The path to the profession: how to become an interior designer

The path to the profession: how to become an interior designer

The interior design looks from the side as professional dreams: a lot of creative freedom, high earnings, the opportunity to become known in their field and to work freely, without being subject to office routine. But after the first acquaintance with the profession, beginners often lose all the enthusiasm and put an end to the dream. Ekaterina Berkeley from High school “Learning Environment” tells how to become an interior designer to go and work for freelancing.

From the settlement to the Wallpaper

Or rather, from the assessment of the condition of the premises prior to the placement of figurines on the shelves is a range of tasks, solving interior designers.

Specialists in this field are ready to come to the client and deliver him from all difficulties associated with the repair. The designer not only develops the concept of future premises but also controls the operation at all stages.

If you decided to change profession and become a designer of interiors, be prepared for the fact that you have to learn to assume the estimates, to read technical documentation, to communicate with suppliers and builders. It is not enough just to be able to come up with interesting design solutions — the need to bring everyone up to the end, to specific tangible results within the specified budget and satisfy the client’s requests, not only their own creative ambitions.

Required interior designer

Sense of style

The most obvious point, but it is important to remember. Be prepared to learn and improve life, to develop “watchfulness”, apply the techniques seen in practice, avoiding bad taste.

A sense of proportion

The client, hiring a designer, relies on its competence but turns to him with their needs, you need to remember. Perhaps you really want to make a spectacular glass kitchen in style hi-tech, but will it fit your customer?

IMPORTANT: the success of the interior designer builds on the success of its projects and satisfied clients. Ruining a reputation early in his career, you risk losing orders for several years.

Computer programs

It will take at least a program for making drawings and renderings: ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, 3Ds Max, SketchUp, Adobe Photoshop. Each of these programs is a complex and versatile tool for the development of which requires time and effort.

Communication skills

They are important when negotiating with the customer, and when working with suppliers and contractors. It is important to learn to listen to people, interact with them, to compromise. The work of an interior designer — a poor choice for misanthropes.

Artistic skills

Oddly enough, you do not have to be able to draw to become an interior designer. Of course, the ability to quickly sketch for a client a rough concept of the new situation is a useful skill. But it is not the key graphical implementation of your ideas that will help to create a program. And if you later feel the need to learn how to draw, you will always help courses a sketch or a quick drawing.

Much more important is your understanding of the color palette and color combining.

Way of learning interior design

So, you have passed the checklist and determined what skills I have and what needs to learn? Your next step is to choose the way of learning. Several of them, each has pros and cons.

Your way

This is one of the most unreliable, difficult, but fascinating ways. Making sure that you understand what is the task of the interior designer, you just go… and do the design. At the initial stage, it is important for you to gain a portfolio, so you should be ready for free orders, to call potential customers and vibrant self-presentation.

Pavel Gerasimov, interior designer and co-Director of the workshop Geometrium, in his blog describes getting started:

“I took my first draft of the bar for “free”. In the course of the project, there were a huge number of questions. I ran to designers and architects for advice and so with their help I finished the first draft. In gratitude, received the first decent money from the client”.

Look for small projects whose owners are willing to take the risk and hire a self-taught enthusiast. Don’t neglect to consult professionals, see TV shows about design, read author blogs.

IMPORTANT: be sure to take photos of their work at every stage — later on, these photos will become the basis for a portfolio.


  • practice from the first days;
  • complete freedom in the choice of orders;
  • responsible for all phases of the project;
  • very fast learning by addressing daily problems and challenges.


  • a tedious search of clients;
  • very low payment;
  • the absence of the mentor who can evaluate the work.

For who: for those who are not confident in what he wants to change his profession, but willing to take a chance and try it, but also has a lot of free time. In addition, to go that route, you should have at least a small financial cushion that will support you as long as the design starts to generate income.


This method is similar to an internship: you apply for an experienced designer with a request to take you to apprentices or assistants.

Of course, not the fact that your favorite designer will take you to me and will be teaching, but worth a try. Every day working on projects together with a professional, you will gradually be able to take in all the details.

Julia Shatalova, art Director of the Design Studio of interiors “Instyler”, in an interview with Heroine tells of the beginning of his career:

“I got a job as a designer at the Austrian furniture company, where, under the guidance of an experienced interest honed skills development of space-planning decisions, decorating, setting up light in the interior. These skills are further developed in two design and construction companies, which added an understanding of the technologies, norms, and regulations in construction.”


  • live training on real projects;
  • the ability to constantly refer to the mentor;
  • interesting cases from the first days of work.


  • it is difficult to find a master who will agree to the training;
  • very low pay (or lack thereof);
  • will have to do the mundane, shallow, boring work;
  • the lack of own projects, which you can invest in the portfolio.

For who: for those who want to see the profession from the inside and not afraid of hard and painstaking work. The internship will require large expenditures of time and effort, so it will be good if you go on the floating chart in the main work.

Additional education

If you don’t feel confident that you can cope with self-study, choose a longer, but much more reliable way — further education or second degree.

In the first case, you will have to study two years in the program only those items that focused on professional development.


  • specialized education, diploma;
  • educational projects will be included in the portfolio;
  • will always have the opportunity to consult with practicing teachers.


  • training is not free;
  • you’ll have to study, take tests and learning projects.

In free flight

You have mastered the right skills and are ready to start work? Some more tips on how to jump on the remote work and receive orders.

1. Create a portfolio. Potential customers will not evaluate the level of your diploma and not a list of programs that you own, they will look at the results and make a decision based on whether they like your past projects.

2. Don’t concentrate on one exchange of freelancing. Look for customers in different exchanges, the recruiting sites, telegram, among friends and partners. Your task is to expand the base of projects, so don’t limit yourself.

3. Offer individual solutions. Be prepared to work with clients in a balanced template, and create creative concepts every time. This will benefit the client and you. Remember the more diverse case — better portfolio!

4. Search for ongoing collaboration. If you want to select between one-time expensive order and worse-paid, but regular prefer regular. In the beginning, it is important for you to have at least one or two regular customers that will be the basis for your material well-being.

5. Continue to learn. Additional courses, professional literature, blogs of experts — your stage of development. Improve your knowledge, increase your value in the market.

6. Not grasping at the first order. Going to the Internet in search of work, get ready to face a Scam. Be careful, enter into an employment contract and avoid dubious offers. The same goes for orders that you definitely can not afford. It is better to refuse than to perform the work poorly.

Interior design is a fascinating profession which can be mastered independently. Don’t be afraid to grow and move forward to the job of your dreams.

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