Interior designer skills and qualities

Ask yourself the following questions. If you can answer yes to all of them, then you can feel confident that you are on your way to success in interior design!

Are you a strong interpersonal communicator?

Being able to communicate interpersonally means that you are good at talking to other people in a one-on-one scenario or in small groups. This is opposed to being a strong public speaker, which means that you can talk in front of large groups of people while giving a speech with ease. When it comes to interior designing, the former of the two is much more important (although you could potentially give a speech on an area of expertise at some point). There are a lot of different situations that will require you to speak in small settings with others. This is perhaps most important when it comes to meeting with clients. You need to be able to pitch them your ideas and earn them as clients, ask the right questions to understand what they want out of your design, and communicate your ideas effectively to them. You will also likely work with architects, engineers, and construction workers at some point or another. You should be able to work with these other people well so that you are all on the same page about the designs and are on amicable terms throughout the project.

Are you good at solving problems?

No matter how prepared you are as an interior designer, you will inevitably run up against some road blocks while you are designing spaces. These could range from unexpected high costs to unreliable builders to shortages of certain materials. How you handle these challenges will help make or break you as a designer. If you can keep a level head, think about how these issues impact your designs, and come up with alternative solutions, you will be less stressed out and make your clients much happier. This could mean hiring new builders at the last minute, coming up with cheaper design elements to stay in budget, or finding other materials on short notice that are similar to what you originally wanted, or at least compliment the design just as well. And remember – you need to come up with all these solutions in a quick enough time that you stay within your promised deadline! If you run way over the date you said you would be finished by, it is unlikely that you will earn glowing recommendations from your clients.

Do you have a talent for visualization?

Interior designing is primarily a visual job. You can’t really know how a project will turn out unless you can get a well-developed idea in your head of what the final result will look like. As the project goes along you should be able to visualize any potential changes and make decisions about how to improve the design, if necessary. You also need to have a good sense of proportion and strong spatial abilities so that you can make sure all the design elements fit together well, and nothing is overpowering the room. Even with the advent of computer design programs, you still need to be able to utilize visualization, and not rely entirely on virtual models.


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