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Careers in Design – Space Planning

interior design

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Almost any office space, large or small, requires that Space Designers (also known as Interior Designers) ensure that interior spaces functional, safe, appeal to staff and clients. Although there are many factors that go into keeping staff and clients happy, the foundation starts with a great first impression and well-designed office space.

When new or existing customers visit an office, what they see and experience will be a huge determining factor in whether they want to do business going forward.

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So, how do Space Designers create space that delivers the right message to clients and staff? When clients walk into an office, what will they see? If space unkempt, disorganized, and has minimal resources, it will send a message to clients that the brand or design is unprofessional.

What Interior Designers do

Interior designers help make interior spaces (office and home) functional and safe by understanding space requirements and selecting lighting, furniture and other items that will meet the design specifications or client requirements. Space Designers can read blueprints, understand building codes and sometimes coordinate securing permits.  They will work with building inspectors and ensure that they work conforms with local building regulations, as well as universal accessibility standards.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

How to Become an Interior Designer

Most Interior Design positions require a bachelor’s degree as well as a concentration in drawing, computer-aided design, and planning coursework. Depending on the location, Interior Designers may be required to be certified or obtain a license.

Internships during college will help, as will joining local and national industry groups.

Interior Designer Skills Requirements

Planning SkillsProblem SolvingGreat Computer SkillsUnderstand local codes
AutoCad SkillsCreativityExcellent Communications SkillsUnderstand current trends
Client ServiceColor BasicsHarmony and BalanceTeam Work
Time ManagementResourcefulnessOrganizedManage expectations
Great presentation skillsProfessionalizmBusiness ManagementBudgeting skills

Understand Your Clients’ Needs

Building functional office space for clients that fit their needs is key to your success. Try to provide your clients with a space that provides value. Having amenities such as an office water dispenser, coffee, and tea, as well as light refreshments can make a lasting first impression. Being able to satisfy something as simple as a dry throat or a rumbling belly as they conduct business (without having to pay for it), is considered a bonus in their eyes.

For your clients who may have clients waiting for a while to be seen, like a doctor’s office, you can consider building a place for their clients to be entertained.

Job Overview

What they earn (1)

Resources to Get You Started

Starting a new career can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of resources for you to leverage;

“Employment for Interior Designers to 2019 is expected to grow strongly. Employment in this medium-sized occupation (10 800 in November 2014) rose very strongly in the past five years and in the long-term (ten years).

Over the five years to November 2019, the number of job openings for Interior Designers is expected to be below average (between 5,001 and 10,000). Job openings can arise from employment growth and people leaving the occupation.” – Opencolleges.edu

Things You Should Consider

Like all career changes, make sure you understand some of the basics. Such as:

  • Interior Decorators are not Interior Designers. Your education and the skills mentioned earlier will set you apart from decorators who don’t always have the schooling or skills.
  • You must like working with people. This is a hands-on career where you will be working with people every day (and helping them spend their money). You must enjoy working with people (even the difficult ones).
  • We wrote earlier about knowing and understanding local codes and zoning laws.  If you enjoy this, then this is the right career for you.  If not, move on.

One More Thing

No matter what your career, perception is everything. Being an interior designer involves regular face-to-face communication with your clients, you have to go a step further to make a good impression. You will need to hone your client service skills so that clients feel welcomed, comfortable, and persuaded to do business with you in the future.

When you’re in the creative industry, you should get creative with your resume. For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, your resume should reflect that visually. Your resume is your first impression.

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You will need to convince them that you are an expert in designing an office space that meets their needs. Then, seal the deal by providing outstanding service with impeccable results.

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