Contrary to the laymen’s thinking, the interior design profession is much beyond a simple home-makeover job. It is a more creative and aesthetic practice. It encompasses a broad range of allied disciplines and skills that are to be perfected, as you enroll for a graduate interior designing course. Interior designing acts as a link between the architecture and the users of space.
A creative play of volume, scale, colour, texture, acoustics and construction materials unfolds the phenomenal talent of interior designing at transitioning a blank space into a sophisticated living room, endearing bedroom or a tasteful Kitchen. There are many aspiring interior designers from a wide-range of subject areas that are part of an interior design cohort, including furniture design, scenography, fine art and landscape design. Individuals who have completed their vocational training in interior designing have proved to be hardworking researchers. They carefully study the needs and objectives of the client and conceive excellent design plans. They have the potential to perform spatial management with ease and perform exceedingly well within the budgetary considerations of the client.
Exploring Interior designing as a career in and out
If you have an eye for design and detailing, pragmatism and passion to beautify spaces without compromising their functionality, Interior Designing could be your future! More than often it’s been debated about talent being a natural gift or a learned art. May be you are bursting at the seams with the natural talent, but then if you are serious about pursuing interior designing as your career, consider getting formal training in the subject. Especially with this career now unfolding into wider applications and opportunities world wide, as countries like US and Canada require Interior Designers to have license from National Council for Interior Design Qualifications (NCIDQ) to pursue it as a career. Hence the foremost step towards becoming an Interior Designer would be to –
Zero-in to a training school:
There is plethora of Designing schools offering courses that vary from a one year diploma course to a full-fledge four year degree program. Take time to do your own research, short-list schools that suit your requirement, taste and budget. Meet the faculty to know the program well and schedule some time to also meet up with students who have finished their training and have found jobs. This will ensure that you have taken an informed decision.
Decorator versus Designer
While you are pursuing your research on the schools, also start weighing your choices and deciding your aptitude plus inclination towards being a Decorator or a Designer. Well, what is the difference between an Interior Designer and a decorator? Until you have decided to make Interior Designing or decorating as your career, this ignorance is forgiven!
In simplest terms interior decorating is just one of the aspects of the Interior designing. While decorating implies application of finishes, including fabrics, wallpaper, draperies, furniture etc, Interior Designing encompasses wider aspects like creatively resolving difficulties pertaining to spaces, functionality and ensuring the quality of the interior environment. As an Interior designer, you also get trained to create designs by employing specialized knowledge about construction, material, building codes, furnishing et al.
With the knowledge of the scope offered by both the careers, getting started by a diploma course in decorating and finding your feet in the field first would be your top priority. Moving on to pursue a degree in designing would also be a wise bet.
Getting the job
Lets’ drop all the pretensions and face the fact that the economy all over the world is facing a downturn. For sure, it will rise back but not without it’s share of job cuts, closing down of businesses and deflated profits. One of the best ways to survive bad economy is to save your old contacts and build new!
Contacts here implies, networking with placement agencies, your faculty, websites offering jobs etc. There would be time when you will have to decide if you want to work for an Interior designing firm or freelance. But till you decide, ensure that you keep your eyes and ears open to the job opportunities in the field. Never think that you have to finish all your formal training before you apply for a job.
Remember, you win only if you play. So, play all your cards! Explore exhaustive opportunities by following few simple start-up tips:
- Write online articles on Interior designing;
- Work in an Interior designing firm in the purchase department;
- Work as an intern under a designer who is willing to mentor you;
- Participate in the talent show organized by established Interior designers.
Do not fear to start small. Have your eyes on your ultimate goal and keep your feet grounded. With all the experience that you will gather by the time you would finish the training; you will be literally armed with all the insider’s knowledge of the dynamic designing industry.
Is Interior Designing the right career path for you?
Despite the fact that the Interior Designing doesn’t seems to be as alluring and popular as the other parallel designing careers like fashion designing, jewelery designing etc, we do have a great number of Interior designers who are making an excellent living. They are living their dreams by making simple places look beautiful and making beautiful places functional. It’s amusing how this one career has not caught our eye and attention for so many years now.
On the other extreme, each one of us has an interior designer within us, who may not be as wholesome. But we can take the credit of a streak at least. Haven’t you ever noticed yourself, rearranging your room, shuffling the furniture and then taking an angled look at it to ensure if you got it done right? It is when this streak matches the ability and efficiency to balance aesthetics with functionality that one can say that -”I have it in me to become an Interior designer!” Of course there is formal training in picture, but it is all out there- the schools to train you, agencies to give you license and the people to hire you. But before you take the plunge, take a small informal test rather question and answer round to figure out, if you would like to make living by becoming an Interior designer or not. So here you go — All in all, there are two sets of characteristics you need to analyze – technical and non-technical.
Let’s begin with the simpler but equally important non-technical part first.
Are you full of creativity adorned with practicality?
This is one indispensable quality needed to be a good Interior designer. Not only should you be able to visualize possibilities, but also turn them into functional tangibilities. You have to be unique yet pragmatic in your approach to designing spaces.
Do you possess reasonably good problem-solving skills?
It almost sounds like you have to be a counselor. Yes, it is close to that. As an interior designer you have to be capable of perceiving the problems related to organizing spaces, furniture, fixtures, lighting etc. More than often, you would be hired not to design the place from the scratch, but to solve your client’s problems, like cluttered spaces, unorganized interiors, inappropriate environment amounting to health hazards and among other risks.
Are you organized and good at Multi-tasking?
As an interior designer you will be working with people from a vast range of occupations, including construction, painting, electricity and at times even government authorities.
Coming to the technical aspect of it, as mentioned before, you would have all the training schools out there. But once you pick the best one and enroll yourself for the training, ensure that you acquire these qualities during the training –
Conducting environmental analysis
This will teach you to weigh the pros and cons of the place you would design. In the process, you might have to create spaces or remove obstacles to ensure smooth execution of your designing plan.
Though you don’t have to be an expert at this, as you will have electrician backing you throughout; but you need to have your basics right and clear. Training will teach you the basics of installing lights and fixtures, coordinating the lighting with the colour of walls, furniture and so on.
Learning how plumbing and pipeline structure works
Especially working with places like kitchen and bathroom would be most challenging. Any major change in the structure of the place will most certainly invite changes in the plumbing and pipeline too.
Having gone through the most important characteristics from both technical and non-technical views, you should be able to assess yourself for this competitive yet rewarding career. Good luck!