We’re often asked what recommendations we have for those who are hoping to pursue an interior design career. While every designer’s path looks a little different, we wanted to share a few pieces of advice to guide you on your own! We asked each of our designers to share their tips – Keep reading for the best advice for aspiring interior designers!
Tip #1: Don’t skimp on your education.
While creativity and taste are important for aspiring designers, it’s your education that can set you apart. Technical skills such as AutoCAD are mandatory if you want to be involved in large projects, working hand in hand with architects and contractors. If your goal is to work for a large interior design firm, invest in technical education!
Tip #2: Do an internship before you graduate.
Paid or unpaid, getting your hands dirty is very important before you become a full-time designer. As a design intern, you will get to know the local showrooms, get access to material libraries, see how design firms run, see project installations, etc. It’s invaluable experience you’ll be grateful for in the long run!
Tip #3: Don’t ever stop learning.
One of our favorite pieces of advice for aspiring interior designers is to always be open to learning. The only way to truly grow is to dive in, take notes, and ask questions when you need help understanding. For example, when you’re new to job sites, there will be plenty of things that will seem foreign to you as a designer. Take advantage of the builders and trades around you. Many of them have been in the industry for years and are more than happy to impart their knowledge to you. Keep in mind that every job will be different and every trade will have a different way of doing things, so learning is an ongoing process that never ends! Take notes and pictures with you along the way so you can carry them with you throughout your journey in the design industry.
Tip #4: Do learn how to sketch.
The ability to hand sketch in perspective is something that will help you get ideas across quickly on the job site and in front of clients. Practice drawing often so that you are not nervous to pick up your pen in a meeting and illustrate your design ideas.
Tip #5: Don’t assume anything.
This applies to working with other designers as well as with clients on various projects. Never assume things, and always ask questions. It’s better to ask and be certain that you’re on the same page than to move forward with the wrong assumption.
Tip #6: Do surround yourself with the right people.
Whether you’re hiring for your own team or networking with others in the design industry, take your time finding your people. Look for those who can add to your team both personally and professionally, and those who have clearly defined gifts that allow them to contribute in a unique way. It makes for the most well-rounded team to work alongside everyday!
Tip #7: Don’t wait for the perfect time.
It’s okay to start simple and small, and not have all the answers on day one. Sometimes the best things are slowly grown with intention, and not everything can be an overnight success. There’s beauty in showing up to something day after day, year after year, and seeing what grows from there; trusting the process of hard work and diligence and having fun along the way.
We hope you’re able to take something from this roundup of the best advice for aspiring interior designers. If you’re a designer reading this, what advice would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments! For more from our team, head to the design section of our blog for tips, e-designs, product roundups, and more. Thanks as always for following along, and we’ll be back soon with more advice for designers and non-designers alike!