May 2018: Inside Out
Interior Design looks like a jolly and glamorous vocation; faffing around with fabrics and plumping cushions all day.
But making places beautiful is such a popular past time that competition is tough when it comes to turning that passion into a job. Every month I am inundated with CVs and requests for work experience placements so I thought it worth sharing some top tips for any aspiring designers.
Interior design attracts a lot of career changers, usually women, who have achieved a certain level of professional experience and perhaps already renovated a property of their own. Anyone switching to interior design from another creative area such as textile design will of course be at a huge advantage. Having ‘taste’ and enthusiasm isn’t enough, it is a skilled profession with a process to follow. So if you are serious about design, the most important skill that underpins all design work is drawing. It is essential that you can visually communicate your ideas to both clients and tradespeople. This means drawing and sketching in both 2D and 3D, and if you can do this on computer as well as by hand you will go far.
Visualisation is key, being able to imagine a finished room inside your mind’s eye, committing this vision to presentation boards before the walls.
Designers need spatial awareness and to understand how things are made, in order to be able to correctly specify them. So prior to studying interior design, spending a year doing an Art Foundation course would be absolutely invaluable - exploring and trying out a variety of different creative practices from painting and sculpture to graphics, textiles, photography and printing. Gaining understanding of different periods in architecture and accompanying decorative styles is possible through the art history component.
A passion for design in general is a must, and simply having a good go and creating a visual portfolio as a companion to the CV is the best way to demonstrate your abilities. Practice makes perfect!