Starting your career in interior design: First steps
Create a portfolio of your work. Try to do as many varied projects as possible. It will teach you all you need to know first-hand and also work as a showcase for your talent. Interior design or decor is about space planning, conceptual creativity and a lot of hard work.
While design is a major aspect, you also need a lot of basic management and business skills, more so if you plan to run your own practice. When you strip away the design and glamour accoutrements, what you have left is a lot of planning and time-management skills, labour management, client handling, costing analyses and execution abilities.
If you cannot transform what is in your head into something that is concrete, you are perhaps better suited to the drawing board. Read more features on learning interior design in India.
Research every aspect of your trade. Find suppliers, understand products and build relationships. These people will be your backbone. The stronger they are, the more upright your standing will be professionally. They can get you better deals, which means you can offer clients a better deal and that is one way a new kid on the block gets business. Once you are familiar with different styles, concepts in flooring, wall coverings, soft furnishings, accessories and art you must find the suppliers who will actually deliver the goods.
While you are meeting clients, learn to do one thing. It will determine your success as an interior designer. It is not your ability to design. It is your ability to LISTEN. Understand your client. Find out what their lifestyle is. Discover what their likes and dislikes are. Find out what they need and desire. You will find that it may not necessarily coincide with what you would instinctively recommend.
This leaves you with two choices. If you can find a point of convergence, try to assimilate their wants into your presentation as much as possible. If you find no meeting ground, you are better off recommending someone who can deliver the goods rather than work on a project where you will derive no satisfaction and the client will offer no appreciation. At the end of the day your design style and their requirements have to meet half-way for it to be a productive enterprise.