13 Interior Design Skills: Definition, Examples And Duties

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 20 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Interior design can be a rewarding career option for people with artistic talent since many businesses are in need of their skills. In the process of becoming an interior designer, it is crucial to understand which talents to focus on and how to improve in those areas. If you want to work in the field, knowing the relevant skills can help you advance your career and market your abilities to potential employers. In this article, we discuss the duties of an interior designer and review the necessary interior design skills to become successful in this profession.

What are interior design skills?

Interior design skills are creative, organisational and analytical abilities and strengths that professionals can use to handle relevant tasks in an efficient manner while considering client needs and comfort. In addition to specialising in residential interior design, interior design for commercial properties and house staging can also be lucrative. Their job allows them to hone creativity, technical knowledge and professional skills in various aspects of construction, architecture and individual lifestyle.

Related: 9 Different Types Of Interior Design Jobs With Salary Info

Types of interior design skills

To become a successful interior designer, you require both hard and soft skills. Here are 13 essential skills for working in the field of interior design:

Creative or artistic skills

Interior designers often use their creative abilities to produce unique design concepts for a variety of spaces. Innovative ideas can help you envision the final design, including furniture and fabrics, to achieve the desired outcome. Combining multiple palettes and patterns or introducing relatively unconventional design components requires your creativity.

Related: Top Jobs In The Arts (With Duties And Earning Potential)

Attention to detail

Paying attention to the smallest details is useful when measuring, assessing space, drafting and executing projects. The smallest details can aid in taking accurate measurements, assessing spaces, drafting and executing projects. You can supervise installations such as lighting, walls and floors and verify that all components meet the required standards. Detail-oriented people are also better able to detect potential problems and conduct repairs and routine maintenance.

Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips

Communication skills

Designers often collaborate with a variety of experts, such as civil engineers, architects and developers. Effective communication is the key to monitoring the project, minimising errors and increasing efficiency. Frequently communicating with clients can help you understand and manage their expectations and provide suggestions that can make the entire process more efficient. Communicating your ideas properly may help you achieve success as a designer in acquiring resources, making proposals and marketing your ideas.

Related: Verbal Communication Examples In The Workplace (With Tips)

Time management and problem-solving skills

As you work on various projects to achieve your goals, it may often be necessary to reorganize parts of your schedule. As you may be working on multiple projects at the same time, project management skills can assist you in selecting or assigning duties and prioritising tasks.

Sometimes projects might not end up as originally intended and designers might often require to address issues regularly. As a result of unforeseen events, unanticipated costs may arise. Decor pieces, furnishings or objects the client desires might not be available or remodelling plans may evolve for a multitude of reasons, necessitating interior design adjustments. Problem-solving skills are vital in such situations.

Organisational skills

You can use organisation skills to tackle various tasks in a timely and effective manner. Monitoring the design's implementation may require keeping financial records, design documents, requirements and specifications. Prioritising and delegating chores is generally easier with organisational abilities.

Managing relationships and securing projects are other aspects of the job. Interior designers usually manage their goals with meticulous planning and discipline. This eliminates uncertainty regarding clients' requirements or budgeting conflicts.

Adaptability and flexibility

Being adaptable can help you manage schedules, coordinate activities and develop plans with little to no impact on your budget or schedule. Your work as an interior designer may require you to travel frequently and maintain flexible hours. Working on multiple projects with varying deadlines and scopes requires flexibility.

In this highly competitive profession, it is essential for designers to learn and apply new concepts quickly. They might revise their ideas and planned designs in response to the client's requirements, budgetary limits or unexpected delays. Possessing a receptive attitude enables the transformation of a challenging situation into a feasible one.

Teamwork

Working effectively as part of a team might assist you in coordinating services and completing tasks on schedule. You might, for example, often collaborate with builders to ensure that all project concepts are compatible with current or planned structures or design features. You may also coordinate with other contractors, such as carpenters, electricians and plumbers, to ensure that all the pieces of furniture, pipes and cables are in working order.

Imagination

An interior designer can envision the possibilities of any space, regardless of whether it's empty or furnished. When creating designs for their clients, they can visualise how different colours, textures and items affect the general atmosphere and feel of a space. You can use creative abilities like inventiveness, originality and spatial awareness to attract prospective employers.

Knowledge of design history, trends and sustainable practices

From Scandinavian to Eclectic to Art Deco, a designer's proficiency in a variety of styles can be a useful starting point. The interior designer may tailor their services to different types of clients. Knowledgeable interior designers are usually competent in a variety of styles and can experiment with new concepts to develop creative designs as required.

A designer's ability to stay up to date with the latest trends gives them the opportunity to offer their clients expert advice and incorporate fresh ideas into their designs. Sustainable and eco-friendly features appeal to many clients. These features and technologies are well understood by designers. Interior designers determine what is best for clients and their skill plays a crucial role in customer satisfaction.

Drawing skills

Interior designers typically employ drawing skills to develop their ideas and share them with clients. Sketching lets them build a vision of what they want to produce and include how certain design aspects may affect the overall aesthetic of a space. Interior designers develop graphic representations of structures using drafting abilities. When planning the design of a room, taking precise measurements to sketch appropriate room sizes, elevations or sections might be beneficial. Creating hand-drawn models can help you be precise and descriptive when building the design.

Software skills

Interior designers usually start with rough sketches on paper and then construct precise representations of their designs using computer-aided design tools. You can start building a professional design portfolio by using 3D modelling and other design software tools. Designers often use computer software to create virtual models they can show clients. They may use building information modelling to create a final project that incorporates all features of the space.

Product knowledge

By familiarising yourself with various companies and commodities, you can choose the best furnishings and decorations for your project. It is often helpful to identify trends and to select quality items that enhance a space. Visits to hardware stores, catalogues and exhibitions can broaden your product knowledge. Knowing what materials to use and how to use them can make your job easier. When the client's preferred materials are not available, you can suggest alternatives.

Budgeting skills

Knowing what every aspect of the design process costs and how to allocate funds for optimal use is often crucial while executing an interior design project. Planning skills assist in the selection of durable materials and the realisation of clients' visions within a limited budget. The budgeting skills of interior designers can help them reduce costs and increase revenues.

How much does an interior designer make?

The national average salary of an interior designer is ₹19,281 per month. The salary can depend on multiple factors, such as the employer, location, educational qualifications, experience and skills. Interior designers can usually set their own prices based upon their experience and skills, especially those who have been in the field for a period of time.

Responsibilities of an interior designer

The following are the responsibilities of an interior designer:

  • create designs for their clients working alone or with the help of a design team

  • perform a detailed study and propose several alternatives to clients based on their requirements

  • work on-site or in a workshop to complete numerous projects

  • design interiors that serve a purpose and are expressive

  • make interiors both functional and visually stunning by considering room sizes, amenities, colours, lighting and materials

  • draw, read and edit plans

  • familiarity with all safety regulations, inspection standards and accessibility requirements

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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