To be a successful designer, fundamental knowledge will not suffice. It’s not all about design elements and principles, albeit they are quite useful. As with all professions, one too many will enter the interior design field without being aware of the not-so-fun prerequisites of the trade. What does it take though to be a successful designer?
Of course, education is a great starting point. However, entering into a client focused profession, a designer must develop certain traits that would become the decisive point between a successful career and a one-hit wonder. There are many different roles a designer must assume, whether being a communicator or a bold decision maker, which will elevate him/her in the fabric stratosphere-and not crash to the ground. Hence, in today’s’ installment of this series, we are trying on 6 shoes that each successful designer must wear.
Successful designer essentials: Communication
To be a successful designer, one must be a stellar communicator. While you might be a highly creative person-perhaps that’s why you decided to be a designer-you’ll never see that creativity manifest if you’re not able to communicate it.
It’s imperative to be able to communicate accurately, in a language that people will understand, your awe-inspiring design ideas. Otherwise how will you manage to sell them to client? Besides clients, a designer will face daily architects, other designers, business people etc. So, communication is key to have a seamless and productive relationship with people coming from diverse traits. Communication is an interpersonal productivity tool, essential for work and home.
Become a detective
Besides being a stellar communicator, the successful designer should be an intuitive sleuth. What do we mean by that? Simply put, you need to be able to decipher your client’s body language; get into their heads.
Most often than not, people express their emotions silently though little body gestures. So, knowing whether a client is losing interest in your project and already making plans for Saturday night in his head, will be a great asset. You need to be able to listen to your clients, whether they speak with words or with their bodies, in order to give them exactly what they want. Your carrier or reputation as a successful designer might be balanced on your ability to read the minds of your clients.
Education and internships
Investing in education is always an important aspect to succeed in any profession. But, before you run off to learn the theory of interior design, you should get some practical experience in your hands. Enter internship.
Wearing the intern shoes in interior design will give you an insight on how the profession works. Learning what gears the profession with an on-hands experience will also help you decide whether you’re passionate for interior design. And being passionate is a key aspect of a successful designer.
However, it’s also important to remember that education doesn’t stop with throwing your ceremonial hats in the air at your graduation. You’ll need to keep educating yourselves in the field in order to stay current and relevant. What is more, it will be even better if you broaden your educational horizons with architecture, eco-design and sustainable buildings in order to be one step ahead of your competitors.
Don’t blow up the budget
Having displeased clients would be the downfall of the successful designer. There are few things that can aggravate a client more than missing a deadline and blowing a budget out of proportion. People, in general, are not fond of being told that they had to pay more than what was initially agreed.
So, you need to be able to manage your time successfully and play with the given budget. In order to stay within budget, you could put your ideas on paper first. Include everything, from sample fabrics to tiles and show it to your customer with a detail estimation of the cost. As for time management, there are software apps that can help you keep track of your time and projects, so you never miss a deadline.
Make bold decisions
A successful designer should also be bold in making decisions. Of course, when dealing with someone else’s money, being bold on choices can end up detrimental. So, it’s best to avoid any decisions that you wholeheartedly think as a mistake.
Having said that, usually aspiring and awe designs are hidden behind bold decisions. Perhaps, the splash of pink quartz on the backdrop of a black kitchen wasn’t something your client wanted. But it can be something that he needed without knowing. Be bold with your decisions, always taking into consideration thought the inherent sense of style of your client.
Perfection not included
Finally, there is no reason to create a perfect interior design. The interior decor of a house represent the personas of people occupying it and all people have their tiny flaws. In fact, that’s what makes us beautiful. So, don’t strive for perfection to create a beautiful interior design. Instead, try to inject it with character by creating an environment that is about the people living in and the moments they will experience. After all, there is no room for improvement in a perfect creation, is it?
There you have it. The road to be a successful designer is paved with little hurdles that you need to overcome. But knowing them beforehand can make a lot of difference between ordinary and extraordinary. And you most likely want to be considered extraordinary, don’t you?