In my experience, most people don't come into interior design straight from school at age 18. Many people become an interior designer later in life, often as a second career, and usually after they have discovered a passion for the subject after decorating their own home.
But does just enjoying decorating your own home mean that you should become an interior designer?
Let's take a look at both sides of the story.
The arguments FOR becoming an interior designer
- There is nothing better than doing what you love for a living. If you have genuinely enjoyed choosing paint colours, fabrics, furniture and styling the space, then being an interior designer allows you to do that on a daily basis.
- When you have been through the decorating process yourself, you really understand where people get stuck, and how you can help them. This knowledge makes you much more relatable to your client, and much better placed to be able to help them.
- Seeing your creations come to life in transforming someone's home is like nothing on earth. And seeing your client's reaction when you've given them the home of their dreams makes you feel like you're walking on air!
The arguments AGAINST becoming an interior designer
- Designing someone else's space is very different to designing your own space. A professional interior designer needs to plan the design from the beginning through to the end before beginning. They also have to manage the project, and the clients, and these are skills that you must have in place if you want to be successful.
- When designing for someone else, especially in the early days, you may have to design spaces that aren't really your cup of tea. Designing a room with other people's restrictions means that you sometimes have to compromise on what you know would make a better design.
- Managing difficult people is a part and parcel of the role. From suppliers to contractors to clients, there is always someone who makes the project a little more difficult. When you're decorating your own home, what you say goes. However, when you are not the client you often have to have the diplomacy skills of a UN negotiator to get through the project in one piece.
And the final decision...?
In my line of work, I'm a little biased.
Working in interior design is inspiring, fulfilling and makes my heart sing. But just make sure that you go into it with your eyes wide open. Get some training under your belt so that you know what you're doing, and get a support network in place to help you set up and grow your business.