Interior designing is the art of developing interiors, which are aesthetically appealing, technically sophisticated and satisfying the needs of the customer. Interior designers need to be creative, imaginative and artistic. They also need to be disciplined, organized, skilled and scientifically inclined. Interior design falls within the broader category of design - the professional area of activity concerned with planning and developing a wide variety of objects and spaces.
It includes the planning and design of spaces for commercial, industrial and institutional uses. This guide to an interior design career will throw light on the interior designer profession. Find out the qualifications that are needed and the gamut of activities that are involved.
Interior Design Career
Interior designers are certified professionals who work to design internal environments that are pleasant, comfortable and functional. Some designers exclusively handle big projects like hotels, airports, major office buildings or interiors of theme parks. Others help clients in decorating their private homes. Designers prepare plans and other specifications for interior construction, furnishings, colors and lighting.
This has to be done keeping in mind the client's tastes, budgets and other requirements. Nowadays many designers use computer-aided designing methods to plan their layouts, as they are more precise and add color to their imaginations. At the end of the planning phase, they present their designs to the client for approval and make requested changes to their plan. 3-D presentations, scaled dimensional space plans and animated walkthroughs allow an interior designer to present design ideas more effectively to the clients.
It is also essential that the plans meet state laws, including building codes. So it is imperative that an interior designer keeps pace with the regulations and requirements of the state. The design plans need to conform to structural requirements, health and safety issues and building codes.
Skills for a successful interior decorator
- To be able to plan a space and render it visually appealing
- To have in-depth understanding of the materials and products used to create and furnish the space.
- Interior designers need to work collaboratively with architects, contractors and other service providers. Designers need to be both good team leaders and team players.
- It is essential to possess excellent time and project management skills, since there are situations when they need to work on more than one project at a time, under demanding deadlines.
A career in interior design involves balancing aesthetic aspects with functional strengths. A bachelor's degree in interior designing is a basic qualification that most employers would seek in a candidate seeking a career in interior design. A candidate must maintain a portfolio of projects worked on. It is also preferable to gain membership to a professional body.
Today's niche architectural market needs highly skilled and specialized interior designers. Most interior designers specialize in a certain type of design area whereas some concentrate on a sub-specialty. The work of an interior designer can extend to areas such as energy conservation, historic restoration and planning barrier-free facilities for the aged and the physically challenged. This guide to careers in interior design highlights some of the segments:
- Residential designers: Involved in new home construction and renovations
- Entertainment designers: Create interiors for theaters, clubs, restaurants, concert halls, pubs, theme parks and other entertainment venues.
- Institutional designers: Focus on projects such as childcare, educational and religious institutions.
- Health care designers: Create environments for hospitals, clinics, examination rooms, surgical suites, mobile units and health care facilities.
- Office designers: Focus on the special needs of the work environment, such as ergonomic design, lighting and acoustical requirements as well as space planning.
- Retail designers: Involved in commercial spaces such as boutiques, department stores, showrooms, and shopping malls.
Interior design career prospects
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Design degree, aspiring interior designers can take positions with design consulting offices, corporate design departments, and government design agencies, working on consumer and industrial products, building and equipment systems and public and corporate communication projects.
They can also find employment in interior design firms, architectural firms, furniture dealerships and any commercial setting such as health care, retail, or institutional. Interior designers can also carry on their profession as freelancers. Freelance interior designers have more freedom in picking and choosing their projects and exercise greater control over their plans.
Interior design career - Prospects
The job market for interior designers looks upbeat and positive, with the rising demand for professional design of private homes, offices, restaurants, retail businesses, and retirement and nursing homes. However, interior designing has become a highly competitive field with many young, dynamic and talented designers.
But with the increasing number of interior designers graduating these days, it is necessary for them to keep themselves updated with the latest trends and innovations so as to maintain a competitive edge. Earnings for Interior designers can range from $22,000 to $40,000 a year. Some established designers working with big clients earn six figure salaries whereas some small-scale freelancers hardly earn enough to stay in business.