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Careers in Interior Design

Careers in Interior Design

A calling that's best suited for people who are creative, imaginative, and endowed with an esthetic sense, interior designing as a field involves specialized careers where individuals can carve a niche for themselves. It encompasses a vast gamut of skills ranging from designing and planning to decorating and furnishing any interior space.
CareerStint Staff
Interior designing as a career option is a very interesting field for people with an artistic bent of mind. Their work ranges from selecting the color of the walls to deciding the furniture, furnishings, lighting fixtures, and artwork. To develop a design style, they need to work in close contact with the architects of the building space as well as the occupants. In case the building is under construction or renovation, designers can be called upon to decide the placement of windows, doors, keeping in mind accessibility for the handicapped. They may have to work with the plumbers and electricians, and even the building contractor to ascertain that the design meets safety standards. Depending upon their choice and style of work, interior designers can make a career by working in various sectors, as mentioned below.

Interior Designing Careers

Residential Sector
Home designing is a very popular career option which involves designing an entire home or apartment to designing individual aspects like living room, master bedroom, children's bedroom, or the kitchen. They must take into account the residents' style, personal choices and space available, not to mention the budget restrictions.

Home Staging
An upcoming aspect of designing, home staging involves redesigning your current house in such a way that it looks presentable to a potential buyer. Many people take the help of professional designers to upgrade their homes, so that it fetches a higher price.

Corporate Sector
This involves jobs related to designing offices, banks, and business places. The real skill lies in the fact that professionals must design the space in such a way that a room with a formal feel to it should not look too drab and stern, but on the other hand, make employees feel comfortable and increase their social interaction to make the office a better place to work in, while adhering to the principles of ergonomics. It can also involve having a thorough knowledge of telecommunications and electronic appliances, since these two elements play a very important role while designing the office space.

Hospitality Sector
These professionals design the interiors of hotels, restaurants, cafes, convention centers, banquet halls, health clubs, etc. This field has a huge scope for creativity since it caters to a comparatively bigger audience. A lot of factors need to be carefully looked into, the most important being esthetics, comfort, and functionality, all within the budgetary limitations. It can involve purchasing furniture and decorative items on a big scale.

Healthcare Sector
This involves designing hospitals, nursing centers, doctors' offices, assisted living centers, and a host of other healthcare facilities. An interior designer must hold a specialization and possess excellent knowledge of the healthcare industry. Designing a hospital is by no means a small task. Inpatient facilities, outpatient departments, surgery rooms, clinical laboratories, housekeeping services, all these and much more, go into making a hospital. Designing a hospital also involves taking into consideration factors like state-of-the-art medical equipment, telecommunications, and a complex system of electrical and electronic networks. The designer must work to make the best use of space available, leaving nothing redundant, while ensuring all facilities are easily accessible by patients, doctors, and hospital staff.

Retail Sector
Professionals specialized in this field have to design commercial spaces, shopping malls, arcades, art galleries, exhibition centers, etc. As with the healthcare and hospitality sectors, this is another field where designers can make full use of their creativity and imagination. Expert knowledge of the building's infrastructure is, without doubt, a must before designing and planning the interiors.

Other than these, designers may have to design interiors of schools and educational facilities as well. Specialization can also include designing in the performing arts sector, like theaters, concert halls, and sets for television and movies. Other popular and upcoming niches are Green Interior Designing and Feng Shui Interior Designing. As the name suggests, green implies designing interiors in an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient way, and feng shui means, designing a space using feng shui principles and components to create harmony and balance between its elements. There are also In-store Interior Designers that work in furniture, home decor, and garden stores, selling design ideas and merchandise through catalogs, but never actually visiting a customer's home.

Educational Requirements
  • There are special programs accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation, and students enrolling in these can get a bachelor's or master's degree.
  • The National Council for Interior Design Qualifications conducts exams for potential students who can then receive the NCIDQ certificate, which states that the person is knowledgeable about those elements of interior designing that may affect the life, health, safety, and welfare of the public. To qualify for the examination, candidates must complete a designing course and gain supervised work experience.
  • The National Association of Schools of Art and Design has college-level courses for students wishing to take up interior designing as a career option.
  • Students can take up courses which teach subjects like space planning, lighting design, graphic designing, industrial and product design, photography, visual communications, CAD (computer-aided design), applied design, industrial arts, color schemes, safety laws, etc., as per their choice and intended field of specialization.
Designers can run their own design firms, work freelance, or work as an employee with a design firm. An innate talent to design, an eye for detail, and superb communication skills are a must. An individual who runs his own firm should also possess basic business skills like financing, making decisions, management, and networking, especially if he has a team of junior designers working for him. Whatever type of space he is working on, whether it's commercial or residential, an interior designer must combine all his artistic and architectural capabilities to come up with the most innovative design ideas, within the allocated budget and also keep the client happy. Though it is a lot of hard work, this is a job that can give you immense satisfaction at the end of the day.