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As such, an interior designer needs to have strong working relationships with architects and developers.

Qualifications needed to become an interior designer 

To become an interior designer you need a good eye for design and spatial awareness and relevant design qualifications. Most interior designers hold a degree in interior design or similar disciplines such as art and design or 3D design. Alternative courses include:

  • City and Guilds Level 1 (7722) and Level 2 (7822) in Design and Craft
  • City and Guilds Level 3 Certificate (7922) and Diploma (7923) in Design and Craft
  • BTEC National Certificate and Diploma courses in Art and Design
  • ABC (Awarding Body Consortium) Diploma in Interior Design.

Other shorter more specialist courses include:

  • Upholstery
  • Decorating Techniques
  • Feng Shui
  • The ABC Level 3 award in CAD Skills for Interior Design

As well as a strong academic qualification, interior designers must be creative and imaginative with an intimiate understanding of materials, dimensions, as well as the manufacturing processes required. Most important is logical thinking and a structured approach to costs and timescales in order to complete projects on time and within budget. Meanwhile, excellent communication skills are required to pitch concepts for approval and coordinate with architects, carpenters, painters and builders to bring your vision to completion.

Benefits of Going Freelance

While most interior designers start their careers working for a design company, going self employed as a freelance interior designer has a number of benefits, from the creative freedom of being your own boss, working from home and choosing who you work with to claiming travel expenses.

However, depending on the job, you may have to work long hours and weekends. This is especially relevant when working for businesses as deadlines for shop openings, premises launch parties and launch parties aren’t flexible on dates.

How to Find Work as a Freelance Interior Designer

In addition to qualifications, you’ll need a strong portfolio of work, a website to showcase your portfolio of work online, including contact details, testimonials and a section about yourself. You will also need a regularly updated blog to record your projects step-by-step, while a Pinterest account allows your photos to be shared online by others.

Once all of this is created and maintained, you will have the credentials to show to potential clients and begin building relationships with architects, shop owners, magazine field editors and third party vendors you will come to rely on such as painters, upholsterers or even landscapers.

While most jobs will come through relationships and word of mouth recommendations, positions can also be found in trade publications such as Design Week and Architects’ Journal and specialist websites. Although these will be hotly contests.

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