How To Become An Interior Designer
With more and more people focusing on improving the quality of their indoor lives, the need for more beautiful and functional homes is increasing. This, in turn, is leading to a need for interior designers who have an eye for converting a space into a more functional and aesthetically pleasing one. Creating beautiful homes has an art and science behind it – and that’s where an experienced interior designer steps in.
Interior designers have the ability to enhance the beauty of a space and create an ambient and functional environment so that the area becomes useful and purposeful. They conceptualize, manage, coordinate, research, and develop projects to create amazing living spaces. They need to learn all about design theory and the design process to offer their design services optimally.
Read also – How To Start An Interior Design Business?
Is it Necessary to Have an Interior Design Degree to Become an Interior Designer?
Professionally, one can study interior design to become a designer, but there are a lot of people without the degree who have a strong passion for design, an eye for detail, and love executing design projects. These days even social media and e-learning platforms help people hone their interior design skills and give them the confidence to work on interior design projects.
In the interior design industry, one doesn’t need to necessarily work with a firm – with the help of social media and digital presence, designers can even operate individually and grow their interior design practice.
So, to answer the question, yes, indeed, it is possible to become an interior designer without getting a degree in design. It is more about having the required skills and knowledge to land projects than simply having a degree.
In fact, many designers that have a degree but lack the knowledge and skills to gather enough experience are unable to work on projects and build a portfolio. While a degree is beneficial, it isn’t mandatory, especially if you are looking to get hired by a professional interior design company.
Image Credit: ellecordesign.com
8 Steps to Becoming an Interior Designer without a Degree:
A common myth in the interior design industry is the need to have a degree to practice design. The best part is, you can become an interior designer without having to go to college and get a degree in the field.
Here are some common steps that most people passionate about interior design take to build a career in the field.
1. Be Observant & Open to Learning
Young students don’t need to get into the interior design field fresh out of college – an individual can take up interior design at any age. One of the biggest traits that one must harbor is a thirst for knowledge and an eye for detail. Since the interior design industry is constantly evolving, you need to be observant and be open to learning new things.
Follow interior designers on social media channels, read about the latest insights and trends in the interior design industry, and pay attention to the world around you. Read more, visit museums and places of architecture, and constantly be inspired by what you see around you.
Read also – 8 Best Interior Design Colleges and Institutes
Image Credit: interiordesignonline.edu.au
2. Take up Short Courses
One of the most significant aspects of the world going digital is the availability of content everywhere. If you’re looking to become an interior designer or want to upskill yourself, instead of taking up a formal course, you can take up short courses such as diploma courses.
While you don’t need a formal degree, it is recommended that you have a diploma or certification so that your clients or stakeholders feel comfortable. A certificate will only add to your resume and credentials and open doors to more opportunities.
Read also – How To Get The Interior Design Certification?
Image Credit: cidq.org
3. Create a Portfolio
A crucial part of interior design is visualization, and what better way to show clients your work than through a portfolio? To establish a firm footing as an interior designer, take steps to build a personal interior design portfolio and branding.
You can do this by putting together photos of the recent projects you have worked on, creating sample boards, making AutoCAD drawings and sketches or hand drawings. Even if you don’t have projects to work on, use dummy prompts or take inspiration from the world around you to create designs for your portfolio. With the right portfolio, you can boost your chances of potential clients noticing you and hiring you as their preferred designer.
Image Credit: pinterest.com
4. Seek Internships or Formal Training
Another step to becoming a successful interior designer should involve finding experience. In the interior design industry, practice makes perfect, so it’s crucial for designers without any experience or background to build a portfolio once they finish their diploma or certification program.
Before officially marketing yourself as an interior designer, you need to take on full-time training and experience. A great way to do this is via apprenticeships, internships, or even entry-level jobs at interior design companies.
This will give you a holistic picture of what the job entails, aside from the designing aspects, and give you a chance to test your abilities and understand your potential. Finally, look for interior design jobs with a professional interior designer through channels like LinkedIn for more information.
5. Take up Projects
A great way to practice your interior design skills is through projects. The more projects you take up, the more your experience will widen. If you are starting, instead of taking up large-scale projects, try to take up smaller projects that you can easily handle with the given resources and time frame.
You can even speak to interior design firms and get them to outsource parts of their project for you to work on. Get hold of as many projects as you can to build up your experience and add to your resume and portfolio. Working on several projects will also help you better understand people in the industry, expectations, and resource utilization.
Read also – How To Create An Interior Designer Resume?
6. Learn to Use Tools & Resources
As an interior designer in this day and age, it’s important to know how to use CAD software, software for sketching and designing, hand-drawing, business management software to manage timelines, schedule meetings, and portfolio and website management software to ensure your physical and digital presence is constantly updated.
For the best 3D modeling and 3D printing software, head over to Foyr Neo. Here, you can use interior design software to instantly create 3D visualizations and realistic renders without spending much time. Create 3D floor plans for various types of projects, generate blueprints, and more.
Read also – 10 Essential Tools for Interior Designers
7. Upgrade and Upskill
As a designer, you should always have the thirst to upgrade and upskill yourself. In such a rapidly evolving world, you can never learn everything about being a designer – however, you can upskill yourself from time to time.
If you have a particular interest area such as sustainable design, or art-deco design, use social media channels to your advantage to learn from experienced designers in that space. Follow pages or create Pinterest boards to inspire yourself and convert that inspiration into action through your projects.
Pick up skills and learn how to use different software to your advantage. Start by making a list of your interest areas or areas you are eager to know more about, and build on those segments.
Read also – How To Learn Interior Design Software?
Image Credit: pwc.com
10 Steps to Start your Interior Design Business without a Degree:
1. Create a Logo
As an interior designer starting out, you should create a brand for yourself. This includes having a name and logo, which you can print on business cards and letterheads or use on your email signatures, website, and portfolio. A brand will help establish an identity or presence for you in front of clients.
2. Identify a Target Audience
While interior designers dabble in different kinds of homes, they need to have a niche. The niche can be sustainable homes or homes created with specific styles. By specializing, you can easily identify your target audience.
Do you want to work for corporations or residential projects? Is your niche in building smart homes or traditional countryside homes? Identify what you want to do to lock in your clients better.
Read also – How To Find Your Niche As An Interior Designer?
3. Go Digital
In today’s world, every interior designer needs to have an online presence. Create an interior design website and post content on your social media channels. The more photos you post, the more people will flock to you for inspiration and understand your capabilities to hire you.
4. Offer Free/Pro Bono Services
While you have to earn as a designer, in the start, you may have to offer your services for free. Look for projects where you can provide pro bono services, such as renovating or upgrading existing public spaces or homes where people have a limited budget.
5. Invest in Photos
For an interior designer, photos are everything. Designers need to invest in good tools to take realistic photos since these photos form part of the designer’s social media channels and portfolio. Great photos help clients to understand the designer’s abilities and prowess.
6. Attend Conferences & Events
If you are looking for ways to meet other designers and experts in the industry, attend conferences and events. Find out what the latest events are – this will help you get a strong insight into the industry’s latest news and updates. Conferences and events are also great places to meet experienced designers and clients.
Read also – 15 Best Interior Design Trade Shows
7. Market Yourself
Use marketing to your advantage through physical flyers you can distribute to your community and neighborhood or through digital flyers and advertisements. Invest in ads that help you generate revenue in the form of leads and clients.
8. Hone Your Knowledge
While we’ve discussed several ways to build your interior design knowledge, you can even take up interior design courses or the NCIDQ exam from the NCIDQ. The national council offers an associate degree that can help you gain more knowledge and solidify your understanding of the fundamentals of design.
9. Building Codes
One of the intricacies of being an interior designer is knowing not just about the aesthetics but also the building codes. While this may be taught to students in a degree program, you too can find all the information you need online or take up a course to learn about building codes in the area you want to operate in. Knowing building codes will give you an edge over other designers and help you think and operate within guidelines.
10. Learn Project Management
For a successful career in interior design, one of the primary technical skills required is knowing how to manage multiple projects. In the world of interior design, time is everything – clients want projects completed on time, and you need to liaise with several third parties to get work done on time.
Read also – Guide To Interior Design Project Management
Pick Up Fine Arts of Interior Design Without a Formal Education in Interior Design
Eager to become a successful interior designer? It’s not important to go to interior design school; instead, become an accredited interior decorator by honing your skills and building your experience.
You don’t have to get a bachelor’s degree or an interior design qualification from a reputed design school; you can work on nurturing your passion for design and build on your skill sets and work experience to get your interior design career started. If you’re looking for projects to work on, maybe start from your own home! You can become a successful interior designer without an interior design certification.
Learn how to use tools at Foyr Neo to improve your knowledge in the interior design industry. By combining the functionality of multiple tools in one platform we empower designers to spend less time with software and more time with their clients. You can try Foyr Neo free for 14-days now and experience the power of limitless design.