Design & Architecture
Interior designers plan the layout and design of inside spaces in residential and commercial buildings.
What does an Interior Designer do?
Interior designers plan the layout and design of inside spaces in residential and commercial buildings. This can include private homes and buildings such as offices, hotels, restaurants and retail shops. Interior designers may also be called interior architects.
As an interior designer, you would:
- meet clients to discuss their requirements
- see the space which is to be planned or decorated
- develop designs that are within budget and appropriate to the client's needs
- draw up sketches for approval by hand or using computer software
- make recommendations on space allocation, traffic flow, and the location of building services
- advise on colour schemes, furniture, fixtures and surface finishes
- organise spaces to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing
- prepares cost estimates and quotes
- source materials and furnishings for the design
- contract and supervise tradespeople
- work closely with architects, builders, project managers, engineering consultants, shop fitters, cabinet makers, furniture suppliers and materials suppliers.
Key skills and interests
To become an interior designer, you would need:
- creative flair
- an ability to understand customer needs
- problem solving skills
- artistic and drawing skills
- knowledge of computer-aided design
- good organisation and planning skills
- an understanding of building and safety regulations.
Working hours and conditions
As an interior designer you would usually work a standard number of hours per week but may need to work evening and weekends to fit your clients' needs. Long hours may be required when projects are nearing completion.
Interior designers are employed in consulting businesses such as interior design consultancies and architectural practices. Many interior designers are self-employed. You would be based in a studio or office, which may be a home office, and you would spend a lot of time visiting clients, building sites and suppliers.
How to become an Interior Designer?
Entry Level Education
To become an interior designer you must complete a VET qualification in interior design or interior design and decoration. You may be able to study through distance education.
A degree in applied design, interior design, interior architecture or spatial design may improve your chances of employment in this occupation. Degree-level interior architecture/design education has an emphasis on commercial and industrial interiors such as offices, public buildings, hospitals, department stores and shops. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and mathematics are appropriate subjects to study prior to university. Applicants usually require a portfolio of their work and may have to go through an interview process.
Employment of interior designers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Designers will be needed to respond to consumer expectations that the interiors of homes and offices meet certain conditions, such as being environmentally friendly, more easily accessible and aesthetically pleasing.