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What are the advantages and disadvantages of interior design?

Jan. 29, 2024
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5. There is potential to earn a great salary. If you start out by working for a design firm, it is likely you will be on a modest salary to begin with, however, as you gain experience and confidence, you can move up through the industry and advance your role and salary. If you decide to branch out on your own and work for yourself, then your salary is limitless depending on how hard you want to work and who you work for. As your reputation as an interior designer grows and expands, you will be able to pick and choose the jobs that you want to do and that bring in the biggest returns. Learn more about how much interior designers work and how much interior designers make.

6. There are opportunities for multiple career paths. Those who want to advance their careers and try different types of design can look at pursuing interior design for offices, restaurants, hotels and even yachts. Gaining technical qualifications in skills such as spatial design or 3D drawings will help with more planning-focused design, while there’s also are opportunities to move into retail design or visual merchandising. 

7. You can collaborate with different types of people and professionals. Working and collaborating with suppliers, tradespeople and other designers will be enlightening and make the creative process even more captivating. No day is ever the same as an interior designer and you’ll be able to work with other people that are also passionate about this industry, making your work incredibly fulfilling. 

8. Interior designers can positively impact the lives of other people. The highlight of many interior designer’s careers has to be knowing they have created spaces that improve people’s lives, whether those are beautiful homes or stunning interiors for shops, hotels, restaurants or even offices. This is why helping clients improve their well-being was the No. 3 most common answer when we asked interior designers what their favorite part of the job is. All these interiors will have a direct impact on the people using them. Learning about a client's desires and translating them into a space that delivers exactly what they need for their lifestyle, is a fabulous achievement for everyone involved. Other common reasons interior designers love their jobs include client satisfaction (seeing happy faces on installation day) and building relationships with clients. It’s clear that working with clients should be high on your list of “likes” when choosing a career in interior design. And nearly 4 in 5 interior designers (78%) report that repeat clients contributed to their business revenue in a meaningful way last year. Furthermore, 39% of interior designers plan to further improve customer experience as part of their strategy to increase their business revenue this year. 

“I love the collaboration with my clients. I love working together to make their home the best reflection of themselves and their families,” a designer at Boehm Graham Interior Design says. “Selecting high-end goods that they will have for years to come is a treat. I’m lucky to do what I love every day. A client’s trust is something I take seriously, and I work hard to earn it and keep it as our partnership is critical to the overall success of the project.”

Get information on Certified Residential Interior Designer programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Interior design is an amazing career for creative individuals that want to see a tangible representation of their hard work.

Interior designers take a plain space and make it into something beautiful.

Studying architecture, history, colors, textures, and textiles is all a part of knowing how the design of space works.

Creating something beautiful out of nothing is a talent and requires a lot of knowledge and creativity.

Search Certified Residential Interior Designer Programs

Get information on Certified Residential Interior Designer programs by entering your zip code and request enrollment information.

Being an interior designer can be really invigorating, but it can also be a challenging market to work in.

Let’s dive in and look at the seven pros and seven cons of being an interior designer.

Pros of Being an Interior Designer

Creativity

One of the greatest advantages to being an interior designer is the ability you have to use your creativity to make something beautiful.

As a creative person, it is important for you to exercise that part of your brain and step outside the box to create.

Getting to be creative in your job and being paid for your daily work is a privilege.

When your clients see the beauty you have created, it is very satisfying to see how happy they are.

At the end of the day, you get to do what you love every day.

Interaction with Others

As an interior designer, you will be able to interact with others who can help you on your interior design journey.

You will interact with a variety of people as you take on different kinds of projects.

In addition to working with other designers and vendors, you will meet a lot of interesting people as you take on clients.

Knowing your clients well will help you to create spaces that reflect them and make them truly happy with your work.

Growing Demand

The interior design industry is already a large industry with a lot of people in it, but it is ever-changing and continues to grow.

Many people think of interior design in terms of home design.

However, interior designers do much more than just homes.

All indoor spaces need design, including offices, schools, medical waiting rooms, and so much more.

As more spaces come on the market, and as more people recognize their need for design, the demand for interior designers will grow.

Job Satisfaction

Interior design has incredible job satisfaction.

When you design a space for someone, you get the immediate satisfaction of seeing the transformation that the space goes through.

Seeing a plain, boring space go from drab to fabulous is very satisfying.

Seeing your client’s happiness with your work is also a great part of being an interior designer.

Career Flexibility

In interior design, you can choose which path you would like to take.

If you want to work primarily in homes, you can choose to do that.

If you would like to focus on the corporate path, you can design corporate spaces.

You also can choose the hours you work and the projects you want to work on.

Very Lucrative

If you are able to get the right clients and the best jobs, you can make a lot of money in interior design.

Once you have your client base, you can choose your own salary by setting your prices at a higher rate.

As you work more and more, your reputation will precede you, allowing you to move up the salary ladder.

Little to No Schooling Required

You actually do not need a degree to become an interior designer in most states.

You can work for an interior design company without a degree in all states, but if you want to be licensed, you will need a degree.

The good news is, an interior design degree is inexpensive and short if you choose the right program.

There are online programs that take 24 months and cost as low as $1,400.

Cons of Being an Interior Designer

Stress

Because of the high demand for the job, interior design can be incredibly stressful.

When you are in the middle of a project, interior designers can have long hours.

There are deadlines, difficult clients and vendors, and exhaustion.

In order to make it in the interior design industry, you need to be okay with long hours, stressful scenarios, and pushing boundaries to get what you want.

Difficult Clients

One of the most difficult parts of interior design is difficult clients.

Many people who hire interior designers have money to burn, and some of these people can be entitled and hard to work for.

You will encounter many clients, however, from many walks of life and lifestyles.

Some clients may be great to work for, and your work will be very satisfying with these easy-going clients.

However, there will be entitled clients that are never fully happy with the work you have done, and that can take a toll on the interior designer.

Payment Issues

If you own your own interior design company or if you are starting out, you get to set your own payment and salary.

When you are starting out, you may not be able to get any jobs.

Until you are able to get your name and reputation out there, you may have a hard time making money or getting jobs at all.

Difficult to Move Into

When you start out in your interior design career, it will be really difficult to get your name out there without connections.

Unless you already have an in with other well-known interior designers, it will be difficult to get the more lucrative jobs.

It is difficult to move up in the industry without a well-known reputation.

Many people say that only those who can afford to temporarily work for a low salary or next to nothing should pursue a career in interior design.

It can take time before you make serious money.

Budget Restrictions

When you are working on interior design projects for clients, you are always working on a budget.

Anyone who owns a home can tell you that interior projects take a lot of money, and the budget gets spent quickly.

It can be hard when you are spending someone else’s money, making their space great.

Making the most of the money you have can be a challenge.

Working Overtime

When you are involved in an interior design project, the stress can really get to you.

Some of that stress has to do with difficult clients or vendors.

However, one of the biggest drawbacks to being an interior designer in one of these stages is the hours you have to work to reach your deadlines and get your project done.

Whether you are staying up late staging a space or staying up late planning, working overtime will happen at some point in your career.

Sometimes Repetitive

The exciting part of interior design is the actual design part, such as staging the room and picking colors, textures, and furniture.

However, a lot of interior design is repetitive and sometimes boring tasks, too.

There are a lot of technical aspects of interior design, such as measuring spaces, researching history and architecture, and doing calculations.

Interior designers also have to draw their designs for presentations for the client as well.

Pros and Cons of Being an Interior Designer – Summary Table

Pros of Being an Interior DesignerCons of Being an Interior Designer CreativityStress Interaction with OthersDifficult Clients Growing DemandPayment Issues Job SatisfactionDifficult to Move Into Career FlexibilityBudget Restrictions Very LucrativeWorking Overtime Little to No Schooling RequiredSometimes Repetitive

Should You Become an Interior Designer?

If you have weighed all of the pros and cons of being an interior designer and considered how it will work in your life, you are ready to make the decision on whether or not you should become an interior designer.

If you are a creative individual who wants to work your creativity into your everyday life, this may be a good job for you.

If you like to work with people, and if you are okay with taking a small salary until you can gain a client base, you may be a great interior designer.

There are some cons to interior design too, like difficult clients, repetitive parts of the work, and overtime hours.

Just as in any career, you have to decide if you are willing to put up with the cons of the job before you take the job.

If the pros outweigh the cons for you, then you should become an interior designer.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of interior design?

14 Pros and Cons of Being an Interior Designer

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