interior design
Apr 084 min read

Career Guide to becoming an Interior Designer

written by

Bhoomika HS

General Overview

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Interior design is a tool that helps us enhance the inners of a building to achieve a healthier and more aesthetically pleasing environment for the end users. The sole purpose of interior design is to improve the overall user experience by better analysis, design, management, functionality, and usability of space available. It is a way to transform the lives of people who live or enjoy a certain space, enhancing their quality of life in this through design, styling  and decoration.


Hard & Soft Skills

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Here are some hard skills and soft skills that you need as a beginner in the field:

1.   Determine your style

2.   Figure out what you don’t like

3.   Establish the focal point

4.   Spend Carefully

5.   Give your furniture room to breathe

6.   Remember to think about lighting

7.   A creative eye and attention to detail

8.   Trend identification (present and past)

9.   Knowledge of sustainable practices

10. Communication skills

11. Sketching ability and computer-aided drafting knowledge

12. Market study and analysis

13. Knowledge of safety, anthropometric standards and construction standards

14. Perspective and planning

15. Spatial analysis

16. Identify personal interests

17. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and evaluate tangible advantages and disadvantages


Typical Duties:

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Interior designers recommend unique solutions that prove to be helpful in forming positive energy and provides best functionality within the budget. They work closely with vastu consultants, architects, builders, civil engineers, etc. and can also take up freelance projects or get invovled in the teaching professions(part-time/fulltime lecturers)!

Here are some typical duties the role might include:

1.  Interior designers offer personal consultations with the clients to understand their goals and needs properly.

2.  They design simply functional, usable and aesthetic design solutions to create balance for the interiors of the space

3.  Provide detailed drawings and generate renders (2-d and 3-d renders, walkthroughs, animations, and visualization of internal spaces)

5.  Use shapes, colors, patterns, textures, and objects to enhance the experience of the space.

6.  Provision of a detailed report in case of site visits (pre/during and post-site visit inspections)

7.  Have regular inspections to check the progress of work on site

8.  Coordinate with labourer's, site supervisor and contractors or subcontractors to get the desired output

9.  Keeping a strong track of the budget is very important

10. Analyze design trends and get a detailed market study to help in future projects. The market study also entitles the designer to collect vendor contact details.


Tangible advantages:

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1. Foundation days are hard, but once you create your niche in the industry, your market value increases.

2. This leads to better opportunities, more clients, and higher salary packages.

3. Greater flexibility in work

4. Enhanced skills and sreativity, this field is all about translating creativity to functionality!

5. Interior design Certifications have become the industry standard for designing commercial and retail spaces.

6. Greater work-life balance

7. Flexibility in work area (WFH or work from office)


Entry Level Qualifications Required

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Although anyone interested in interior design can start learning about it, for formal career in this field, one has to be at least a graduate from a recognized university. If you're looking to switch from a different field, those with a background in the design or construction tend to have an added advantage due to their familiarity with spaces. Here are some interior design degrees you can consider.

  1. Bachelor’s Degree: Architecture, Interior Design, Civil engineering, BSc interior design, B.design, diploma in interior design etc.

  2. Master’s Degree: MA in interior design, M.arch interior design, M.Voc. in interior design, M.Sc. Interior design and styling, several diploma courses, etc. ·

  3. Other Certifications: Offered by multiple online teaching platforms Kaarwan, etc.

College Recommendations and Courses Offered:

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Following are a few good institutes offering various interior design courses,(source: https://www.shiksha.com/articles/top-10-interior-design-schools-in-india-blogId-10599)

1.  CEPT University, Gujarat

2.  Indian Institute of Art and Design, Delhi

3.  JJ School of Arts

4.  College of Architecture

5.  Pearl Academy

6.  Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology

7. Sai School of Interior Design Standard

Pay Scale:

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The salary of a interior designer depends on the type of work (freelance or job) and on credibility, expertise and experience. To start with, you can earn money somewhere between Rs 10.000 and Rs 25.000 per month. With more than 1 to 2 years of experience in hand, a specialist will take Rs 40,000 to Rs 150,000 per month.

Books for Reference & Self Analysis

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(Source: https://www.iiad.edu.in/the-circle/10-best-interior-design-books-for-beginners/)

1. Evocative Style by Kelly Wearstler. 

2. Inspired Design: The 100 Most Important Designers of the Past 100 Years by Jennifer Boles

3. New York School of Interior Design: Home: The Foundations of Enduring Spaces by Ellen S. Fisher

4. The Interior Design Reference & Specification Book by Mimi Love and Chris Grimley

5. Residential Interior Design: A Guide to Planning Spaces by Maureen Mitton

6. Interior Design Masterclass by Carl Dellatore

7. Time-Saver Standards for Interior Design and Space Planning by DeChiara, Joseph; Panero, Julius; Zelnik.

8. Interior Construction and Detailing by David Kent Ballast

9. Interior Lighting by Malcolm Innes

10. History of Interior Design by John Pile

To conclude, it would not be wrong to say that interior design is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after careers in India. More opportunities are opening up as the population expands and the demand for new homes and commercial-retail space rises rapidly.

Bhoomika HS

Bhoomika HS

This article has been written by Bhoomika HS, team Kaarwan. She is on a journey to find her voice, through her writing and inner joys!