Part 3: QUESTIONS every interior design student should ask WHEN LOOKING FOR YOUR FIRST JOB

There are so many questions interior design students and recent graduates have. Well I’ve found a wonderful source that taps into a wealth of knowledge that I am so excited to share it with you.

The Interior Design Community (IDC) is a social media network just for interior design professionals. Their mission “is to connect designers and give them a space to get advice from their peers, to find information about products, to support them through the difficult situations they face day to day”.

This series of articles highlights some of the best questions and answers for design students and those just graduating.  Part 1 is geared towards student internships and mentoring, Part 2 answers questions for recent graduates looking for employment in a design office and Part 3 addresses what it’s like for up and coming designers in the industry.

The question is:

I just finished school last semester and have been looking for a job as a designer. I have been on some interviews but I have not gotten hired yet. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. Can you ask what designers look for when they add someone new to their team?”

I just finished school last semester and have been looking for a job as a designer. I have been on some interviews but I have not gotten hired yet. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. Can you ask what designers look for when they add someone new to their team?”

Meredithheron: I always look to hire my weaknesses. I’m not interested in hiring someone who wants to be me – I don’t need that competition. I know my strengths but I also know what I find tedious and dull and look to hire people who possess those as strengths so we can come together as a powerhouse.

Ricallison: That they own it like their own. And can embellish rather than squash. Large egos have no place. Nor does entitlement.

Simplesquaredesign: I feel it’s just as important to know why one gets a job and why one does not. It is a hard truth, but may help one realize what to do better or skills to improve upon. Another aspect I’ll like to share with current design students is to intern before graduating. Don’t wait until you finish school to find a job. Have your school help with job hunting/placement. Sometimes the school may learn from your interviewer what went “wrong” and should share that information with you. Good luck and stay strong. The right job will always come along.

Hudsonhome: I need partners who don’t mind MANAGING ME and taking the work off my plate that I don’t find inspiring. It’s also important to have impeccable language skills (no sloppy emails to clients allowed!). My job is to run the business, manage clients, cultivate new business, and keep design plans in sharp focus.

Thelovecrime: Real passion for work, technical skill, ability to take the hard days with the good ones. No ego. No embellishing one’s experience and abilities. Easy going, and someone who wants to work with other to achieve a goal. Biggest short coming in recent graduates that I have had, they don’t realize how tedious the work is, they want to do concept but not day to day, can’t take constructive criticism, and don’t respect how much responsibility we have for often the largest purchase a person will make in their life. You have to have respect for your role and your clients. And you have to love hours and hours and hours of computer time. 😉

Thelovecrime: oh and patience. Great careers are not built in a month or even 12. Social media really feeds the story that you need to be an overnight success, and I know literally no one in design who was. It’s hard work, it can be demoralizing, frustrating, stressful. But if the end result is worth it to you, then it’s a good career choice. The burnout rate is high in design. Clients often don’t realize how hard they are being when they change their minds a million times etc. and contractors, some can be very difficult and not willing to go the distance with design details.

Kbdesignseattle: For someone fresh out of school, you need to be ready to learn. Ready to soak up the experience that schools do not give. Design skills are somewhat less important than the ability to keep positive attitude and pick up odd tasks from the shoulders of others. Before everyone believe that you can design you need to make them believe that they can work with you. And I do not mean brining coffee to superior, I mean we all do non designing work. Do not be offended when part of it comes your way. As you cannot yet generate new business, or guide client to a direction….

ambience_inspired_interiors: I had an assistant that didn’t end up possessing the confidence to bring her ideas, be creative, be original, and collaborate with me. She was always looking to me for direction. It was fine at first, since she was new and wanted to please, but be ready to find your wings and be mentored, work hard (no “poor me” people!!! You have to WORK at this!) and be passionate – it will show! People who aren’t self-starters probably won’t last long!

rizwan_architect: The first 6 to 10 months it’s the boss that invests in the newcomer because all they have is a degree but no experience of the REAL WORLD. They have to be humble, hardworking, creative and organized and first of all be very sure which design firm they want to work with and agree with their design philosophies

jccrossdesign: I haven’t reached the point of hiring on yet, but when I do I will be looking for these attributes: confidence, not the false kind but honest, sincere confidence that allows them to push through complicated tasks and ask questions when they need to. Attitude is important because having a positive attitude allows them to get through the tough times without overly dramatizing them or undermining its importance. And lastly I think integrity is key, I live by the integrity of who I am and how I act both personally and at work, so I need to be surrounded by others who place importance on their integrity as well. It’s the fiber we are woven from and helps us to decipher how to make good decisions, from how to make poor decisions. I need that on my team.

Judithharrop: A busy design office is wary of being distracted from projects by the needs of new staff. At interview let them know how much you know, that you can hit the ground running, initiative is so important, even if it means you tidying up and making tea. We all muck in and do it but when under pressure having a new team member around who can just get on is brilliant. Again at interview don’t bang on about how much this practice can help you, how much you want to learn from it, these points are valid and show your eagerness to learn but the bottom line is how much can you bring to the practice, how can you make everyone’s life easier. The lesser drain on other’s time initially will mean you become part of the team quickly. Then you can begin your own development as you have the team’s trust. Its business!

Reginasturrock: Whether the applicant is a seasoned designer or fresh out of school, they must have passion! I can recognize it instantly! Do they light up when they talk about their work? It’s an attribute that drives greatness and that gets you through the difficult times. We all know that this is a high-pressure job! And it’s not just about the polished portfolio or great CAD skills. I look for an innate understanding of balance, scale, proportion, harmony…those things that bring beauty into design. It’s surprising to me how many are lacking the fundamentals. I believe today’s tools, as useful as they are, are also a creative crutch. Whatever happened to hand-sketching and good architectural penmanship? My interview process is a two-tiered one; the initial interview that touches base on qualifications, personality, and aspirations and the second interview that hones into what the designer is made of. I prepare an in-studio design assessment that is, in and of itself, relatively basic, but that gives me a clear picture of where the strengths and weaknesses are. It’s amazing how much I can learn. I take the hiring process very seriously. It’s a big commitment to bring in a new team member.

paradigm_texas: I cannot stress the importance of excellent communication skills. To be able to clearly communicate ideas and questions so that you are efficient and effective. People skills are equally important. If you are timid or insecure, this is not the industry for you. Passion and aesthetic sensibility should be a given and physical drawing skills are so appreciated. If you have to drag out your computer and start clicking your way through images time can sometimes be wasted, but if you can pull out a pen and pad and begin to explain the process as you draw in front of your client, you will be amazed at how they light up! Organization! You must also have personality and be able to handle criticism.

Part 2: QUESTIONS every interior design student should ask UPON GRADUATION

There are so many questions interior design students and recent graduates have. Well I’ve found a wonderful source that taps into a wealth of knowledge that I am so excited to share it with you.

The Interior Design Community (IDC) is a social media network just for interior design professionals. Their mission “is to connect designers and give them a space to get advice from their peers, to find information about products, to support them through the difficult situations they face day to day”.

This series of articles highlights some of the best questions and answers for design students and those just graduating.  Part 1 is geared towards student internships and mentoring, Part 2 answers questions for recent graduates looking for employment in a design office and Part 3 addresses what it’s like for up and coming designers in the industry.

The 5 questions are:

  1. How did you get your first client
  2.  We want to know a general idea of how much design assistants mak
  3. Are professional design associations and organizations worth the investment? What are some of the things you like or dislike about them?
  4. I’ve studied in design and worked in it for over 6 years but i don’t have nciq or apdiq certifications. Was wondering if those who took it, if it was worth it?”
  5.  Is sexism still a problem in the interior design industry?

1. How did you get your first client?

attitude.design: I advertised way back in a local magazine

maciainteriors: A friend trusted and believed in my skills. Forever grateful

dalecarithers: A referral from someone I met at an event and we started following each other on social media.

Webbsmithinteriors: At a cocktail party! Met a business owner who was expanding. We bid the job, did a vision session and nailed it!

Kristykaydesign: My neighbor

Jessicaboudreaux: Craigslist actually and she was a great client!

Interiorsbyjustdesign: It was through another interior designer they were busy and they wanted to stay local was a great first client for me

Fitteddesigns: A true friend trusted me and understands my passion for interior designing and introduced me to her Sister’s in-law . I did a fantastic job and used most of the pictures for my beginner presentation which fetched me lot of clients afterwards. @funke_s thanks a bunch for being such a wonderful friend

Davidwdesign: My First Client is my Dentist & asked to me to Design his office which ended up being two properties side by side valued $2.5 million Reno Design. & yeah I was a whole lot nervous 😬

Vividinteriors: My first client came from Craigslist. Crazy enough I actually found some great clients and projects on there 😉

Abuelapeaz: It was a friend’s first apartment in NYC…he’s still one of my biggest advocates. I wish I could hire him to do my PR! 😂

Ricallison: Teachers/professors hired me ASAP

2. Is sexism still a problem in the interior design industry?

lala_takes_pics: Weeeeelllll….yes. I find I just expect it so much from trades that I (sadly) just think of it as normal.

Shapirojoyalstudio: Yes

winklepie_pics_life: Yes, to a point! But being strong minded and knowing what your talking about changes their mind 😆🤗

jjonesdesignco: Yes. Many interior design firms I know tend to hire women over men. That’s why you see so few male interior designers for these firms. 🙁 I believe in equality.

kendrakaydesignI was the only female in the design firm I originally worked in- only males were hired

tawnaallred: Definite yes from the construction trades. However, even though my voice is quiet, I stick to my guns and they finally realize I’m not someone to mess with. Finding friendlier crews makes the difference between a fun job and jobs from hell.

chinoiserie_galore: Honey, Sexism is still a problem in ANY industry..PERIOD!

calebrhodes23: As a Builder its our responsibility to lead everyone on the job site to abandon stereotypical ideas of what a Designer should look like and talk like. We don’t allow our crews to have bad attitudes around designers, Architects, or owners. The more eyes on a project, the better! After all, we are here for them.

Kristynschultz: Yes. I work in the architecture/interior design field as a draftsperson and my firm appears to make an attempt at equality but sexism definitely plays a major role.

Victoriatuckerinteriors: Hmmm, If I were a foot taller and were a Mr., I wonder if trades would hear me the first time… For me, truthfully, the trades are usually wonderful. It’s getting the builders and site foremen to thoughtfully consider my input beyond specs and color schemes.

victoriatuckerinteriors@interiordesigncommunity: Sometimes ideas come up, small changes would improve design or function, but builders will have the mindset of “it’s fine like it is, don’t mention to homebuyer.” I’m not referring to expensive change orders, just tweaking. I feel like less of a teammate when timeline or the easy way wins over my fine tuning on a job. I, too, am vested in the timeline and profitability. The fine details are why I’m there. I don’t like being made to feel like I need to be a “quiet, obedient girl.” I may not know all the framing code, but for damn sure I can spot a dozen things that will make the home a joy or a nuisance at a glance. Not sure if it would be different if I were a man, or if I wasn’t ‘only the designer.’

3. Are professional design associations and organizations worth the investment? What are some of the things you like or dislike about them?

ajc_design: ASID was a waste of money for me. The events weren’t strong in NYC. I get more out of NEWH a nonprofit organization and IIDA.

Simplesquaredesign: It depends. It is worth it from a national perspective as a recognizable name like a brand (same reason people prefer brand names for goods), but most importantly is what the local chapter does – speaker, Lunch & Learn, study groups, etc.

Lauraboisvert: Nope. No one even knows what they mean. And they don’t care. They care about your portfolio and whether your personality and theirs hit it off when meeting. Business is about selling and closing deals. You’re either a good salesman or you’re not.

Mdorydesigns: For national organizations, it depends on the chapter. I personally would like to see IIDA and ASID combine. There is more than enough advocacy work and consumer education/marketing to be done to keep both current national offices busy.

Interiordesigncommunity: I do think the right organization can bring you closer… Designing can be pretty solitary and it helps to check in with peers when you have a question or issue… I’m not sure if the big organizations are giving updated info or not. What WOULD be helpful to you?

lauraboisvert: I don’t need organizations to connect with peers. I don’t believe in paying money to network. It’s counterintuitive. I build relationships with all my contacts and peers when we text daily, or meet for coffee or breakfast on occasion. These are people I met on my own time by calling them or emailing and saying “hey, I would like to meet you!” Cause of Twitter or their website-Or people I work with on a regular basis.

catherine_mcroberts: I would guess between $12 & 25/ hour!

Nataliereddell: Mine makes $20/hour. She just started and I live in Richmond, VA.

Jedijanuary: I pay mine $17 w/ medical & dental benefits. designer and decorator assistant. Hope it helped.

Serenitydesign: I have two , my junior assistant was getting 42000 with a raise coming up , but he wanted 50 so now he’s gone

Houseofdietrich: 17 per hr here in Boston. 42k with benni’s would likely be the highest I would go to and they would need to be very self motivated and efficient at that rate.

Megmichele: $15 / hr plus benefits…. In North FL.

Officialkellyoneal: The sky is the limit in this industry, but you have to have a very good work ethic to achieve top $’s. I’ve always included commission incentives as the billable hours and placement aspects of the trade are the bottom line.

Mjgdf: NOT ENOUGH! Lol.

brandnyuAZ: approx$10-$15/hr for design assistant. Up to $20/hr for an over the top one. No benefits.

4. What is the salary range for an interior designer in your area?

playworksdecorApproximately $15,960 yearly 😳omg!

tawnaallredIf: I can get my earnings in the 40K range it is a good year. I’ve had years around 7K. #justbeinghonest. I am very rural though and know I am fighting a different battle than many others.

kristin_emily31I: just started post college with a small commercial and residential firm here in CT at 40k but they don’t have any benefits. In undergrad the average salary was 45k in early 2000’s 😯 we totally need to come together we designers are worth more !! Also I know 40k sounds nice but in CT it is really not much at all especially with no benefits and student loans and a wedding 😖😖😖

jwana2021: 64k per year excluding bounces Doha Qatar. I work for real estate developer

jsbeauchampdesign: 65$ to 175$ an hour (can). + % sometimes from what I have gathered

tawnaallred@amare.housedesign: I think I have my prices in the right spot, but the jobs are so few and far between. I average 1-3 design jobs a year and it has been that way since I started 8 years ago. Sometimes one job will be 40K. Most are 3-5K, one room deals (usually kitchens when people get in over their heads).

Omforme: In my area, designers make anywhere between $90-$200hr with an average of $135hr overall. Of course there are a few superstars that make more. But question is how do you define success? Some designers are part time and others are voracious in their goals. Wouldn’t that determine your success quotient?

5. I’ve studied in design and worked in it for over 6 years but I don’t have NCIQ or APDIQ certifications. Was wondering if those who took it, if it was worth it?”

Jillkalmaninteriors: If you want to do commercial design or in residential if you want to redesign – moving walls etc and be responsible for construction then yes-

Meredithheron: Cities have different codes of what will and won’t pass and these are always changing.

Weaferdesign: I took the NCIDQ, the company I was working for paid for it at the time. If licensing happens in my state I would be qualified in. I think it validates your profession, because you deal with life safety codes. The difference between a decorator and a designer.

Meredithheron: In Toronto we need a BCIN Number to stamp drawings. City course. We prefer to run our drawings past our architectural draftsman who has had his BCiN for decades as he has an in at the city. Our drawings get reviewed before submission and we can make revisions at no additional cost should the be required. Knowing the code as we do we still have the craziest of city loopholes to overcome. Each inspector has their own “must haves”. I’ve seen many accredited designers spin their wheel up against the city despite the letters after their names.

Designlineworks: I think it all depends on which lane you are in. If you want to work in commercial, yes. For residential not always. I don’t care what they call me so long as they call me.

Klyndsay: The majority of provincial Interior Design associations (such as ARIDO) require members to complete their NCIDQ within a certain number of years after registering as an intern member. Once you pass NCIDQ you can become a registered member and use the term ‘Interior Designer’ as per the titles act. They are trying to protect the industry from people who loosely use the term and getting credit for it. I personally think it’s a valuable exam especially for young professionals because it covers all aspects of interior design not just universal codes.

Interiordesignsbytracy: @domooredesigns to learn more in depth the national building codes, and also in commercial design some clients demand for that.

Domooredesigns: @interiordesignsbytracy the NCDIQ tests you knowledge. Do you have a design degree? If you want to do commercial design or work for a firm then yes, most require you to be certified.

Interiordesignsbytracy: @domooredesigns yes I do have a design degree, I’ve done 4 commercial projects. But I feel for restaurant design clients always ask!

Delointeriors: Yes, definitely worth it in my opinion! We have the titles act in Ontario and it allows you to call yourself and Interior Designer. If you don’t take it your considered an Intern Interior Designer until you qualify.

adg_lights: it is worth understanding the difference between design and decorating, business and support that the trades provide to support the designers ideas…. a certificate is just wall art otherwise.!

Teresammorgandesigns: Absolutely!!

Slshomeinteriors: I think any time you have the opportunity to strengthen and broaden your skills through education, it’s a win for everyone involved – no matter what path you choose: advanced degrees or further accreditations.

Liddlelizzie: Yes! It speaks to your professionalism.

Allisongambadesign: I think it is good to have but not necessary. I got my start in this business by renovating and flipping homes in my town, I was on Wall Street and did the designs on the side and had my architect draft construction plans. I went to school at night to further my skills but in order to take the exam I need more credits. I have a BSBA from a major university so to get a full interior design degree is a waste for me because I already have an undergrad. I have now transitioned to do this full time and just don’t have the time at this point to fit in the schooling. I think if you don’t have it you should really align yourself with educated people and use them for the areas that you are unsure of. I have learned a ton from my architect, contractor, and even from the local trade showroom that I source furniture from. Someday I will get my license but for now, I have yet to have a client who asks for it.

Part 1: QUESTIONS every interior design student should ask WHILE IN SCHOOL

There are so many questions interior design students and recent graduates have. Well I’ve found a wonderful source that taps into a wealth of knowledge that I am so excited to share it with you.

The Interior Design Community (IDC) is a social media network just for interior design professionals. Their mission “is to connect designers and give them a space to get advice from their peers, to find information about products, to support them through the difficult situations they face day to day”.

This series of articles highlights some of the best questions and answers for design students and those just graduating.  Part 1 is geared towards student internships and mentoring, Part 2 answers questions for recent graduates looking for employment in a design office and Part 3 addresses what it’s like for up and coming designers in the industry.

The 6 questions are:

1 What do you wish you learned at design school to prepare you for a career?

2 Have you ever had a bad mentor?

3 Do kitchen designers make more money than interior designers? Is it better to have a specialty?

4 What are your favorite design apps?

5 What skills does a modern design intern need to have?

6 We know some fantastic self-taught designers as well as those who attended design school. Should you have a design education to call yourself an interior designer?

 The questions and their answers included in this series are just are a fraction of the inquiries and replies on the site. For additional questions and the responses check out www.interiordesigncommunity.com.

  1. What do you wish you learned at design school to prepare you for a career?

Monetmasters: Business. Design is only 20%.

sudasistudio: Business & pricing

spaces_by_design@sudasistudio I agree 100%!!

Thriftychicmcm: Business!

Thatsyourqdesign: How to give my clients verbal smackdowns when they get cra cra.👊🏾

Jillseale: Business practices and negotiation. Always a good idea for people –especially those who love what they do and would do it for nothing.

apro_arch: business and material sourcing.

Slshomeinteriors: A few more psychology classes

Gruvercooleyinteriors: I wish they focused more on budgeting (mainly this) and also custom furniture.

Marbe:  how to deal with subs/workers/installers. It can be a nightmare especially when you are not only the designer but wearing other hats like contractor, superintendent, etc. It is crazy. I don’t think there is a book or a way to teach that.

kenziemac907: Self marketing

shakah_design: Revit

rbrennerl7325: How to charge the client without giving away your ideas!! 😞

robinsoninteriors: It seems like most designers know almost nothing about custom draperies after design school. It’s an important part of the process!!

timothy.kempf: That it isn’t all Cosmo’s, cocktail parties and gallery openings. Design is hard, HARD work. Often when I pass other designers in the hallways of our design center, loaded down with chic bags full of memo’s, or when we are loading carpet boards or wallpaper books into our respective cars, I will look, smile and say, “Remind me again about how glamorous our jobs are…

gordonandjohnsondesign: How to sell! Need more on this in school. If you can’t sell your design, you’re going to starve! Learning the various personality types and how to sell to each type is invaluable!

  1. Have you ever had a bad mentor?

Notannak: YES. The trick is to learn from them anyway. A bad mentor can still teach you soooo much. Mine has shown me exactly how I DON’T want to run a business, how important it is to remain honest, and that money is NOT the reason we do what we do. bad mentors can also make us so much stronger. Designers need strong backbones and thick skin and that is what my “bad” mentor has given me.

ilona_karneyenka: I think every experience is good for you, because you learn from it. The same is with mentors.

Ericcrook: YES. It nearly kept me from continuing in the design field.. I did however learn a lot about what not to do and how not to treat those around you. Money isn’t everything. Kindness, compassion and true sincerity are what is important in all aspects of life including running a successful interior design business.

Designerlebrity Fantastic question and yes I have. Still always a learning experience. Also makes for a great moment to share stories about both personally and publicly.

Jayaredrose: Any mentor is still subject to human behavior which may not always be respectful, inclusive or ethical. Evolving is a continuous process happening through a lifetime. Try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. I will say as a teacher to young designers, the mentorship is a two person relationship. I learn from my students everyday as they learn from me. Abusive mentorship is never acceptable and a signal to move forward to the next learning opportunity, both as mentor and student. Relationships may have tough moments but they are rarely all or nothing. Take what works for you and leave the rest. Keep your focus forward and spread the design love regardless how folks respond.

  1. Do kitchen designers make more money than interior designers? Is it better to have a specialty?

interiordesigncommunity@dannyrusso I thought this was kind of tricky because I do not many kitchen and bath designers but many interior designers do kitchen and bath also.

torrentekitchenBoth are necessary

designbuildbrooklynI specialized in kitchen and bath design before becoming a contractor. In my case, it did help because it’s a bit more technical, and people in my target area were using architects but didn’t have a budget for interior design.

designbuildbrooklyn@interiordesigncommunity Yes!! I wanted to be able to have more control of my designs throughout the build process, and I’m such a hands on person, that it was a natural transition for me. Also, clients appreciate the “one stop shopping” that I’m able to offer. Not to mention I make more $$ 😊

susanserrackd@dannyrusso Curious, what do you mean that they are the same?

tawnaallredI am mostly on the construction part of design. Kitchens are my favorite thing to design, along with the bones of a home. I think it’s more stressful and projects take longer. My most profitable jobs happen when clients purchase furniture, but many don’t get that far. I’m thinking that it’s not when you consider time, but I do believe we will be the ones to survive this period of “market upset”. Our services can’t be commoditized like furniture.

interiordesigncommunity@tawnaallred That is so true. Kitchen Design is probably seen as the more stable of the two. I hadn’t considered that.

northshirelivingHaving been both separately and now both together – I would say people are more willing to pay for your design work as an interior designer than a kitchen designer where people expect it to be rolled into the kitchen….

tristatekitchensThere are independent kitchen designers, who work more like interior designers. Kitchen designers that sell cabinetry, earn an income through the sale as well. With our company the kitchen designers are ones with lots of experience and work on a salary+ commission basis, without the headache of finding clients. There are lots of details & practicality aspects in addition to looks when it comes to kitchens. Sometimes clients bring along their hired interior designers, who sometimes make it easier & sometimes harder to get to a final working design

pxpeteNah

laura_abrams_designMaybe if you have a general contractors license and you are overseeing the whole project and making a profit on the cabinetry, etc.

dannyrusso@susanserrackd interior design is all about kitchen and bath design. At least in my world. Yes there are specific KBIS designers but I think any designer should be able to execute all interior spaces. Just my opinion. 🤷🏻‍😎🖤

susanserrackd@dannyrusso Thank you for clarifying. Got it!

tradedgedesignsI love doing kitchens and baths!!! In my experience it’s a toss up. Because it’s depends on overall budget. There’s been a few projects I’ve done last year that were profitable that weren’t kitchen design. However I did a gut kitchen design and that was my biggest project ever on my own. I did a large living room and my clients budget was expansive; that was fun! It’s all in the budget.

divinedesign_interiordesignNot in ireland! Interior designers do everything.

kimberleyseldonWe do it all and we are more profitable in other rooms because there is frequently more fabric, area carpets and artwork.

tomsametNope

aimeeleonidodesign@alibrookedesign ?

marycurtainladyNot sure if they always make more money, but the employment rate of our Kitchen and Bath Design grads is almost 100%. The future’s so bright 😎

yssinteriordesignDitto @tomsamet.

carolinemccade@antoninadmagggg this is a great page for you to follow! They ask a lot of great questions with open discussion. 😉

antoninadmagggg@carolinemccade thank you!!

kisserbirdy@designbuildbrooklyn I am considering this as I am finding that I am finding/hiring all the subs anyway, and because a few vendors I use do not allow customer or designer to purchase without a contractors license

designbuildbrooklyn@kisserbirdy Absolutely. It solved so many of my logistical problems!!

  1. What are your favorite design apps

Lenakroupnikint: My measure pro

Binomiodesignrd: Love polyvore for moodboards. Vectorworks for design

Designinkredible: @morpholio @polyvore

Ericcrook: @morpholio

Motivohome: Definitely @morpholio and @houzz I also couldn’t live without @wunderlist for staying organized and my timer app for when I’m working hourly

Interiordesigncommunity: I love the Color911 app by color expert @amywax for carrying colors with you. I like @Instagram for marketing @wordswag for making word graphics like this. @adobepost for photo graphics.

Homewithkek: Polyvore. Trello for staying organized. Color911 too!

Interiordesignmasterclass: Camera+, Dropbox, Bitly, Evernote are just a few of our faves for business 🙂

Erikabonnell: I use the moodboard app all the time. Can do quick concept boards to share with clients from my iPad.

Juneeightstudio: Measures to draw dimensions on photos, the match color apps from Benjamin Moore and sherwin williams.

chrissys_lifestyle: Color911 and @houzz 😍

jtwdesignllc: @pinterest for sharing ideas with clients!

Suzannesuszie: Polyvore

amywaxGreat post, I am so glad to see people mentioning Color911 ! (Thanks !)

sonianicolestyle@polyvore is essential for quickly accessing favorite go-to home decor quickly for design

  1. What skills does a modern design intern need to have?

Gruenfelds: I want them using pinterest…

Jnodesigns; Interpersonal skills, technically inclined and social media guru…

Interiordesigncommunity: I was thinking Social Media, Blogging, computer skills would be really important.

simply.design: Someone ALWAYS seeking inspiration, ability to take risks “design wise”, ability tow work with other design disciplines (lighting designers😉), and technically savvy “social media wise” and “design program wise”.

Summerthorntondesign: Self-sufficiency and ability to self-motivate and ‘figure it out’. Must be a helper/servant mindset – you’re there to make everyone else better and faster.

Irvininteriordesign: AutoCAD is definitely a must

kirchhoff_architects: AutoCAD and willingness to learn!

Notannak: As an interiors intern, I’d say a great attitude and willingness to go above and beyond what is required of you is highly valued. As an intern your role is not only to learn and gain experience but also to be a helping hand. Take the initiative, do the dirty work no one else will, and do it with a smile! Basically, if you are flexible and willing to learn and be your own motivation you can do anything. And never forget to absorb every word your supervisor says; he/she is full of valuable wisdom that you can’t get from college.

Tristanremodeling: Listening

Mrserikaward: Proactive and a spirit of productivity!

Mrserikaward: Good attitude

jowita_k: A hunger for knowledge, drive and willingness to think outside the box. I’ve found that a lot of interns I’ve worked with had very high expectations yet didn’t want to go the extra step; it’s a lot like something they have to do. Outlook matters. Make it a positive one!

Barbourspangle: We want interns eager to learn, to be exposed and to ask questions! We invest our time with interns as a way to give back to the industry we love. We try to engage them in all facets of the process – the good, the bad, the ugly. We all know this isn’t a glamorous job (on most days) and there is a lot of dirty, hard work. We LOVE our interns and want them to learn and grow while they are with us.

Thirdspaces: Willing to work + good attitude + thinking outside the box!

Accentsbayarea: Creative | Respectful | Eager to learn | Humble | Intelligent 💖

misscanady2u: As an intern I would want to exercise being a Jack of all trades, from autocad to photography to historical reference in design. As an aspiring designer, I want to be as well rounded as possible, and a limitless internship (experience in each department) would be the most beneficial I feel for everyone. 😍 love this post btw!

Meridiendesignmarie: Team player!

Justshilps: Other than AutoCAD, is any other software a must? Like Revit or sketch up?

Lisaescobar: Reliability is #1 for me, strong sourcing skills, autoCAD, must take initiative and finally they must be open about their career goals. My team and I share our goals monthly, it also helps when delegating tasks and to understand where strengths/weaknesses lie in each person. We’re only as strong as our weakest link. By lifting them, it empowers the team.

interiordesigncommunity@floecono: It’s a HUGE responsibility to teach what you know. At the same time, it can be an opportunity for the intern to teach… Especially things that involve new technology. Internships should develop into lasting mentor relationships for years to come.

LauraboisvertIs: common sense a skill? It seems to be lacking lol. For example- doing a 3D floor plan for a client and putting the shower head ON the shower floor…D’oh!

Lenakroupnikint: I want them to be attentive to details, have computer drawing skills , be reliable and learn/ be able to listen😘✨

Designinkredible: Style…is that a skill? Lol

Jonathonscoastalliving: A Good work ethic and a humble attitude are important skills that can make a good intern a great one!

gatti_design: Vision, listening, understanding and implementing ideas/concepts. They cannot perform these if they do not have creativity!

  1. We know some fantastic self-taught designers as well as those who attended design school. Should you have a design education to call yourself an interior designer?

Analirg: YES, otherwise you are a decorator

d2interieurs: Yes and no. I truly believe that no one can be great at everything. I surround myself with the most talented people I can find (architects, builders, craftsman) to get the best possible results). Yes, I went to school but it was in no means my real education!

Qatmer: No! You can be an artist without studying art.

Nelijaniga: In VA you can’t call yourself or have business advertising without an Interior Designer degree. Many decorators don’t know it and continue calling themselves Designers.

krista.mellett: Yes! There is SO much more that goes into being a designer besides decorating

hayleybug05: Yes… I worked hard for my degree.

Tuscanbluedesign: Yes. I am always learning from but in the end it’s my 4 years at design school that gave me a great understanding of interior design & architecture.

Patrishahymaninteriors: Working experience much more important that a degree. The longer you work with clients the more aware you are of things that can go wrong !!i think the industry is over saturated with unqualified so called designers!!💗

Gdinteriorsca: Yes absolutely, you have to be knowledgeable about building codes to design and provide a safe space for people who will use the space.

Frahminteriors: Not necessarily but there should be a distinction between a designer with educational training and self thought. A standard accreditation for having graduated design school without having to take the NCIDQ.

Stellerheller: I could write a book on this one! If your talent and passion are there then you got it and can call your self whatever you want. School is not the real world of design and this is what i try to teach students…

Wymanhaus: Yes! Natural talent is great, but I work with so many decorators that have no idea of space planning or textiles! All the yes answers maybe all of us that went to college , but the education plus experience is extra valuable! Knowledge is power.

Buildingmiami: That’s like saying, it’s not necessary to hire a licensed contractor, my handyman can do it!

Jsbeauchampdesign: For some, a formal education is a must. For others, a combination of studies and experience work. That does not take away from anyone’s hard work for their diploma. Some people simply have a lot of talent (technical, artistic or otherwise). I agree that you need basic knowledge of space design, but that can come from other experience. As for building codes, you should be aware of them, but so should the contractor.

danzy.ds: I’m educated in both business and design. I pursued the more formal education in design as I wanted a more concrete knowledge base and confidence especially as I was venturing into the commercial market. That’s just me but at the end of the day clients don’t necessarily ask to see your ‘papers’ they want to see your work and feedback from others about you. Its really is a personal choice…. for me the education is working.

ellenwinteriorconcepts: NO!!!! NO!!!!! Did I say NO? I am an Interior Designer. I’ve never set foot in a class to get formerly trained. I’m self taught in everything I do. I mean having “the eye”’is a gift but you don’t have to have a degree to learn. The library, internet and mentorship are wonderful tools. I love the construction side of design and I’ve learned through experience. Plus as someone stated codes do change. If you’re passionate about it you’ll do what needed to learn. But I do think there’s a difference between a designer and decorator. I don’t think you need a degree to be called a designer.

Latoyaatpanachedesign: I’ve got an MBA and an MA in interior design. My undergrad was pre law. I think my pre law and MBA have been more helpful in both of my design businesses, and I’m not knocking anyone at all, but I do believe that the title should belong to those that obtain the education. Then again – I clearly love education 😊 On the flip side talent cannot be taught which is why I would never knock anyone’s line of thinking on this topic.

Tiffhunterhome: Interesting discussion. Surprised no one has mentioned the fiduciary aspects. We often handle huge sums of money that our clients entrust us with to purchase furniture and finishes etc… Let alone the cost of an expensive remodel. I do not have a 4-year design degree (just a certificate and lots of hands on experience) but I do have an MBA from an Ivy League school. I am constantly surprised by how many designers and/or decorators do not know how to run a business. I would think consumers would want to know their money is being handled professionally, that they are receiving items purchased, and that a project is within budget. I am for licensing in the sense it provides a layer of protection for the public, a formal complaints process Etc…. Because a couple bad eggs can taint the whole industry. Multiple stories here in SoCal of designers who took their clients money and ran….clients never received the goods they paid for.