Interior Designers

“The interior of the house personifies the private world; the exterior of it is part of the outside world.” - Stephen Gardiner

Interior designing is a discipline that focuses on the overall appeal of interior spaces, including their layout and construction. The main aim of interior designing is to not only come up with designs that are aesthetically pleasing, but also to make sure that the designs are functional and solve the basic purpose of the room or space. Interior Designers work on the functionality and quality of the interior space. They are involved in selecting tiles, furniture, handicrafts, paints, lighting and electronic equipments (T.Vs, A.Cs etc.).

As a career option, Interior Designing is a very good choice. It is a relatively new profession compared to other design based professions such as Architecture. Interior Designing is expected to grow at a steady rate. The scope of Interior Designing is expanding day by day and clients now want Interior Designers to come up with new concepts such as environment friendly designs. Interior Designers work for residential as well as commercial structures and aim to construct a design that uses space effectively.

What do Interior Designers do?

Interior Designers work with clients and contractors to come up with designs that give the interior spaces a unique identity. They work on making the best out of the space that the architect has designed and are normally now allowed to make structural changes such as breaking walls etc. without the permission of the architect. Interior Designers work on aesthetic (look, theme, feel) as well as technical elements (structure, lighting, temperature, logistics).

The most fundamental job of an Interior Designer is to understand the requirements and needs of the client. Interior Designers have to figure out exactly what the client wants and what is his/her goal. They should be able to share the client’s vision and come up with concepts accordingly. This is extremely important as no matter how good a design is, if the client is not satisfied, then it is useless.

After visualizing what the client wants, an Interior Designer normally visits the site and examines it carefully. Interior Designers go through every aspect of the room including space, lighting, temperature etc. They come up with ideas and concepts on the spot and visualize what the room will finally look like.

An essential task that Interior Designers are supposed to perform is to draw and create plans and designs for the interior space. This includes the initial preliminary designs as well as the final design. This is done through computer based software like CAD etc. These plans and designs form the basis of all the work that takes place on the site.

Interior Designers consider and evaluate their plan by correlating it with the technical elements of that particular room or interior space. This includes checking whether a room has the infrastructure to support your design. This might include checking voltage capacities, legal permissions etc.

Budgets and Timelines form a major part of what an Interior Designer does. As the budget of a project is fixed way before the actual re – modeling or construction begins, it is important to create a budget that will leave a bit of a margin for unforeseen problems. Also, setting timelines is very important because if the workers are not given a specific date and time by which they have to complete their work, then they will be less motivated and less energetic.

Choosing the aesthetics of an interior space is massively important for an Interior Designer. This includes going with the client to decide on paints, furniture, carpets etc. It is a very important step for an Interior Designer as bad choices can spoil the whole look, feel and vibe of the room.

The work of an Interior Designer does not stop there. They are also responsible for supervising and overseeing the installation and re – modeling being done by the contractors and the workers. The final responsibility of the space is on them and any fault will be considered to be the Interior Designer’s fault.

How to become an Interior Designer?

Interior Designers are professionals who are concerned with deciding the ‘final look’ of the room and achieving it through construction and re – modeling. They work with different materials, textures, colors etc. to achieve a perfect blend of all the aspects of the room.

In order to become an Interior Designer, you need to focus on designing based subjects like Sketching, Painting etc. You should also have a basic knowledge of Physics and Math as they will prove to be a great help during budgeting and handling the technical aspects of Interior Designing.

Even though it is not necessary to have an educational qualification in Interior Designing to become one, most Interior Designers today have degrees in Interior Designing. This helps them know about the subject in detail and improve skills at the same time. You should pursue an undergraduate course in Interior Designing or a related field. Pursuing a Master’s degree is also an option after you complete your graduation and is beneficial if you want better jobs and better salaries.

Experience is really important in the field of Interior Designing. Therefore, Interior Designers should work as an intern or an apprentice at as many places as possible. This will help you gain valuable industry experience and will also provide with the opportunity to make important contacts.

Networking plays a major role in every field, especially Interior Designing. To become an Interior Designer, you must make as many contacts as possible. This is because people normally don’t like to work with professionals they don’t know as the whole responsibility of the space/room is on the head of the Interior Designer. Therefore, Interior Designers should make as many contacts as possible to increase your chances of becoming successful.

As educational qualifications are not necessary to become an Interior Designer, you can become an Interior Designer by applying to companies on your own. This can be done by sending resumes and portfolios. This sort of a method is very flexible but also relies heavily on personal skill and networking.

In order to become an Interior Designer, you must have a very strong portfolio. Portfolios will include sample designs, previous experience etc. Good portfolios can play a major role in convincing the client to give you the project.


India has a vast number of colleges and institutions that offer great courses in Interior Designing and related fields. The National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad is one of the best institutions in the country for Interior Designing. It offers a foundation course in Interior Designing as well as Graduate and Post Graduate Diplomas in Interior Design. Sir J.J Institute of Applied Arts, Mumbai offers great courses such as Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and a Master’s in Fine Arts. It also offers an ‘Apprentice Training Course’ in Interior Design and Photography. IILM, Gurgaon also offers great courses in Interior Designing such as a Graduate Diploma in Interiors and Furniture Design. IIT, Mumbai also offers a Master’s course in Designing. It provides you with a M.Des degree upon completion of the course.

What are the skills required to become an Interior Designer?

Interior Designers are intelligent people who have the ability to mix creativity with technical skills and add life to a room to give it an identity. They need to have excellent designing skills and should be able to handle the aesthetics and the functionality side of a design equally well. Interior Designers should be creative, organized and have an eye for detail. They should have the ability to maintain budgets and stick to timelines. Having excellent computer skills is an absolute necessity for an Interior Designer as coming up with layouts and designs using software like CAD is an important part of their job. Interior Designers need to have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively and coordinate the work of different departments. This is very important because at a time, Interior Designers are dealing with a wide variety of people that range from clients to plumbers, to electricians and painters.

Interior Designers should be flexible in terms of their ideas and come up with new ways to do things. They also need to have problem solving skills and should be able to take quick, on the spot decisions. Most importantly, Interior Designers should possess the genuine desire to use their talent and creativity to add life to rooms and beautify them in a way that they are unique and captivating but still function efficiently.

Is this the right career for me?

Interior Designers spend their lives in front of computers and at site offices supervising work. They have to constantly deal with unreasonable clients and workers at the same time. Meeting deadlines and maintaining budgets are two constant issues that Interior Designers have to face. It is a well paying job that requires a professional to work for regular hours.

So if you’re looking for a job that does not involve dealing with a lot of people, and if you’re not interested in coming up with designs and beautifying places, then this isn’t the right job for you. But if you are genuinely interested in the field of designing, and if you want to use your creativity to beautify spaces and add life to normal rooms, and if you’re comfortable with constant learning and adapting to the demands of the customers, then this is the perfect job for you.

To know more about the what it is like to work in the Designing Industry, click here.

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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.