What Does An Interior Designer Do?
There are few careers as fun, exciting, and creatively stimulating as Interior Design. If you have a flair for arts and design, an eye for quality materials, and constantly find your friends commenting on just how great your living room looks, then an interior design career might be for you.
If you are looking to get your start, our Interior Design Online Course is the perfect gateway to starting your own small business where you can turn your talents into a lucrative and fulfilling career. Not convinced that you have the skills? Read on to learn what your future in the interior design field might look like.
What does an interior designer do?
Interior designers are experts at creatively combining colors, materials and furnishings, fixtures, plant life, and artwork to create an experience within a space. A talented interior designer can transform a small, simple space into a cozy retreat or even a vibrant work area that encourages productivity.
Interior designs typically work with individual clients to fulfil a brief for a space or room. Clients who hire an interior designer might be homeowners or corporations, and their briefs might be very specific or open for artistic interpretation.
The spaces that you might work on could be simple indoor areas in a home building, hotel lobbies, colleges and universities, restaurants or bars, lavish mansions, hospital waiting rooms, or corporate offices. There are many design specialisms such as healthcare designers, or kitchen and bath designers.
Whatever the size or type of building that you’re working on, you’ll be asked to create aesthetically pleasing and functional designs that fulfil your client’s needs and wants.
What are the responsibilities of an interior designer?
The primary responsibility in interior design and the most important part of a designer’s job is meeting with clients and consulting their ideas, requirements, and resources, and then using your knowledge and skills to deliver a final design and achieve their goals. Understanding the client’s brief for a space is critical to delivering a successful result, so your communication with the client is essential to a productive working relationship.
Interior designers usually select and determine all the elements that define a space, including but not limited to colour schemes, furniture, fixtures, lighting, and interior decoration. All of this needs to match a client’s budget; you might be asked to select high-end furnishings, or find quality bargains to make the most of a tighter budget.
You’ll have to consider the layout of a room, its functionality, who will be using the space, and safety considerations. Interior designers should be familiar with building codes and local inspection regulations. You should also know how to read blueprints, as you may end up working with an architect and builder to determine fixed elements of a space plan, like dimensions of interior spaces, entrances and exits, windows, power outlets, walls, or stairs.
Many interior designers use computer programs to create draft plans for approval by the client. Computer aided design (CAD) software helps clients envision what the space could look like and reflect on the design prior to commencing the project. These programs can also help you develop suggested layouts, draft project timelines, and estimate costs for materials and furnishings. Design plans are also an important part of documenting the project and overseeing the installation of your chosen design elements.
What is a mood board in interior design?
Before jumping into wallpaper selections, tap fixtures, and window dressings, you’ll want to make sure you have a firm grasp on the client’s requirements. Not only do you need to understand what they want and need from a space, but also what their style is.
The best way to get a sense of the design style is to create a mood board. A mood board can capture your artistic vision by helping determine color, form, space and scale, texture, pattern, and light. You can include paint color swatches, material samples, descriptive words, illustrations or photos; anything that helps capture your concept and convey those feelings to a client.
These elements will help you choose appropriate materials, hero pieces, and colour schemes to tell a story and create an experience, and make sure your designs meet the brief. Your mood board can also consider balance, repetition, emphasis, proportions, and harmony to ensure a cohesive design.
With experience, you’ll develop your own style and aesthetic that you can bring to clients. You might find yourself favoring a minimalist aesthetic, or leaning towards Scandinavian style, or even using raw materials in industrial design.
Interior design pathways
An interior designer usually isn’t just running around improving people's living rooms; there are numerous pathways you can take to lead a unique and exciting lifestyle. Formal training programs in interior design accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation are located all over the US if you want to study for a formal interior design qualification. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification is the industry’s most recognized indicator of proficiency and professionalism.
Some interior designers head into set design in the film industry where your skills can be put to use in anything from a Manhattan apartment to an alien labyrinth. Others move into kitchen design in the commercial restaurant industry. That spectacular hotel lobby you saw on your last holiday? Every last detail was planned by an expert interior designer who knew how to create a welcoming space.
According to the US Department of Labor’s occupational outlook handbook, the average interior designer salary is $56,000. International interior designs licenses may be required to work in other countries. No matter where you look though, there’s a place for an interior designer to add their creative and productive flair and enrich the lives of others.
Interior design niches
As you grow your career and develop your own sense of style, you may want to consider working specifically in a niche area. You’ll develop a deep understanding of your key clientele and be able to advertise your expertise in a smaller job market.
1. Corporate design
Corporate designers create practical and professional workspaces. Your brief for a corporate client might include using the company’s brand in the design, or creating a particular mood within the environment. It might involve designing an office, boardroom, or reception area. You need to make sure that your designs reflect the work that happens in that space and it is both efficient and functional.
Are you designing for a collaborative team that needs to be in close contact? What kind of equipment do the workers use and how much space do they need? What kind of impact do they want their reception area to give? Consider space, light, noise, and the well-being of the employees. A well-designed workplace can be a pleasure to use and result in more productivity and efficiency for the company.
2. Sustainable design
Sustainable interior design is a growing field that focuses on having a low environmental impact. This may include improving heating and cooling systems, reducing energy consumption and waste, creating efficient use of space, and using recycled or environmentally friendly materials. These design principles can be applied to personal, commercial, or industrial spaces. Building contractors for commercial and industrial businesses are interested in sustainable buildings that are sustainable and cost efficient to run.
Many countries now offer certification and formal training in green design and this can show clients your commitment and experience in designing sustainable spaces.
3. Universal design
Universal designs refers to the accessibility of spaces for all people. The best designed spaces mean that they can be used by as many people as possible, regardless of their age, mobility, or special needs.
Creating flexibility and equity in a space means that it can be used by the elderly, people with special needs, or even parents with strollers. Everyone should be able to use and access the space safely and securely. For example, this might mean signs or directions in a hotel lobby should be available in written, verbal, and tactile forms.
Designing a space with principles of universal design will go a long way to ensure you are not excluding anyone from participating in that space.
Study an Interior Design Online Courses at Courses For Success
Does all that sound like your dream career? You might already be wondering how to take the first steps in starting your first interior designed project or if there’s an interior design program for you.
You can start right now with your own home. Pick a space, perhaps the lounge, living, or dining room in your own house. Have a go at elevating the space and flexing your artistic ability to reflect your own personal style.
You can also sign up for our comprehensive Interior Design Online Course. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get your start in the design business and become an interior designer. The course has been specifically designed to help you build your skillset AND your confidence so that when it comes to sprucing up your coworker's travesty of a lounge room you’ll be ready to go.