Thinking about becoming an interior designer?

Are you thinking about a career in interior design? Do you want to know more about what an interior designer does? Iris Dunbar, Director and Founder of The Interior Design School, answers five of the most common questions about becoming an interior designer.


What is the actual job of an interior designer, as interior design seems to cover a raft of things? Most people think it is residential design, but with training you can do anything from workplace design, office receptions, doctors surgeries, hospitals, schools, hotels, bars as well as residential. Everywhere you go should, or could, be designed by an interior designer. Interior design is architectural and spatial design, detail and furniture design, colour and material coordination, and yes obviously an eye for fabulous colours, fabrics and furniture.


How do I know if interior design might be a good career for me? It’s not often a career choice we think of as a child, unlike becoming a doctor for example – but one that we become aware of through media. You may be inspired by seeing interiors in magazines, on Pinterest, enjoy changing your home environments or doing up properties – this is where the ‘buzz’ often starts and could be your clue to investigate interior design as a career.


Do I need to be creative and artistic to start with? It’s good to have an artistic ‘eye’, to be able to put things together, and taking creative subjects at school will obviously be helpful. However, design is about being curious and being able to identify and solve problems in a creative way – it’s creative, rigorous and lateral thinking, it’s not ‘art’ with a capital A. These design skills can be taught so if you didn’t take arts subjects at school you can still make it as a designer.


What is the most rewarding part of the job? Walking into a space that you’ve designed and seeing that it works for everyone in it, that they really appreciate what you’ve done to the space and how their life, work, and even health are improved by your design. There’s nothing better than seeing a project finished, having happy clients, having clients that come back with another project, and gaining recognition for what you do. Design can change lives.


What are the most challenging things about being an interior designer? One of the main things that people don’t understand about interior design is just how much work goes into achieving a finished project – how much has to be put down on paper (drawings and writing), how much research goes into making sure the project will suit the people using the space, and how specific and detailed your designs need to be in order to be built. Many of the challenges come on the building site when you are trying to keep everyone happy, especially the client and the contractors. But it is so satisfying when through your hard work and diplomatic skills the team and project all come together to make your design vision a reality. This is the ‘buzz’ that keeps us all coming back for more.


What to do next….

Not sure if interior design is for you? Why not give it a try and join us for one of our Inspiration Days (or ask a loved one to give it to you as a gift – we do gift vouchers!). You’ll get a taste of how to think as a designer, why you need a brief for every project (and write a simple one), do an image board and choose materials. It’s a fun day working with Iris and one of the teaching team in our Queens Park studios.

Alternatively come to our next Open Evening (see below) and chat to Iris and some of the team, see student work, and have a glass of wine.

The next Inspiration Day is on 1st September 2018 – 10:00am to 4:00pm – just click on the orange Purchase button, or please call if you would like to talk more about becoming an interior designer and the courses that we offer. If you can’t make the September date we will also be hosting another Inspiration Day on 3rd November.

“I took the one day Inspiration Day Course recently and loved it. The tuition is excellent and I got a huge amount out of it, over and above just a really enjoyable, interesting day,  it was absolutely a worthwhile investment.”  Alex Birtles – January 31/15

“I have assessed several student projects and I am always very impressed at the amount of knowledge that the students have amassed in a short space of time. They are always a very focused group”
Alistar Barr