What it takes to become an interior designer

September 4, 2021 0 Comments

The desire to become an interior designer does not only arise when searching for an answer to the question ‘where to study after school’. The decision to change careers can come to a person at any age. Interior design is a relatively young field and today good specialists in this sphere are in great demand.

What does an interior designer do

To think that the designer only draws a pretty picture is a big mistake. The work of a designer consists of many stages:

Searching for an order, finding out from the potential client what needs to be done.

Meeting with the customer, making competent technical specification, on the basis of which then creates a design project.

Project development: measurement of space, search for several options for the concept, the selection of furniture and finishing materials for each of them. Once the customer has chosen a specific idea, the designer draws a series of plans, which are subsequently used by builders and repairers.

During designer’s supervision, the designer collaborates with the team, and ensures that the work is in accordance with the design.

Furnishing – help to client in furniture purchasing.

Decorating the room.

Delivery of the project.

Where to start training

To become an interior designer from scratch, you need to master a range of knowledge and skills. There are several ways of training.

Learning the profession on your own

There are many video tutorials (paid and free) on the internet about the work of an interior designer. You can read relevant books. But there are many disadvantages to mastering the material on your own. No one is controlling you and you will only be able to understand what mistakes have been made in the process. The journey on your own is long and complicated.

Interior design courses

You can become an interior designer from scratch by taking a interior design course, such as this one https://intcareersch.co.uk/interior_design. In a few months, professionals will tell you how to organise your work and what you need to know and be able to do. You can choose several complementary areas: the basics of the profession, software lessons, colour courses and so on.

It is important not to “drown” in the variety of training programs and not to become a perpetual student, and did not start to work.

Assistant interior designer

It is a rare but very good practice to work under a professional without any experience. It is rare because designers do not often take on apprentices due to lack of time. But if you are lucky enough to find one, you will learn it quickly, doing mostly hands-on work.

Institutes offer different lengths of training and levels of education – from courses to master’s degrees. Check the institutions’ websites for up-to-date information on costs, admission requirements and other details.

When choosing a course or institute of higher education, look at the programmes by field of study. If you are studying to become an interior designer from scratch, make sure that the programme includes the basics of the profession.

To get a good grounding, you will need to study for at least a year.

What an interior designer must know

Do you have to be able to draw?

Ideally, yes. But modern programs allow you to neglect this skill. Nevertheless, if you know the basics of drawing, it will be easier for you to understand composition, colour techniques and other things that can be useful when designing an interior.

Computer programs

The most common programs and applications are:

  • Autodesk Homestyler;
  • Autodesk 3ds Max;
  • Google SketchUp;
  • 3D Room Planner;
  • Sweet Home 3D.
  • ArchiCAD;
  • AutoCAD;

Some dealers and manufacturers produce their own applications in which the interior is designed using catalogue products and the cost of all objects is determined at once.

Specifics of renovation and construction work

If your first degree is in engineering, it will be easy for you to develop drawings and design the interior in relation to the technical features of the building. But if you have another trade, you need to master at least the basics of construction.

Lighting design

Knowing how to incorporate light into a room is one of the big demands on designers. And in modern projects, it is not enough just to hang a chandelier and wall lamps. Light can also be used to create moods, to influence emotions.


Do not prevent a successful business knowledge of the basics of marketing and management, accounting, psychology and other specialties. Do not need to own them to perfection – all will develop with experience, but it’s better to start with some “baggage”.

How to start work

After training is sure to be a question, how to start work as an interior designer from scratch. There are several options.

Personal assistant

As mentioned above, you can try to get an apprenticeship with a design practitioner. It’s easier to do this after training, then it’s easier for both you and the craftsman to collaborate. And in practice, you will quickly learn the basics and avoid a lot of mistakes.


A formal introduction to the studio will also help you get up to speed quickly. You’ll need to spend time in a low-paying, routine, beginner’s job. But surrounded by experienced colleagues, you’ll see how you should proceed in your chosen field.

On your own

Starting out on your own is the hardest step. You will learn the profession by trial and error. It is difficult to start without a portfolio and a mentor. Not easy to find and the first orders.

Many people start their careers with partners. You will support each other. Over time, the partnership will break down, but you will have built up a portfolio and gained some experience.

How to find your first commissions from scratch

If you decide to work as an independent interior design course from scratch, it is better to “practice” on their friends and relatives. People do renovations often. And some of your friends are puzzling over the design of the flat. Tell them that you can help, develop a design project for them, accompany the purchase of furniture. The result can already be put in the portfolio.

Next, word of mouth will do the trick. This is the main channel for attracting clients for all designers, regardless of experience.

Additionally, attract advertising in print media and social networks. Make your own website – modern website builders allow you to do this. If you initially involve SEO-optimizer who will think through a strategy of developing a website, then a year later your online resource can get into the top of search engines. The site will begin to work for you and attract customers.

In general, if you are motivated and organized person, if you want to become an interior designer, everything will work out. Consistently learn all the necessary skills, think through your business strategy, and over time you will recoup your investment in professional development, make a profit and enjoy your new profession.