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How to become an interior designer in Australia: careers in design

Interior designers introduce design elements and flair into interior spaces. Working to client briefs, they utilise design principles to make spaces both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Interior designers can be engaged to design spaces in a range of different indoor settings, including homes and businesses. They rely on their vast knowledge of furniture, design, materials, colours and compositions to create beautiful and functional rooms.
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Being an interior designer: daily duties

Dealing primarily with interior spaces, interior designers use design principals and an understanding of aesthetics to transform spaces into something functional and stylish. They collaborate with clients on creative briefs to ensure the spaces meet the needs and taste of their client. They create design and style concepts that work with architectural plans, help select colour schemes and create moods for rooms. Once they have confirmation of the overall concept, interior designers source or commission furniture, artwork, painting, furnishings and fixtures, within the project’s budget.

Tasks:

  • Create and draw up work plans
  • Source furniture and fixtures
  • Pitch ideas to clients
  • Supervise workers and tradespeople
  • Adhere to client budgets

Being an interior designer: skills for success

Interior designers need to adapt at thinking creatively and technically. They need excellent communication skills and the ability to delegate tasks effectively. Excellent attention to detail is vital to maintaining the integrity of their work. Interior designers work with a range of other people to deliver projects, including property owners, other designers, tradespeople, vendors and clients. They must have the ability to work to deadlines and to budgets to deliver their projects.
Skills/attributes
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong communication skills
  • Awareness of design trends
  • Able to delegate and manage others
  • Highly organised and efficient

Specialised roles within design

Qualified interior designers can move in to a variety of specialised roles, each with their own required qualities.
  • Production design
    Working in the film industry, production designers use their interior design skills to help create set pieces and furnish rooms on film sets.
  • Textile designer
    Textile designers formulate new and innovative ideas for different textiles and fabrics.
  • Props department
    Props departments are the people in charge of storing, creating and building sets and set pieces in film and theatre. They collaborate with the director to source or make items required to create the vision for the script.

Educational pathways for interior designers

A variety of study pathways exist for those considering a career as an interior designer. Tailor a study plan that suits your personal strengths and interests.
  • Start your career
    Hone your aesthetic skills and learn how to become an interior designer
  • Strengthen your skills
    Build up an understanding of the professional principles that inform interior design and study for a rewarding career.
  • Build your resume
    Get ahead in the competitive design industry by brushing up on your techniques, skills and knowledge.
  • Industry requirements
    Apply to become a member of the Design Institute of Australia to improve your industry standing.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your design career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    Strong growth in interior design opportunities is predicted over the next five years in Australia.

Resources for designers

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