If you’ve got a strong passion for DIY and interiors, pursuing a career in interior design could be something you’re keen to learn more about. Today we’ll be digging deeper into what life as an interior designer looks like so you can decide if it’s a career for you or if you rather want to opt for something that needs less education like for example working in home staging.
Interior design is a demanding and multi-faceted role. Amongst a lot of technical knowledge that is required (like knowing how to produce correct technical drawings), you’ll be responsible for space planning, health and safety, project management, procurement and creating the finishing touches like accessorising the space. There is so much technical work and planning involved it’s even been dubbed the UX of the real world.
If, on the other hand, you prefer the softer aspects of design and are all about the finishing touches, you might want to consider working in home staging. Home staging is all about making a space look as good as it possibly can by moving existing furniture around, perhaps changing the colour of a wall or two, changing window treatments, decluttering, or adding or changing accessories and soft furnishings.
Often home stagers work with Estate agents to make a property more saleable, but they can also work for private clients who do not want to change too much and just need a little advice about colour and soft furnishings.
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Both home stagers and interior designers need to have some creative skills up their sleeve. As an interior designer, it’ll be your responsibility to come up with innovative ways to make the most out of the space you’re given and make it functional in both a spatial and aesthetic manner.
You’re going to have to possess great communication skills so your vision is understood by your client, planners, architect and anyone else working on the role and your teamwork/organisation skills also need to be top-notch.
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Specialities of an interior designer
There are also more job-specific skills that an interior designer must possess.
Space planning will be an integral part of your role. Not only does space needs to look good, but it must also serve a purpose. You’ll need to use zoning techniques to plan where each activity will take place and consider flow, accessibility and ergonomics to all areas without cluttering space.
This brings us to the need for technical designing abilities. You’ll need to be fluent in the use of CAD so you can draw up some to scale 2D and 3D plans for space and discuss them with your client.
As an interior designer, you’re also going to be responsible for project management to ensure that from the concept of the design to the completion of the installation, everything remains on schedule and get into the nitty-gritty of everything. A successful project will have meticulous planning behind it. You’ll need to come up with a thorough ‘specification of works’ so that the whole team is on the same page and you all know what needs to be completed. Coordination and management of contractors like plumbers, plasterers, joiners and electricians are all part of your project management.
Finally, FF&E will help complete the space. Some may consider FF&E as the role of the home stager, however, we disagree. FF&E has to be functional and practical for the end-user, which is why it often falls under the role of the interior designer so that they can build furnishings into their design. This means that as a designer, you’ll need to attend all client meetings to ascertain their requirements for the space. FF&E can make or break the whole aesthetic of a space so it is important that you know everything that there is to know about the quality and technical ability of all the furniture, fixtures and equipment that you propose.
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As you can see, based on the special skills required to be an interior designer, a qualification or at least a foundation degree and experience in the field is a must.
Our courses cover a broad range of topics that allows students to get all-rounder skills and choose what do they want to specialize in or start their own interior design business. Whether you are looking to upskill or start a new career, our industry-recognized courses will help you succeed!
Image credit: British Academy of Interior Design.
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