Nowadays, one of the most appealing career paths to follow is being a home designer due to factors such as benefiting from excellent pay, having space for creativity, and enjoying high levels of job satisfaction; not to mention, you also get to make a huge impact on people’s lives when you execute the right vision for their home interiors—therefore, it’s incredibly rewarding.
When it comes to being a home designer, you can’t just become one in 24 hours. It’s a profession that takes a lot of preparation, training, and education before you’re ready to make the jump and start your own business.
As a helping hand, this easy guide is going to provide you with aselection of hints and tips that will get you going in the right direction. Before long, you’ll be the home designer you were born to be!
Learn about site and floor plans
In the world of interior design, two important factors are site plans and floor plans, and it’s important to note that there’s a big difference between the two:
When it comes to site plans, there are various different types. A site plan is an aid that home designers use to plan which structures go where—taking into account the position of roads, sidewalks, and various other external factors. Without a site plan, very rarely will a home design project be a success, as it leaves too much room for risk. This is why you need to become an expert in site plans before you can become a qualified home designer.
In addition to this, there’s floor plans. Floor plans are used to plan the exact layout of individual rooms, from where specific furniture pieces will be placed to what color individual walls will be. Thanks to modern technology, the days of using paper-and-pen blueprints are over. Instead, professionals are making floorplan blueprints using software on smartphones, tablets, and computers. This type of software can enable designers to create expert floor plans simply by swiping their fingers and altering the interactive on-screen 3D design to suit their vision.
There are also lots of videos on YouTube that discuss site- and floor plans in more detail. You can use these videos to supplement your knowledge and better prepare yourself for a career in home design.
Study at university
Most (but not all) home and interior designers kickstart at university. Currently, thousands of universities around the world offer home design degrees. In many cases, these degree courses can even be studied online, which is great for mature students who are perhaps juggling a job at the same time.
Popular examples of home design university courses include:
- Interior design
- Art and design
- Interior architecture
The one you choose will be entirely dependent on your existing skills and personal preferences. For example, if you studied art and design at school, then you might want to continue this at university.
One key element to look out for in university courses is practical, real-world experience. These days, many universities send their students on work placements related to their field of study, which enables them to gain invaluable experience for when they finally graduate.
Get an apprenticeship
If you don’t want to go down the education route, then you can try to get an apprenticeship in home design, instead. Although apprenticeships aren’t as popular as they used to be (due to the explosion in popularity of universities), there’s still plenty out there to choose from.
During your apprenticeship, you’ll likely spend time under the wing of one (or multiple) home designers who will teach you everything you need to know. At the same time, you will also likely gain qualifications from a local college (as apprenticeships usually work in partnership with colleges).
For aspiring home designers who are desperate to get out there as soon as possible, an apprenticeship might be the best option.
Look for direct work experience
Sometimes, it’s possible to find work as a home design assistant—even if you have little to no previous experience. Over time, as your experience levels grow, a company will typically then promote you to higher roles until you become a fully qualified home designer.
Create mood boards
Whether you plan on working for a company or as a self-employed business owner in the future, it’s always a good idea to create mood boards.
Mood boards are an excellent source for expressing your design creativity. Client-specific mood boards can even be used to demonstrate visions that you have for specific homes, and can even prove to be a deal-breaker when it comes to finding new clients.
You can create mood boards using a variety of different tools, including:
- Home design apps and software
- Practical canvases
On your mood boards, you can include everything from wallpaper samples to color pallets—anything that you think would suit a particular project.
As you get better at creating mood boards over time, you’ll be able to impress potential clients more easily.
Find your particular niche
The home and interior design industry is both huge and multi-layered. Within it, it’s common for home designers to have particular niches that they specialize in, such as:
If there’s a particular niche that appeals to you the most, then you should dive into it as much as you can so that you can learn and develop your skills.
For example, in 2022, lighting is a big concern for many homeowners in the interior design process. If you have expert knowledge in lighting, then you’re going to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack.
Conclusion and final thoughts
This guide has covered everything you need to know regarding what it takes to become a home designer; from studying at university to finding a niche that appeals to you.
Typically, it takes between one and four years for an individual to truly become good at home and interior design. Remember, it’s about combining learned knowledge with practical experience until the perfect blend is created.
Also, make sure to keep uptodate with all the latest industry trends and practices, as the home design industry is constantly evolving with the times!