From time to time we receive enquiries from aspiring Interior Designers.
Mostly they ask about how to get into the industry, the best way to get trained and, somewhat surprisingly, how to set up their own Interior Design businesses.
We try to give some helpful advice where we can.
Recently, we received an enquiry, which we found particularly intriguing because it was from a lady who had just completed a degree in Business Studies.
We constructed a response to suit the lady’s specific enquiry – and thought that our reply might be of interest to others. Therefore we have reproduced it below as a current blog in the hope it might be interesting and or helpful to other aspiring Interior Designers.
Here is our response:
“The Interior Design industry can be extremely rewarding. It can be both financially and creatively fulfilling. However, on your own, it can also be a very tough, competitive business.
You already have a qualification in Business Studies, so you may already know this, but let me emphasise:
A successful Interior Design firm (that you hope to set up in the future) will not only rely upon your technical knowledge. But, a bit like many other creative industries, obtaining work will depend just as much on your marketing skills and who you know, as it will on what you learn or the source of your knowledge.
Also, you need to bear in mind something few people realise the importance of, until they are submerged into the world of Interior Design. It is this:
No matter what you learn or what client work you obtain, your design work will always rely upon other people. Whether it is an electrician fitting your lighting specification, a contractor laying a floor you have specified or a joiner building a fitted unit you have designed, as an Interior Designer you will always be the conduit through which other people’s skills will pass. A detailed understanding of the work carried out by other tradespeople – and amassing a set of really good trade contacts, will also therefore be extremely important to your future success.
So, to some extent the type of course you undertake, will not in itself determine your level of success. However, in our view it is still important to understand the options available:
- You could pay for a distance learning course. Completing a basic diploma course from home could take as little as twelve weeks and cost up to about £500. See for instance the British College of Interior Design. Conversely, a home study course such as the one I did with Rhodec International will cost considerably more and take several years, even putting in 30 plus hours each week.
- Rhodec is one of the few commercial operations suitably accredited to provide training to Degree level. Web searches and the back page adverts in home magazines will provide you with the whole range of commercially run courses, like the two I have mentioned.
- Some funded Further Education Colleges (where there is still some funding) provide financially subsidised part time Interior Design courses, at a lower cost than most of the commercial organisations – but I have no experience of how good they are – you would need to do your own research.
- There are a few universities providing full time Degree courses and as you have already done a Degree course, you probably have a good idea what level of commitment is involved – and its end result.
- You could seek full time employment training and if you did, my advice would be this: seek a job/training position with an extremely well established Interior Design practice. The bigger their business, the better for you. If you can find a Design Practice that also includes qualified Architects in its workforce, even better. Down this route the pay will not be great and the work may begin with some menial tasks. But it should pay dividends in the end- especially bearing in mind what I said earlier about networking and contacts.
Finally, whichever path you take, make sure the training you embark upon includes a good amount of CAD training and experience, which will prove crucial to your future.
We hope reading this will be of some help and wish you all the very best of luck and success in the future”.
Written by Jonathan Aylen 12.06.2015