How to become an interior designer from scratch

The profession of interior designer has not long been in demand, but it is rapidly gaining popularity amongst creative individuals. That is why many people want to know how to become an interior designer and what do you need to know? There are several ways to master this profession. We will talk about them in more detail in this article.

About the profession

If you are a creative person, then this profession is for you. The main goal of an interior designer is to create a beautiful and ergonomic home. This is achieved by defining the style concept of the room, choosing a colour scheme as well as suitable furniture.


It is possible to learn the profession without being able to draw, but you will need to be able to draw.

What qualities an interior designer should have


It is possible to become an interior designer without any special training, but a specialist must in any case possess the following qualities:

  • Originality. In addition, a designer must always have his or her own view of different things.
  • Sense of style. An indispensable trait of any designer.
  • Shrewdness. The designer must always see ahead and be able to imagine the whole finished room in his head.
  • Patience. In any profession failure is possible, and even failure. Designers very often have to make changes to the finished project or redo it altogether.
  • Creative potential. It is from this quality depends on how many ideas the designer will have.
  • Communication skills. The designer must hear all the wishes of the customer and discuss with him all the nuances of the upcoming work.
  • Assiduity. This quality allows many professionals to become successful in their business.
  • Proficiency in various computer programs (Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD, 3Ds Max, SketchUp).

Tasks of an interior designer


The designer will be able to make the interior environment unique, stylish and functional by performing the following tasks:


Meeting with the client. At this stage, the client and the designer discuss all the details of the renovation. The specialist needs to present his portfolio, as well as inspect the place for decoration.


Actions of the designer during the inspection of the facility:


  • carrying out measurements;
  • calculation of the amount of work.
  • After the meeting, the parties agree on terms and cost of work.

Planning. The project development can take from several days to one month. During this period of time, the designer should keep in touch with the customer.


Stages of project development:


  • creation of a sketch;
  • development of drawings and layouts;
  • adjustment;
  • developing a furniture layout plan, etc.


Presentation. When all the necessary adjustments have been made to the project, the designer must agree it with the client. To do this, images of the future room are prepared.


Preparation of technical documentation. The designer’s duties include preparing the paperwork showing the engineering profiles, dimensions, nodes, etc. In addition, the interior designer is responsible for drawing up cost estimates indicating how many materials are required for the renovation.


Supervision of project implementation. The designer must ensure that the construction team carries out the work in accordance with the plan.


When creating a project, a professional designer takes into account the client’s age, gender and hobbies. The main task of the specialist is to create a room that is as comfortable as possible.

Interior design training options


If you have the qualities of a designer, you’re probably wondering where to start? There are several ways to learn, which we will take a closer look at. Each of them has certain pros and cons.

By your own efforts

It is worth saying right away that this method is complicated and unreliable. A designer who is just starting his professional journey will need to secure a portfolio. To do this, some professionals are working literally “for a fee. However, it is quite realistic to become an interior designer without an education.

We give good advice to beginners:

Pay attention to small projects whose owners do not mind entrusting the work to a self-taught person.

If at all possible, be sure to consult with professionals.

Take photos at every stage of the job. It is these photos will go into your portfolio.

Become an interior designer from scratch on your own by watching instructional videos. An integral part of learning is also reading suitable literature.

The pros of this method of training:

  • The process of gaining knowledge and experience is quick;
  • you can immediately start practising;
  • responsibility for all phases of the job;
  • free choice of order.



  • The process of finding clients can be significantly delayed;
  • low pay, or in some cases no pay at all;
  • lack of a mentor who can give constructive criticism.

In most cases, if a designer decided to work for free, but created a fairly successful project, they will receive payment from a satisfied client.

This method of training is suitable for those who are still unsure whether they want to devote themselves to interior design. Also, the beginner must have a lot of free time to search for orders, as well as their creation. In addition, you must have a financial cushion, in other words, money to survive, because the design can not immediately begin to bring income.


This learning curve is a bit like an apprenticeship: the budding designer goes to a workshop and asks to be taken on as an assistant.


You can’t be sure that a professional will take on your training, but you shouldn’t neglect this option either. If you are lucky, however, this internship will allow you to immerse yourself in all the intricacies of interior design.


The advantages of this way of learning:

  • working with real projects;
  • opportunity to take advice from a mentor;
  • interesting cases are provided from the first days of work.




  • it is difficult to find a professional designer who will undertake the training of a beginner;
  • low or no remuneration;
  • In most cases, the assistant has to take care of small, boring and routine work;
  • Lack of own projects to put in the portfolio.


This type of training is suitable for those who are ready for hard work and want to see the profession from the inside. The newcomer must have a lot of free time, because it will require an internship.


Further education

If you are a good judge of your abilities and if you realise that you cannot cope with self-study, you should consider taking an additional education or a second higher education. Yes, it will take much longer, but you will be able to get an interior design education.


If you opt for a further education, it will take you two years. It will include subjects which are purely professional in nature.


The advantages of this way of studying are:

  • Receiving a diploma at the end of your studies;
  • The possibility of completing a personal portfolio;
  • The opportunity to take advice from teachers.




  • tuition fees;
  • You have to take tests and complete projects.


Second higher education

It is possible to study to become an interior designer in 4 years. This is considered the longest option. However, when you graduate you will not be a self-taught designer, but a graduate in design.

The advantages of this method of study are:

  • Getting a diploma upon graduation;
  • gaining an in-depth knowledge of design;
  • The opportunity to build up a large portfolio.



  • tuition fees;
  • in 4 years you may change your mind about wanting to be a designer;
  • you will have to take exams and credits.


If you have no doubts that you want to get a job as an interior designer, then feel free to choose this training option.

Interior design courses

One of the most sought-after options for gaining skills in interior design today are specialist courses. It is possible to take courses both offline and online. As a rule, the training period will be up to 3 months.

For example, you can choose an online interior design course, which lasts 5 weeks and allows you to learn the basic skills of the interior design profession and complete immersion in the field.

The advantages of this type of education are:

  • The opportunity to learn the profession quickly and get to work;
  • Availability of online format;
  • The certificate of attendance;
  • Assistance in preparing a portfolio and CV;
  • Assistance in finding a job.


  • Courses are just a start in a new endeavour. You will need to continually develop your skills. It all depends on your continuing desire to develop in this field.
  • The online format is not suitable for everyone. You need to be sufficiently self-organised and disciplined.


From the article we have found out that it is possible to become an interior designer either self-taught or a graduate. It all depends on your sense of style, as well as having certain professional qualities. Learning, learning and learning again is what almost any profession entails.