08.02.19 | Home Interior Design

So, you want to be an interior designer…

We have seen quite a bit in the 43 years since Brown first opened its doors. The landscape has changed, as have the homes in the communities we serve. And, as you’d expect, countless styles and designs have come and gone in those times.


But, as they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. At Brown, we have the same commitment to creating dynamic home interior design spaces today as we did on day one — and that will never change.


Much of the credit for that can be attributed to the solid foundation that Steve Brown created. Those guiding principles are evident in everything we do, and it has enabled us to not only create a process that clients can trust, but also attract highly-skilled staff and elite designers.


We realize that to truly capture the essence of what a client is looking to achieve in their home, we must provide experienced and knowledgeable designers who have an eye for style, an ability to source vendors, a sound understanding of the industry including trends, and who are able to communicate with clients to decipher information, determine the vision and transform that vision into reality.


At Brown, we have been extremely fortunate to work with so many great home interior designers throughout the years. They have helped create countless spaces in our home market in South Florida, as well as for our clients’ homes in other areas of the country. 


Have you ever given any thought to becoming a home interior designer?


Perhaps you’re deciding on a career path or considering a career change. Home interior design may be just what you’re looking for. Below, are the basics about what it takes to pursue a career in home interior design.


The truth is, this is an extremely competitive industry, but there’s always room for more talent. If you have an interest and passion for home interior design and are willing to put in the time, energy and effort, it can be extremely rewarding on many levels.


We hope to welcome you to our family at some point. In the meantime, here are a few things you’ll need to know and want to consider as you contemplate a career as an interior designer.


Are you having fun?

The very first thing you should think about before pursuing a future in home interior design is the enjoyment factor. This is certainly not unique to the interior design industry. Ideally, we all want to like what we do each day. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, but you should definitely pinpoint something you have fun doing and try to create a career around that.


So, if you like decorating and planning, and could see yourself doing it as more than a hobby, then perhaps home interior design is right for you. Keep in mind, however, that unlike designing your own spaces, there are firm deadlines and tremendous responsibilities when creating spaces for others. You also must remember that you are involved in the design process to some extent every day. It’s not like working around your own home, where you can pick and choose when you do things — and when you’re done, you’re done.


When you become a professional designer, even though every day and project has the potential to be different, there is a great deal of repetition. So keep that in mind when trying to decide if being a professional designer would be fun and exciting for you.


I spy with my little eye…

Once you’ve determined that you would, in fact, enjoy being a designer, you must then decide whether or not you actually have the basic skills needed. Don’t panic, there’s plenty of learning and training required before you can officially begin a career as an interior designer, but this is where you must do an honest self-assessment and identify if you have a strong foundation on which to build upon.


In other words, do you have an eye for design? Some people do…some people don’t.


Again, you will gain insight, knowledge and techniques as you progress in your education and training, but it is far more difficult to have success if you have little to no natural ability in this art. 


Communication is key

If Boxes A and B were for enjoyment and ability, respectively, then C is for Communication — and to make a living as an interior designer, you must be able to check this box.


The role of a designer is not just to create, it’s also to communicate. In fact, much of your time will be spent speaking with others — whether it be clients, vendors, architects or even fellow designers and co-workers. 


You must be able to discuss a client’s space and decipher their goals. Sure, this sounds simple enough, but keep in mind that they are not the professionals here…so their ideas may be scattered and difficult to grasp. As a home interior designer, your job is to clearly translate their vision, build a strategy around it, put a plan into action and, ultimately, transform their vision into reality.


A designer also spends a great deal of time working with vendors to secure products and materials (negotiating skills also come in handy), as well as team members who do the actual installations and physical labor.


You must do all this while also remaining in consistent and clear communication with a client throughout the process.


Back to school!

As mentioned, you will go through the training required to receive the proper certification needed to begin a career as an interior designer, but it’s worth noting that home interior design is more than creativity and excitement. As is the case with nearly any job, there are more mundane responsibilities that have the ability to take the fun out of the experience if you’re not truly committed.


For example, designers must study and be well versed on building codes for the municipality in which they’re working, understanding they can change from town to town. You must also have an understanding of basic architecture and construction, including background info on spatial concepts and structural integrity.


Then there’s the need to understand how to properly utilize all the resources and technology available to produce the highest quality of creative and functional spaces that achieve your clients’ goals and exceed their expectations…every time.