What interior designers do, the different types of designers, and the training involved to be considered a true professional. A true interior designer makes sure a space works efficiently and looks spectacular. Required licensing and formal education sets designers at a professional level, with many years of experience helping them become experts in their field.
The career of an interior designer can be defined many different ways depending on who you ask. Technically, an interior designer is a licensed professional who works with a client to style a space in a specific way to be completely functional and beautiful. Wearing many different hats, there are a variety of tasks to perform to get the job done, usually at the same time. This sometimes can be stressful, but it’s well worth it to make a client happy. To get a clear idea of what an interior designer’s job is, what types of designers there are, and the training required to become a professional, check out our breakdown.
Interior Designer, Defined
To be called a professional interior designer, one must have a formal education. A designer will need to have a college degree to be able to label themselves as such. Additionally, certain regions require designers to be licensed to be called a professional.
A professional interior designer works within a client’s budget to remodel or redesign a place according to the client’s prefered style. A balance needs to be made between making a space attractive while also functional, much easier said than done. In some cases, an interior designer will see if a few remodeling adjustments can be made to make a room work better, in which case she will work with the architect to make sure these modifications are possible. The budget and timeframe of the project are also closely watched, so being well organized is a must.
This can vary quite a bit, from being more general to focusing only on one room. Typically there are residential designers and corporate professionals, as well as other smaller categories. These can overlap, as long as they hold the right licenses and educational certificates to work between different fields of design.
Usually an interior designer will be hired onto a home project by the architect if it’s a new project. If the home is already built, clients can still contact a trusted builder or architect for a suggestion of a good interior designer to hire. The designer will focus on one or more rooms the client wants styled, or the overall home itself. If a client wants one room specifically to be designed, such as a bathroom or kitchen, there are specific interior designers who are certified to work on these rooms. Othertimes an interior designer is great to help organize storage and closet space to make these areas as efficient as possible.
Similar to a residential interior designer, a corporate designer focuses on office building spaces, and can also expand to other professional structures such as hotels, restaurants, banks, schools, and retailer stores. Big chain companies might have an interior designer on staff to make sure each company has the same look and function. These designers need to do just as much multitasking as a residential one, staying within a specific budget and making sure to style the space according to the needs of the client.
To be officially called an interior designer, and to be able to put that title on professional documents, many provinces require you to become licensed. After obtaining a license, an interior designer will be considered a professional just like an engineer or an architect. Getting this certification can help her work for companies that specifically hire licensed professionals.
To be able to take these licensing tests, a bachelors or associates degree in interior design as well as a few years of experience will be needed. A strong understanding of the history of design is important, and will be taught along with many other helpful courses to attain a degree. Knowledge of building codes, government policies, and the basic understanding of the physics of a building are also needed to be qualified, and can be learned from both an education as well as job experience.
There are many hoops to jump through to become a professional interior designer, but it’s all worth it in the end when a client is happy with a finished product. It’s a fulfilling and enjoyable career that involves both creative and technical aspects to create a space that’s beautiful as well as functional.