What Does an Interior Designer Do?
Interior designers work with clients to discuss their vision for an interior space. Considering environmental factors, the history of a building, the expectations of the property owner and the general rules of two and three-dimensional design, interior designers create beautiful spaces where people enjoy spending time.
Interior designers focus on the aesthetic beauty of the room as a unified whole. They experiment with different colors, patterns, and pieces of furniture until they find the right furnishings, the right arrangement, the right upholstery, carpeting and so on. All of this is done while accounting for safety standards, building codes and other factors that must be considered.
Interior design is a growing industry with good job prospects and a good salary. With hard work and a little ingenuity, creative minded individuals who enjoy working with people, who have a knack for staying organized and managing large projects, and who understand and appreciate the concepts of design can enjoy a long-standing interior design career. Interior design is one of the ways in which an art student or aspiring artist can pursue a practical career with worldwide demand.
Interior designers may be able to find work in any location where a consumer demand exists for professionals to facilitate beautiful interior design. For an artist who enjoys working with textiles and building materials, who has an appreciation for furniture, texture, and flow, and who enjoys applying technical knowledge to their art creation, interior design is an excellent career choice. There are numerous interior design specializations that you could explor based on what you are passionate about.
Common Duties and Functions of an Interior Designer
An interior designer’s typical job duties are multi-faceted. A typical interior designer is expected to:
Advise the client on the topic of interior design: Many clients are actively involved in the interior design process. Interior designers must answer questions and gather information from the client to meet the needs and personal preferences of the client.
Work within the given budget for the client: The budget is a limiting factor that must be taken into consideration in any interior design project. It is the responsibility of the interior designer to find out that budget and stay within the expected parameters. Establishing a contract, putting expectations into writing and communicating clearly with the client can help the interior designer to work within these parameters.
Work with contractors and architects: Often interior designers are involved in interior remodel and build projects. The interior designer is responsible for communicating with contractors and architects to ensure that the design features inside the homework with the architectural and building elements of the home.
Create detailed interior design plans and then present them to the client for approval: No design is ever implemented without the approval of the property owner or job supervisor. Sometimes interior designers come up with very detailed plans only to have them refused by the client. When this happens, the client and designer must work carefully to re-work plans and devise a plan that works.
Keep up with changes in trends, changes in materials and standards within the industry: Interior design is a career path that changes with the whims and desires of the clients. As colors, materials, and styles come into and go out of fashion, interior designers must keep up with these changes.
Important Skills and Knowledge
Interior designers must have training and skills in a wide range of subjects.
Good artistic sensibility: At the heart of every job completed by an interior designer is a strong appreciation for and understanding of design conventions and artistic beauty. Interior designers must go to school for art. In their time at school, interior designers must come to understand the fundamental concepts of two-dimensional and three-dimensional design, psychology of color, manipulation of artistic tools and so on. Interior designers take artistic risks. Having a mature artistic style and confidence in one’s own ability to create pleasing, artful interiors comes from years of art training and practice.
Project planning, administration, and management: Managing the business end of interior design requires strong administrative abilities. Interior designers manage large projects, track the progress of other entities, keep a calendar, attend meetings, return phone calls and engage in activities typical for a business executive. Business acumen is an important skill that can help an interior designer work successfully with clients and vendors to see a project through to its completion.
Communication skills: More than many other types of artists, interior designers must communicate with other people in order to complete projects. Many clients will not know what they want, or will not be able to articulate their desires clearly. It’s up to the interior designer to draw these ideas out of the client to create a design that meets the client’s needs. In addition, the interior designer may need to work carefully with architects, contractors, and material vendors. Forming organized sentences, speaking clearly and voicing ideas articulately can help the interior designer work with others involved in each project.
Customer service: Returning phone calls, changing plans to meet the needs of the client, speaking politely and treating clients well can help interior designers find success in their careers. Providing good customer service builds trust between the client and the designer and helps establish a positive working relationship that can lead to referrals and future work.
Computer skills: Throughout the course of a normal day, an interior designer might work with a variety of design programs that support their projects. Interior designers must be proficient with everything from CAD software to email programs, video editing software, spreadsheet software and photo imaging software. The level of proficiency required to truly manage a large interior design project comes from years of experience both on the job and in academic settings. Interior designers must have good instincts for working with new programs and must have basic skills like typing, conducting Internet research, etc.