What does it take to become a great interior designer?
Inspiration? Passion? An eye for detail? Perhaps all these things and more. At KOTHEA we don’t profess to be interior designers however we do deal with many of the top desingers in the UK.
They all share many characteristics.
They are great organisers. Even relatively small interiors projects are complex and involve dealing with many suppliers and tracking the purchasing and installation of products and services from them. So as well as your creative flair you have to be a good project manager, or at least employ someone who is.
They are great salespeople. Starting your own interior desing business is still starting a business. The same rules apply to designers as to successful business people elsewhere. You have to be passionate about what you do and people will want to buy from someone who is both knowledgeable and enjoying what they do.
They have Empathy and Understanding. It’s great innovating amazing new concepts that you love but your client has to like them. Understanding what your client wants and delivering to the brief is vital. The best and cheapest marketing you will ever get will be from word of mouth advertising from delighted cients. When you have grown your international interior design business you won’t need a salesforce if you have 100 delighted cleints on your books.
They excel and focus. Be great at something. Even better, be indespensible. If you are starting at ‘the bottom’ of a large design practice always do a great job but excel at some aspect of it, get noticed, and if that bit you are really good at helps the business grow then make it your area by the knowledge and passion you put into it. If you are going out on your own then try to focus; it can be a big leap in the technical aspects of going from say spas to aircraft to ski chalets. If you’ve just done an underground restaurant-bar focus your efforts on securing another one; the sale will be easier and that next job will be easier to deliver on when you win it. You will make less mistakes and so make more money, even the very best designers still have bills to pay.
They have contacts. Getting started is difficult in any business. If you know the right potential clients and the right people in the industry it will be easier for you. At the very least you will need experience and perhaps that is where the basic training is important. So if you are looking to get a formal training go for it. Get excited about creating wonderful schemes for your expectant clients but don’t forget the business side of what you do.
A comprehensive list of courses is available through the BIDA web site and the 2 better known ones are also listed immediately below. Happy studying and good luck with your future career: