5 Key Skills That Are Required as an Interior Designer 23rd November 2021 | IN DESIGN ADVICE | BY SBID

Interior design is a rigorous job role but one that is very satisfying and stimulating. Here at The Society for British & International Interior Design, we’ve outlined some of the key skills required to succeed in the field. This is important because Britain has the third largest creative sector in the world and the SBID is a crucial part of ensuring that the current and next generation of interior designers are up to par.

Without further ado, here are the 5 core skills that are required to be a successful interior designer:

1.  Artistic Vision & Visualisation

Imagination, creativity and innovation are what come to mind when we think of interior designers. For all three of these characteristics, visualisation is key. Being able to deeply understand how spaces will look, feel and be used in your own mind is crucial for success. Translating this into a proper design is the next step.

Interior designers will usually develop a personal style through which they view and think about the design of a space. This is developed via both training and a natural flair, which can make or break the overall visual impact of an interior environment. It’s also important that this vision complies with legislative obligations and regulations so that the final design concept is achievable and can be implemented within the constraints of the client’s budget and delivery deadline.

2. Creative Direction

Interior designers are the guiding force of a design project. Whilst it’s important to be creative and innovative when designing and thinking about how interior spaces will be used, there are some factors to think about to ensure that all design decisions are functional and fit for purpose:

  • It must be easy and safe to move around freely – think about the number of users and traffic flow!
  • The available space must be maximised as much as possible so internal areas are utilised efficiently
  • The selection of products must provide visual enhancement as well as optimal performance and compliance with building regulations.

3. Scope and Flexibility

Part of being an interior designer includes having a flexible skillset. There are a huge range of things to consider when designing and organising the logistics of an interior design scheme, from concept development and specification through to the final installation. This includes plumbing, electricity and heating, as well as the colour schemes, materials, flooring plans and furniture selection – to name a few. A top-quality interior designer will be able to understand each factor in depth and is comfortable working across many areas simultaneously, being able to draw these elements together seamlessly and organise them effectively.

4. Interpersonal Skills

As with all artists, interior designers must be able to communicate their ideas clearly with their clients. Being able to interpret the design brief, understand what your client wants and being aware of what the end-user needs, whilst combining this with your personal design style can be challenging – but also very rewarding. Similarly, designers must also be able to liaise with overlapping trades to execute the scheme, coordinating communications between architects, plumbers, electricians, joiners, suppliers, and more!

5. Problem-solving

As all interior designers will appreciate, most projects involve their own unique challenges that need to be overcome. Just one construction amendment can drastically alter timelines or change how a space will work – from how it’s used to how aesthetically pleasing it is. The process involves balancing many elements proportionally and it’s certainly very difficult to get this balance just right. If this balance falters then a problem will likely arise, so interior designers must be able to adapt and respond quickly to unexpected problems or alterations during project procurement.

If you have any questions about these skills, or you’d like to learn more about our accreditation services then don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling SBID on +44 (0) 207 738 9383! To explore our professional network of interior designers, browse the official SBID Designer Directory.