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What does the everyday schedule look like if your an interior designer?

I want to be an interior designer, but what would I be doing everyday? Would I be building and working/designing a space? Or would I be doing paperwork and using a computer part of the time too? design interior-design

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Holley’s Answer

Hello Taylor

Excellent question. This is my favorite thing about interior design--interior designers do lots of different things in a day. I work for a small firm, so I get to participate in pretty much all aspects of a project. I go to initial meetings (or on conference calls) with the client to discover what their needs are for the space. Then, I brainstorm with the rest of the firm to generate ideas and solutions. We generally do bubble diagrams on top of CAD drawings to show the proposed flow of the space. Once decisions are finalized, we do the layout in CAD on the computer, then put it into a 3D program (we usually use SketchUp). We pick out finishes, paint colors, etc., so we get that tactile, hands-on process as well, and get to interact with the vendors for the finishes, etc. We even get to go to the site when the space is being renovated/built to see the progress.

I would say, though, that the most important aspect of being an interior designer is communication in all its forms: face-to-face, on the telephone, through drawings/sketches, computer plans and 3D images, and even talking to vendors, general contractors, etc. It's a lot of follow up and discussion to get things right.

To learn more, I cannot recommend internships highly enough. Interning in several different types of firms will give you a better idea of what you'll see on a day-to-day basis as a designer. Or, you could approach various firms and just ask if you could shadow someone who works there for a day or two. Interior designers tend to be very open and interested in helping the next generation to thrive.

Good luck in your career!
Thank you! It's great to get info from people who do this best! :) Taylor A.
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Shyam’s Answer

Interior Designers plan, design, and furnish interiors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings. Formulate design which is practical, aesthetic, and conducive to intended purposes, such as raising productivity, selling merchandise, or improving life style. Also design plans to be safe and to be compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).
Coordinate with other professionals, such as contractors, architects, engineers, and plumbers, to ensure job success.
Inspect construction work on site to ensure its adherence to the design plans.
Use computer-aided drafting (CAD) and related software to produce construction documents.
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Parthey’s Answer

Hi Taylor!

This is a great question. It's awesome to be thinking about what your everyday life would look like, no matter what career path you choose. This is an important step in choosing a path that is right for you.

Although my background is not in interior design, I have some thoughts on this. I am confident that as we move towards a more technology-enabled future, you should expect that a large portion of your work will be done on some type of computer. With new developments such as augmented reality (AR), an interior designer can use a smartphone or tablet camera to "see" what a new setup can look like in a given space. Check out this post for more information on that idea.

In regards to paperwork/administrative tasks versus actually designing something, what I have learned after working at various jobs is that every role will have a mix of creative aspects and also more routine "admin" tasks involved. We have to be organized to be successful and that will take some admin type of work to accomplish.

Finally, I highly recommend seeking an apprenticeship/internship in this field as early as possible, or at the very least, shadow someone for a full day (or more) who is currently working as an interior designer. Please see the next steps section below.

Parthey recommends the following next steps:

Work with your school counselor to create a list of schools (universities or technical programs) that have strong interior design programs. Make sure to keep tuition costs in mind.
Create an account on LinkedIn (if you haven't already) and research people that are working as interior designers. Look at what schools they went to, what other jobs they held before landing in their role, and any other details about their path that can help you.
Find people on LinkedIn working as interior designers near you and reach out to them for advice. Ask if you can email them questions you have, or even set up a phone call to ask your questions.
Search a reputable job board for internship/assistantship positions for interior design. It helps to have this in-person experience as soon as possible to know if this career is right for you.
Thank you so much for your input!! I look forward checking out the blog!!☺ Taylor A.