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How to Be a Successful Interior Designer

How to Be a Successful Interior Designer

Diana Mahoney | The Design Partner

The definition of success is certainly subjective. In terms of what makes a career successful one could measure success as it relates to salary, benefits and professional advancement. Interior designers strive to create intentional, fresh and personalized spaces for their clients. It’s a business of helping others.

Designers are hired for their expertise in a variety of categories, not for their own personal style. Clients want their designer to be the facilitator of their own personal style. A designer’s reputation is a result from the positive, personal experience with the client. There are specific core strengths of an interior designer that correlate with success.

Creativity is certainly the origin of the desire to pursue a career in interior design. Beyond color, fabrics, furniture and schematics, successful interior designers have an innate ability to imagine spaces that their clients cannot. There’s a mystery to that and it creates interest and excitement, especially for the client. People who choose to become interior designers thrive on developing and executing a plan of their own interpretation. It’s a hands-on career that is truly ever-changing.

Stellar communication skills are of supreme importance for the interior designer. Clear communication between designer and client is necessary, and also with business partners who interface on specific projects. Listening to a client’s objectives, understanding budget and style direction are key elements to the outcome of any project. Additionally, understanding a client’s lifestyle, schedule and personality beyond an initial meeting or two add depth to the designer-client relationship. Successful interior designers are astute detectives. Having a more personal understanding for a client’s life allows an interior designer to make suggestions beyond what is requested, and that reinforces the value of the designer incrementally. The ability to balance practicality and aesthetics is a prized characteristic of an interior designer.

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