Interior designers work to visualise and produce interiors in a range of contexts, including homes and commercial spaces. Their aim is to deliver interiors that match a client’s brief, providing them with a space in which to live or work that is both comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. They need to understand how to plan a space, how to make use of colour, how to choose appropriate furniture, how to make use of lighting and how to work to a budget. It is common for designers to work with other professionals, such as architects and builders, so good communication skills are a necessity.
Interior designers can be entirely self-taught, but most hold degree-level qualifications in design, architecture, or another related discipline. Along with a degree of creative flair, a designer must possess the skills needed to develop and oversee projects to completion. This means understanding how to put together a realistic timeline, communicating with clients and being willing to overcome problems in a flexible, creative manner. The design industry is immensely competitive, so those looking to work in this field need to be comfortable with self-promotion. It is common for interior designers to be self-employed, but most spend time working in design firms whilst they build up a portfolio and list of contacts. Ambitious designers can set up their own medium or large-scale business and employ other people, or they may prefer to operate as an individual. Whichever option they choose, they will need to be familiar with the rules and legislation that come with self-employment and running a commercial operation.
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