineers in an interior design project. It will broaden your horizon, and you will have a big picture of the design and creative industry on the whole.
At the present time, broadening your knowledge will help you get more clients and offers because people want to work with professionals who have done their research effectively.
Your clients would want to look at the future rather than just living in the present. Getting to know about other design-related industries would help you predict a more transparent future model for your clients. You can also make designs based on anticipated future trends.
Step 09: Become A Brand Yourself
Build up your client base using social networking sites. It is also one way in which you can get into interior design without a degree. Make a public profile or page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Post lots of photos of designs by you, design sketches, and lots of industry-related information.
Clients love to see a colourful and neat social media page. So offer discounts or some free design ideas to attract clients to your business initially. It always works out well because who doesn’t like discounts or free services?
You should also live and try to connect with your clients to familiarise your brand and tell your stories and challenges. Besides that, post your photos and outfits ideas on your brand page. People are always interested in knowing about the main face behind a brand.
Step 10: Research On Marketing Techniques
Research on different marketing techniques and ideas to upscale in the industry of interior design. Point out the marketing techniques that work best for you and building your brand. This step also has a prominent role in teaching you how to become an interior designer and advertise yourself well.
Social media marketing is a huge platform to help businesses grow. You can even reach out to different influencers on Instagram and get them to make a video or give a review on your company because they have many followers.
If influencers post something about a brand, people are more likely to trust that brand. I follow many influencers on Instagram, and if they tag a brand on their profile, I at least check out their page or website.
Another effective way can be email marketing. For example, you can hand out design samples for free only if people subscribe to emails. You can then send emails to your subscribers and send them new designs, promotional news, or discount information.
There are many other marketing techniques; start researching and finding the best one for your brand!
Step 11: Work On Your Digital Skills.
Interior designers need to do a lot more than sketching and research. They need to use digital tools such as photoshop and several other software to finalise a design.
They have to use many computer-aided designs to make two-dimensional floor plans, 3D designs, understand different layouts, etc.
There is also building coding involved. It assists you in figuring out different construction techniques for doorways, staircase, light positioning, etc. This part of coding is also related to building architecture.
Interior designers also need to know graphic design to choose the colour pattern and choose the correct shadows and design graphics.
There need to be precise shadows, reflections and scaling; for this, most interior designers use drawing media such as charcoal pencils. Technical drafting pens are also used for their designs sometimes.
Step 12: Attend Design Seminars.
Attending seminars gives you good exposure to all the industry-related people and help you build connections. In addition, you can get all the industry-related updates through such seminars.
You can get new ideas for your brand, and if you are someone who would prefer to work with bug design companies, you can drop your resume and portfolio to different companies if they have any vacancies.
If you are an entrepreneur, you can also promote your brand by registering as a guest speaker if there is an option. It will help build publicity for your company, and if you are lucky, you might even get a few clients from there!
Step 13: Get Interview Ready!
Once you have your professional resume, cover letter and design portfolio ready, you are interview ready too! It is probably the most important and nerve-racking part. But, there are some specific things that you should always keep in mind before going for an interview.
Most employers want to see the real you outside your resume and cover letter. So, do your best to put out that fantastic personality and sell yourself with your words, experience and confidence at the interview.
Step 14: Be Flexible In Your Work
Your clients should be your priority always, especially when you are freelancing. Therefore, you should be flexible in making any adjustments to the designs whenever they ask for it. You should also give them a large variety of options to choose from.
Because, if you aren’t flexible enough and give them a hard time saying that “its too late for any changes”, they will be very unhappy. They might end up going to someone else who would provide more flexibility according to time and selection of designs.
Step 15: Keep Up That Smile And Confidence!
Last but not least, do not forget to smile! Smiling spreads a lot of positivity across and helps build a connection and empathy with one another.
No matter what happens in your personal or professional life, never lose that confidence in yourself. Confidence alone can take you to great heights.
Let us admit the fact that it is challenging to choose a career path in any field. Sometimes, it gets very daunting and mentally draining thinking about all the possibilities and risks that need to be taken.
Therefore, having a “to-do-list” ready beforehand wouldn’t cause you any harm, right?
These 15 easy steps explained in this article will help you prepare yourself and jump-start your career on how to become an interior designer and prosper in this field. You would be able to work on your flaws and work on your personal development too by reading this.