Interior Design Consultant Job Description
An interior design consultant advises clients on topics related to the design of interior space. They design plans personalized to their client’s tastes that also serve a functional purpose. Interior design consultants often work for design consulting firms, but some are self-employed and work as independent consultants. People with an eye for color, lighting, texture, and space make excellent interior design consultants. They usually work full time during business hours but often accommodate their client’s schedules, meeting with them during evenings and weekends.
Interior Design Consultant Duties and Responsibilities
While an interior design consultant’s day-to-day activities and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Meet with Clients
Whether an interior design consultant works for a firm or as an independent consultant, their first task is to meet with their clients to assess their design needs. They follow up with clients throughout a project and at the completion to address concerns and ensure satisfaction.
Draft Design Schematics
Interior design consultants work to create interior design plans for existing or new spaces. They analyze the function of the space with the client’s goals in mind and turn to the drawing board to draft schematics, designs, sketches, and blueprints, often aided by computer design software.
Plan Interior Décor
Interior design consultants are often hired to suggest interior design elements. This usually involves formulating a design plan that includes specifying necessary materials, product sourcing, and budgeting.
Consult with Real Estate Firms
Reals estate firms may hire interior design consultants to help increase the appeal of a location for potential buyers. They also work with realtors to help locate a commercial space or home that suits a client’s specific style.
Business Administration Tasks
If an interior design consultant works for themselves, part of their job is marketing and promoting their business. They also bill clients and potentially hire and supervise staff.
Interior Design Consultant Skills and Qualifications
With an eye for both aesthetics and practicality, successful interior design consultants use creativity and specialized training to perform a wide range of design services. Employers seek consultants with education and training in design, work or internship experience, and the following skills:
- Creativity – creative thinking is the basis of design imagination, and artistic flair is essential for developing client-pleasing designs
- Drawing – illustrations and technical drawings are used to plan the design process. Although these consultants use computer drafting programs, they can also quickly sketch a design idea or client request by hand
- Drafting experience – interior design consultants draft their own technical drawings and blueprints and are comfortable working with blueprints from other contractors and architects
- Spatial perception and visualization – good interior designers can visualize a three-dimensional space from a two-dimensional drawing
- Familiarity with design materials – interior designers work with paint, fabrics, art, furniture, and many other products and materials to create aesthetically pleasing and functional spaces
- Communication skills – design consultants regularly meet with clients, contractors, and suppliers, and must communicate effectively during every phase of a project
Tools of the Trade
Interior design consultants need top-notch computers skills to draft digital designs that utilize the following software:
- Computer-aided design software (AutoCAD, Virtual Architect, SketchUp, NanoCAD)
- Design software (Photoshop, InDesign, Adobe Illustrator)
Interior Design Consultant Education and Training
Interior design consultants typically earn a bachelor’s degree in interior design or a related field. Some employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree in a design field, and typically prefer consultants who have completed an internship.
Some states require interior design consultants to be licensed, which involves passing an exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design. This exam requires a minimum of six years of combined education and work experience.
Interior Design Consultant Salary and Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), interior designers earn a median salary of $51,500 per year. This field is expected to grow 4 percent by 2026, which is slower than average. Demand for interior designers can fluctuate with the economy, but job opportunities will remain good for designers with a specialization.
Interior design consultants usually enjoy full benefits packages that include healthcare, retirement plans, and paid time off.
If you feel the calling to become a creative, well-regarded interior design consultant, you’re in luck. We’ve come up with a list of great online resources to help you get started:
The American Society of Interior Designers – ASID helps interior designers succeed at every stage of their career, from education to growing a business. Resources include online courses, articles, scholarship information, and the latest industry research
“How to Become an Interior Designer” – this in-depth article covers everything from the basics of interior design to formal concepts, building a portfolio, and building a business
The International Interior Design Association – this multichapter group allows students and professionals to share tips and resources through forums and professional development
How to Get a Job and Succeed as an Interior Designer – discover the cheapest, fastest, and simplest way to get a job and become a successful interior designer
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