How To Establish Yourself As An Interior Designer

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There’s much to love about being an interior designer. It’s creative, it’s technical, it’s challenging. You’ll be taking an existing space and transforming it into something beautiful and inspiring, all within the perimeters set by the client. If you know that you’ve got a good eye for this kind of thing, then you’d love to make it your career choice. However, we’d be lying if we said that it was an easy job to find success in. It’s a cool profession, and that means that it’s in high demand. There are things you can do to increase your chances of success, however. We take a look at a few tried and tested tips below.

Know Your Target 

We can talk about interior design as a broad concept, but when it comes to establishing yourself and finding work, you’ll need to get a little more specific. There’s a big difference between designing the inside of someone’s home and designing a hotel or office space. As such, you’ll want to figure out who you’re targeting when you get your business up and running. You’re not going to grab everyone that needs design services. Pick a type of work that you like, and pursue that type of design. It’s about specializing.

Build Your Portfolio

You’re not going to walk into a career in interior design without first putting some work in. In the early days, you’ll need to spend a lot of time building your portfolio. It’s unlikely that anyone will hire you at your full asking price if you have no work to show them! You might not like to hear this, but it’s sometimes recommended that you work for a cut price, or even for free. That’ll give you the chance to get some experience under your belt. In a relatively short amount of time, you could have a decent portfolio that showcases your outstanding work. 

Get Marketing

As we said earlier, competition for interior design jobs can be tough. If you’re going to enter a cool profession, then that’s something that you’ll just have to accept! As such, you’ll need to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Developing a signature style will help, but a huge chunk of the task will be simply getting your work in front of an audience. For this, you’ll need to engage in marketing campaigns that are specifically tailored for interior designers, so get more details at, and begin your campaign. The more people you’re able to reach, the better the odds of you finding long-term success will be. It’s also important to remember that your social media channels will play a role in your success too — be sure to have a presence on the more visual websites, such as Instagram and Pinterest. 

Get the Look 

Finally, you’ll want to get the look of an interior designer. Your appearance will play an important role in how you’re viewed. A well-dressed, presentable interior designer will be taken more seriously than one that doesn’t look the part.

Working With A Fit-Out Contractor

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Fit-out contractors are available to help you get your project over the finishing line. However, you cannot simply hand the baton over to them and expect them to get onto it. This needs to be a collaborative effort, as you need to ensure the company is fully aware of the client’s wants. 

Fit-out contractors are, of course, experts in making interior spaces suitable for the occupation. Levitch Design is a great example. They will know exactly how to ‘fit out’ a space so that it is fit for purpose. 

Take hotels for example. No two hotels are the same, and you play a critical role in ensuring the fit-out company is fully aware of the clients wants. This includes a list of all their requirements in terms of the furniture they require, but it also means conveying the feel and look they want the hotel to have. The fit-out contractor will need to consider the hotel brand with every decision and purchase they make, and they will need to ensure the hotel provides the type of experience the client intends it to. 

You are responsible for ensuring this is effectively communicated with the contractors working on the project. You will also need to have some frank discussions regarding factors such as space utilization, energy-saving, and budget. Make sure you are on the same page before any work is undertaken. Frequent communication and collaboration is a must. 

Fit Out Partner Checklist

Fit-out contractors may be something that you require for your project. If so, you will need to choose with care. Get it wrong, and it can be a nightmare of project disruption and escalating budgets. Get it right, and you will ensure that the project runs smoothly, with no budget over-runs.

There is a lot to consider when searching for fit-out contractors. Firstly, their reputation must be taken into account. Have they provided you with references? Do they have a solid track record in your sector? Have they managed projects of a similar size? You should also find out who owns the company, whether it is part of a nationally recognized organization, if they work all over the UK, their experience, and whether there are case studies you can take a look at. 

Next, you need to assess their financial stability and your risk. Will they promise to deliver a project, snag-free with no delays on a fixed date? Will it be on budget? Do they have evidence of a healthy balance sheet? Do they have a formal process for feedback for every project? You also need to discover whether they have the funds that are required for your project to be completed and if they have the buying power that is required for negotiation in terms of furniture, materials and alike on your behalf. Do they offer a JCT ‘design and build’ contract? 

Finally, you need to determine what services are included, and you must evaluate their credentials? Can they provide you with any credentials concerning the environment? What quality management and health & safety certifications do they have?