You have a natural knack for interior decorating if you spend a good amount of time at furniture shops, re-do your house every month or so and critically examine everyone’s house that you go to.
You do not really need formal training to be a good interior designer. You must have surely done decoration for your house or office at some point. With people becoming more and more conscious about lifestyle and luxury, interior decorators are in great demand. If you think you can be one of them, here are some basic pointers to help you stand on your feet.
What does interior designing entail?
Interior design is all about looking at space as a storehouse of possibilities. It is about enhancing the experience offered by space. Interior designing as a discipline incorporates in itself elements of architecture, environmental psychology, and product design.
If you think that interior design is simple and is just about rearranging some furniture, think again. Interior design is about understanding the nature and needs of your client and working towards implementing his/ her vision. Draw for yourself parameters to work within according to inputs that the clients give you and then build up on them.
Many a times, interior designers and architects work in close co-ordination. This does not change the fact that the areas of work of these two people are very different from each other. While the architect designs the outer facade of your home, the interior designer would work with you to help make the best of the space created by the former.
Up until not very long ago, people did not see interior design as a career option. People did not see the need for another person to work on the interiors. The architect took care of everything. Now, people are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to decorate their living and working spaces. This has helped create a space, which interior designers fill perfectly.
Interior designing is not just about beautifying your surroundings. It is about putting the space available to best use while retaining the glamour quotient. It encompasses elements like the paint colors on walls, proportion, balance, and utility.
If you are going to become an interior designer, you can pick from the various areas of specialization like commercial, residential and landscaping (like in gardens etc.). You can also focus on particular areas like kitchen, bathrooms etc.
After you get an assignment, the first thing is to sit down with your client and get an idea of what he/she expects you to do. How much space do they want to devote to particular things like recreation room, children’s nursery etc? What is their budget? Choice of colors? Anything, they particularly dislike in colors or showpieces, etc.?
Then you need to sit and plan the design of the place given to you. You can use software like CAD (Computer Aided-Design) etc. After compiling these things, you need to submit your report to the client to get his opinion on it. Make the required changes as and when they ask for it, until you come up with the perfect design for your client.
Once a final blueprint is ready, the next step is to co-ordinate with suppliers for raw materials and for technicians like plumber and electrician, etc. If you are planning to do some revamping of the structure, like adding another pillar or something, make sure you discuss it with the architect.
It is always advisable to work with a time line in mind. Give yourself deadlines and stick to them as much as you can. Refrain from designating work to your juniors. If you have been made in charge, stay on your toes and be on the site as much as possible. Oversee the work and make informed decisions about the raw material and distribution of work. Once the work is more or less done, ask the client to visit the site. Make required changes if any, before you hand over the keys.
In fact, being able to understand other people’s requirements, working with them, and within is one of the biggest strengths for an interior designer. You also need to have excellent interpersonal skills. When you are working on a particular design, you will have to interact with many people, both juniors and seniors. You should be able to communicate with a layman, making him understand what you are going to do and how and with the other people working on the same site— technicians and mechanics etc.
You should be confident about what you are doing and should be able to take criticism in your stride. Learn from your mistakes and you will soon become better at what you do.
There are no shortcuts if you are looking to do well in this field. You should be willing to start right from the bottom and slowly, painstakingly work your way up. Be assured that if you are good at what you are doing then, there are loads and loads of money to be had. Your salary would vary of course with your experience record and your place and area of work. Your designation in the firm where you are working or if you are self-employed would make a difference in the amount you will earn.
Interior Design is a field of work that is growing significantly. There are ample lucrative opportunities available. If you are an interior design graduate, you will not have to worry too much about a decent job. This can be your dream job, so that you design any area of interest. The initial investment is minimal and you can even work from home!