DO I REALLY NEED AN INTERIOR DESIGN QUALIFICATION?
Want the short answer?
… and Yes!
Let me explain…
You see, in the UK there is no formal requirement for anyone to study interior design. You can start up an interior design practice tomorrow and start serving clients immediately, without a qualification to your name. Indeed, many people do, and some people make a big success of it.
And yet, if you want to go and work for a big interior design firm, you are usually expected to have some form of formal interior design education, if not a full blown degree.
But if you simply want to start up a small practice of your own, or work for a smaller local interior designer, is there any point in spending time and money to get yourself trained if there is no legal requirement to?
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that because they are good at decorating their own homes, they will be a good interior designer. But there’s a lot more to it than that!
Let’s have a look at some of the ways that an interior design qualification can help you:
1. Problem Solving Skills
Interior design is mostly about problem solving. Clients come to you often because they have tried- and failed- to solve a problem in their home, and they are looking to you for your specialist skills to help them. An interior design qualification gives you the framework you need to problem-solve, making sure that you don’t miss out any steps in the process.
2. Sensitive Communication
Secondly, interior design is about good communication. It’s about understanding what can and can’t be achieved, as well as how to manage that communication sensitively with your client. An interior design qualification gives you the skills to handle these situations.
Credibility for an interior designer comes from the projects they have worked on, but what do you do if you are just starting out? How can you get that credibility? Being able to show that you have some formal education gives you a base level of credibility with your clients, until your portfolio speaks for itself.
And speaking of portfolio, an interior design qualification is usually a practical course and throughout your studies, you will be creating your portfolio as you go. The concept boards, design boards, drawings and elevations you create during your qualification can all be used as a starter portfolio to get you going once you qualify.
Studying interior design puts you in contact with people who are at the same stage of learning as you, as well as putting you in touch with your tutor who has a whole network of professionals. In addition to this, your training should see you putting together a ‘little black book’ of fellow professional contacts from within the industry, such as upholsterers, decorators and so so on.
And last but not least, an interior design qualification can give you the confidence you need to get started on a career in interior design. Having some knowledge and a network of contacts stands you in good stead to make a success of your business. And of course, The Home Design School also offers a monthly membership, where you can get advice, coaching and support to help you grow your business and make it profitable.
If you’re thinking of toying with studying interior design, I am running a high quality interior design qualification (accredited by Ofqual, the UK body for qualification) starting on May 1st 2018. Come on over to our Facebook group to ask me more about it.