If you love home décor, creating and managing projects, and have the drive and the vision required to turn a house into a home, then becoming an interior designer could be the perfect career path for you.
However, contrary to popular belief, there is much more to interior design than picking out color schemes or choosing furniture. In order to be a successful interior designer, you need to be able to work well with people, have the ability to manage projects that vary in size and difficulty, and have the creative talent to turn a design concept into reality.
If you’re unsure whether an interior designer is a career for you, here are some of the skills that you may find useful to go into this role.
Interior designers have to liaise with a range of different people, from meeting with clients in order to discuss their needs and ideas, to working with contractors and other professionals while you manage each project. Additionally, working on large home-builds or renovations can be dangerous, which is why there are so many brain injury laws in place to protect workers, so being able to communicate effectively is important to avoid any injury or mistake.
Good communication requires the ability to actively listen to people, retain information, and repeat it back to others when appropriate to ensure thorough understanding. You also need to effectively put your own thoughts and instructions across in a clear and concise manner.
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An Eye for Detail
One of the most obvious and important skills for a designer in any field is to be able to have a clear vision for a project. You need to be able to pull together any ideas and instructions you are given by your clients and refine them into a finished piece of stylized design.
The skills for achieving this include being able to envision what space will look like upon completion, and having an eye for detail to avoid oversights. More than anything, the success of any project requires good spatial awareness, a clear understanding of room functioning, and the ability to create ambiance through design elements alone.
Problem Solving and Resourcefulness
No matter what kind of project you are working on, whether in design or another field, managing many different details at once under time constraints means being able to use problem solving skills and resourcefulness to overcome challenges. You need to have enough flexibility to be able to work on a varied schedule, while still maintaining the time management skills required to oversee a project within a short time scale.
Ability to Budget
Design work is always easier if you have an expendable budget, but most people who hire a designer do so because they need someone who can effectively manage their project while staying within their means. Therefore, having strong budgeting skills is a necessary requirement as an interior designer, as is the ability to use a budget effectively. This means being able to negotiate well for low prices on items and labor, being able to budget for unforeseen circumstances, and the ability to keep detailed records of all expenses, including any hidden costs.