Living the Creative Life: How to be the Best Interior Designer

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Nowadays, especially with a myriad of creative software tools and design training resources online, everyone can quickly consider themselves as an interior designer. Advances in technology has made creating more accessible to many, design pegs included, and this has led some to believe that they are designers in their own right. However, there is more to being an interior designer than meets the eye.

Interior Designer vs. Interior Decorator

At the very basic level, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics says one has to earn a degree that focuses on interior design to become a professional in this industry. Without this basic requirement, one cannot be an interior designer. So how do we call professionals who love to design interiors and are so talented at what they do that they get paid for it? They’re called interior decorators. An article on Freshome Design and Architecture magazine that education is the main factor that separates interior designers from interior decorators.

The first step to becoming the best interior designer is to have an accredited education. However, it doesn’t stop at just earning a degree. After completing your degree, here are three more career-building tasks that you need to do in order to stand out:

1. Legitimize yourself.Those who are serious at what they do work towards legitimate paperwork to support their practice. Joining professional groups like the International Interior Design Assocation and getting the right certificates is the way to go. Also, setting up the right receipts and contracts with a legal team helps clients feel at ease that they are working with a professional who has a true stake in his and her business. Nothing says serious than a contract on a letterhead and official receipts upon receiving payments.

2. Branding and talent go together.Although talent and education are what bring you to the door, it is branding that leads people knocking to the door you have built. Great talent is one that people get to enjoy because they know all about it and what it stands for. So get the word out there. Build a website and a great social media presence. Instagram and Pinterest are steadily gaining ground as the platform best for people in the visual and creative field. If you don’t have actual completed projects to show yet, showcase your ideas using photo-realistic 3D rendering.Post actual work or pegs and establish relationships online. Offline, design a good portfolio or company profile and of course, have a calling card handy. Network extensively and make people know that you exist.

3. Know what you do and be always updated. What separates the great from the good? It all boils down to discipline. Great interior designers never stop investing not just in their clothes or offices or materials but in their practice. Attending seminars and being steeped in the design culture is the key to success. Being one step ahead of clients through continuing education is the secret to a sustainable career. Fundamentals are always important before mood boards. Knowing the latest trends in marketing such as using 3D animation or 3D renders makes for an interior designer that’s taken seriously.

As with any industry, great work is always celebrated and is the one true thing that makes an interior designer stand out.


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