Who's an Interior Designer?
Have you ever visited a restaurant or a hotel and marvelled at how beautifully it was designed? Do you often find yourself making little or big changes to your home to make it better? Would you like to help others too designs homes and spaces that are beautiful and functional? If yes, interior designing is the field for you!
As an interior designer, you would create functional, safe, and beautiful spaces. You would work on designing both indoor and outdoor spaces, ranging from hotel lobbies, mansions, stores, etc. Over and above ensuring that you design beautiful spaces, you must research, plan and ensure that the place is designed with the right colours, furniture, fabrics and other decorative materials depending on your client’s needs.
What will you do?
1. Understanding client’s needs.
As the designer, you will have to work with clients to understand what exactly they want from you and what purpose they want the space to serve.
Example: If you client wants a living room designed, you need to understand if they want a relaxed, family room or a formal room reserved for guests. You need to know exactly what the client expects you to do.
2. Using the space optimally.
You need to help your clients see how better they can use the space they have to ensure that the space is being used to the best of it’s potential.
Example: If you’re designing a living room, and you notice some space that could be converted into a reading spot or a bar, you must talk to your client about it and then help them visualise it.
3. Creating a rough plan.
Your client’s will have multiple design ideas in their heads that they might have collected from magazines, homes they have visited, etc. It’s your job to put it all together. This would also involve helping them see what can and cannot be done.
Example: If your client wanted a bar in their living room, but it is not feasible in the space they have, creating a rough plan will help them see that.
4. Creating a final plan.
Once all of the details have been discussed and finalised, you need to start creating a design plan. This would involve sketching out your ideas and the use of design software to create mock build-ups, and making a list of all the material you will need.
Example: Most designers create a miniature mock space so they and the client can see what exactly the space will look like once it has been designed.
5. Creating a timeline and budget estimate.
Once the project details have been finalised, you need to come up with a budget estimate and tell your client how long it will take for the project to be completed.
Example: If you’re working on one room, keeping in mind all of the material you will need, labour charges, your consultancy charges, you will create a budget for the plan and assign a time period for its completion.
6. Coordinating with vendors, suppliers, workers and others.
While you will be working on the design and the artistic part of the project, there will be several other people whom you will have to work with to complete the project. You will need to stay in touch with these people to ensure the job is done smoothly and as per your instructions.
Example: You can have a regular vendor or supplier whom you trust for fabrics and other material to ensure that there are no last-minute mishaps.
7. Research on materials and finishes.
Interior designing is not just about designing a space but also developing it into an appealing space. For this, you need to use the right mix of materials that makes the space stand out.
Example: Right from the colour and the fabric of the furniture, to the artwork, flooring, etc., you need to make sure that you’re well aware of all the options available in the market so you can incorporate them into your plans.
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Where will you work?
Most interior designers work from an office. You would be coordinating with a lot of people and would also have to visit the sites you’re working on, so your work timings would vary.
You could also work as a consultant with architects. Most architects look for designers who specialise in specific areas such as lobbies, kitchens, closets, bathrooms, etc.
Some interior designers also work as independent consultants assisting clients to design beautiful spaces (homes in most cases). Here, you would meet clients, understand their requirements, and provide samples of flooring, wallpaper, window coverings, lighting, etc.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
Analytical and Data Skills
You will receive huge amounts of data from your client. This data will have to be analysed effectively so you can find ways that will help your client reach their customers is the best way possible. While it is true that the more data you analyse, the more insights you generate; analytical thinking will help you narrow down your search and find your key actionable items, thus saving you a lot of time and resources.build this skill
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You will be constantly working with machines during the day, from testing instruments to ph balancing equipment, a thorough understanding of how these equipment work is essential.build this skill
Attention to Detail
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Communication and interpersonal skills are very important while dealing with patients. You will have to guide certain people about a procedure or treatment. You may need to provide them with some serious information about their fertility and treatment progress. Hence these issues would need to be handled sensitively.build this skill
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
If you pursue interior designing in India, you get to network with the people in the industry here, which would make it easier for you to get a job. Additionally, you would also be aware of the latest trends in the Indian market and have a better understanding of the need of the Indian consumer which would help you serve them better.
Pursuing an interior designing course in India could cost you INR 75,000-INR 5,00,000 per year, depending on the university and course you opt for. Top colleges in India to pursue interior designing courses are: JJ School or Arts, SNDT Women’s College, Birla Institute of Liberal Arts and Management Sciences and others. There are many institutions in India that offer courses ranging from a certificate course to a degree or diploma course. While a certificate course is enough to land you a job in the country, a masters or diploma course would further help you enhance your skills and knowledge in the field.
Studying interior designing abroad would help you broaden your knowledge in the field and learn different international design concepts. Moreover, it would also help expand your skill set and understanding of design on a global scale. With a lot of people wanting to do something new with their spaces, your broader understanding of design will help you stand out from the rest. Also, if you plan to work abroad, a degree from the same country would increase your chances of landing a job.
An interior designing course abroad would cost you anywhere between INR 2,00,000-15,00,000 per year. The duration of these courses ranges from 1-5 years. The fee of the course largely depends on the university and the course you opt for. Top colleges to pursue a course in interior designing are: Florence Design School, Design and Arts School of New Zealand, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and others.
How much would you get paid?
The exact number will depend on where you’re working, your education, skill-set and internship experience. But we can give you a general idea.
What are your career options?
Furniture designers are proficient in designing and creating furnishings by taking into consideration both its functionality and look. You would usually design both exterior and interior furnishing pieces in keeping with the customer’s preferences, its sustainability and use. You would need a good eye for detail and an understanding of how to use space optimally. You would mostly work with a variety of materials such as wood, metal, fabric, etc.
An exhibition designer works on setting up large commercial public exhibitions, trade shows, events, and cultural exhibitions. You will also work on setting up exhibitions at museums, libraries and art galleries or setting up temporary display items for businesses and retailers. Your main job is to set up the display of the exhibition as per the theme of the product or event. It is important that you understand the product, needs and the objectives of the exhibition. Like most other interior designers, you too will have to create design sketches and build mockups to give the clients and actual view of how the exhibition set up would look like.
As a lighting designer, your main job is to lighten up spaces in a functional and appealing manner. You would work on creating lighting concepts for various commercial spaces, industries, educational institutions, public areas, etc. While doing this, it is also important that you consider the cost-effectiveness and energy-efficiency of running and maintaining the lights. Here, knowledge of different types of lights will come in handy.
Kitchen designers are primarily involved in planning the design and look of kitchens. It is your job to ensure that the space strikes a good balance between design and functionality. You would work with your clients to understand their expectations in terms of the design, colour, theme, pattern and layout of the kitchen. The designing of the whole kitchen right from the flooring, installation, doorways, counter tops and placement of appliances will be left up to your expertise.
As the name suggests, a product designer works on designing various products including artistic pieces, apparel and furniture. To become a successful product designer, you need to be creative and have the ability to think and present your design ideas in a unique way. You would work on a wide range of commodities including rugs, cushions, clocks, gift articles, etc. If your good, you could establish your own product line or work full time for a product-designing firm.
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