So, you’ve finished an eight hour marathon of House Hunters and you’re dying to dive into the world of interior design. Do you know how to begin the process of becoming a designer? There’s no one right way to do it, but there are plenty of tasks you can work on to make your dream a reality. Here are six things you need to accomplish to become an interior designer.
Although you don’t need a degree to do design work, becoming certified can help in a variety of ways. Taking a class in design can teach you all sorts of important tips and tricks that you might not learn on your own. You can also meet fellow designers and workshop your ideas with them to improve your design habits. And, of course, holding a certificate in design shows your potential clients that you’re skilled and professional.
Practice Makes Perfect
Just like athletes must train to become better at their sport, an interior designer has to practice their own skills at home. Take a look around your house and see if there’s anything about the decor and layout that could use some updating. You might be able to install new curtains or re-upholster an old chair, making your home look better and honing your skills at the same time.
Know Your Materials
Particularly with a client, it would look pretty bad if an interior designer wasn’t familiar with a certain material. To work in home design, you have to know the difference between velour and velvet, and whether a window would benefit more from curtains or from blinds. You need to spend a lot of time studying the various materials you can use in your designs, learning the best way to use them in a home.
Design for Friends
You probably won’t find a lot of work right off the bat. The best way to gain experience and references is to volunteer your services to friends and family. Help them redecorate their living rooms and pick out the best area rug for their kitchen. You might not make any money, but if you do a good job, your friends will definitely tell everyone they know about your design capabilities.
Build a Portfolio
If you’re going to seek design jobs, you’ll need to put together a portfolio of your previous work. Take photos of every project you finish, no matter how big or small, and keep them together in a professional folder (or better yet, a website). This way your potential clients will be able to see what you’re capable of and get a good idea of what kind of design they can expect from you.
Befriend the Suppliers
It helps to have friends in high places. Get to know your local suppliers of furniture, flooring, and other design materials. If you can establish a rapport with local business owners, you’ll pick up some more references for your portfolio, and you may even be able to buy materials at a discounted price.
Like any other goal, becoming an interior designer takes a lot of work. If you follow these steps and really dedicate yourself to the task, it’s only a matter of time before you’re expressing your ideas in homes all over town.