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Traits And Tasks Of Interior Designers

Aug 17, 2007
The career of an interior designer combines creativity with business expertise and people skills. The traits of successful designers are varied and include:
Attentive to colors, textures, materials, lighting and layouts in various settings.
Enjoy designing or remodeling their own and other's environments.
Are creative and artistic.
Have the ability to sell.
Can organize details.
Communicate and work well with clients and other design professionals.
Create spaces that are functional, visually appealing, safe and meet all the desired requirements.
Can clearly identify the purpose and functions of various spaces.
Understand the client's vision for esthetic qualities, the look and feel, of projects.
Do research and keep current on latest trends, materials and products.
Are problem solvers.
Have ability to analyze designs and plan spaces.
Possess expertise in interior construction, materials, furniture, equipment and local building codes to help coordinate projects.
Can read architectural blueprints and create their own drawings.
Fit together artistic, functional and technical requirements.

Some specific tasks designers become involved with are choosing, negotiating with, scheduling and overseeing installers, invoicing clients, paying for necessary materials and furnishings and making sure codes are met. If you are thinking that being a designer involves more business than artistry, you are right.

The Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA), formerly known as FIDER, oversees programs at colleges and universities and certifies that certain principles and practices are taught. A bachelor's degree from a CIDA school is highly recommended and is the minimum for doing commercial work. Masters and doctorate degrees are offered at many universities. Some of the classes you can expect to take are computer aided drafting, business/marketing, art, drawing, and art, furniture and antique history. You can also expect to spend many hours on design projects.

It is imperative that designers understand not only aesthetics, but also the safety aspects of interiors. Because of this, interior designers are now licensed professionals, much like architects and nurses. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification offers an examination to certify interior designers who have met the minimum standards for professional practice. This exam is the standard to measure the competency of designers.
Before you can take the NCIDQ exam and earn your license to practice, you must have at least six years of working experience, two years of schooling plus four years of work experience or four years in a CIDA college or university plus two years of work experience. You cannot advertise or represent yourself as a registered interior designer unless you meet the minimum education, experience and examination requirements established in your state/province, and apply for use of the state-regulated title with the proper state board.
There are many career paths to take within the realm of interior design. There are residential and commercial design jobs. Within commercial business, you could specialize in schools, hospitals, banks, malls, hotels or restaurants. In larger commercial projects, your job could be project manager, draftsperson or specifier of products. Some professionals go on to be sales representatives for interior products, business owners of design firms, drapery manufacturers or even specialized installers. There are many possibilities for advancement. As our economy grows, so will the need for qualified designers. As people become busier with their personal and professional lives, they have less time to think about decorating and creating environments that reflect themselves. As long as there are homes and businesses, there will be a need for interior designers.
About the Author
Terry Gates is a freelance writer with experience oninterior design schooland interior designers.
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