Posted February 09, 2012 by

Interview with an Interior Designer

I am an Interior Designer living and working in San Francisco with an interior design company that offers services in the bay area and specializes in contemporary Eco-friendly designs. I am a recent graduate and feel privileged to be working with an esteemed design company within less than a year of completing my degree.

What I do is a form of art that lets me express my gift of creativity outside of a canvas in the homes of clients that want to transform their spaces from ordinary to spectacular in the most environmentally considerate way. My work entails working with clients to understand their particular needs and execute their vision with a touch of artistic excellence. Unlike a fashion designer, or contemporary artist, I don’t simply create from within myself; I work hard to recreate the client’s dream with my personal creative and artistic touches.

I rate my job satisfaction as a seven, but not because I don’t love what I do. I’m actually quite passionate about interior designing, and not many people can say that about their day to day jobs. I just hope to start my own interior designing agency one day.

Art is a natural high and a powerful medium of self expression. I come into work every day and pour out my heart into what I do. There is no doubt I have found my calling in life…I actually knew I wanted to be an interior designer ever since I was a kid. I probably rearranged the furniture in my room once a week! It drove my parents crazy, but they always acknowledged a touch of design genius in my creations. I also spent lots of time in thrift stores picking up unique and artistic pieces to enhance our home. I still stop by the thrift shop ever once in a while just for fun and sometimes inspiration.

I always thought I would start out on my own, but I realized that even if I had the resources to do it, there is wisdom in learning from others who have been in the market for some time and are well known in the industry. Experience is an invaluable tool and so I am working for an agency where I can learn from my supervisors and peers and even clients.

When I first started, I would take a project and run with it. I would design my dream home or project, then be stunned when the client rejected it. I had to learn the hard way that a critical aspect of interior design is the client and their vision and dream, not necessarily just ours. We as the artists help them create it, rather than force our own dream on them. Yet at the same time, the clients come to us for our talent and advice, so it’s a marriage of sorts between their vision, ours and a result that makes both parties proud and happy.

One of the hardest aspects of the job is dealing with indecisive clients. They will want one thing one day and another the next and it is your role as their interior designer to patiently work with them and consistently fulfill their needs as opposing as they might seem until they come to a place of decision and satisfaction. It can be maddening. It is also hard to deal with unappreciative clients. You can write me a check for any amount but if you are flippant about my work, that is hard.

It used to be that anyone who liked to rearrange furniture and decorate homes could call themselves an interior designer, but now, you have to have a degree or be extremely gifted to be employed and generally, have strong experience and references to start out your own agency. The competition is fierce. I personally completed my degree at the International Academy of Design and Technology, and benefited tremendously from their career services in securing a job after graduation.

I would tell a friend considering this line of work that if she or he is not passionate about it, then they should forget it. When you spend many hours like we do on a project or home and don’t enjoy every aspect of the creation process, then it is a grueling task. But when you love what you do, you don’t even notice the time go by and the returns in the form of self satisfaction and client appreciation beyond monetary compensation are out of this world.

Since I’m still employed by an agency, I have two weeks vacation time and sick days, like most other employees. Working as a consultant might offer an interior designer more flexibility in vacation time, but also means there isn’t a steady income or guaranteed work. There are advantages to what type of job an interior designer chooses, but as in most life choices, there are also downsides to be thoughtfully considered.

In five years I hope I’m doing the same thing, just better and with more experience. I’m working on honing my interpersonal skills so I understand the needs of my clients better and meet their designing needs with excellence. I’m also learning the multifaceted aspects of running a successful business. Dealing with other interior designers, marketing, advertising, finances. It’s a lot more complicated than I initially thought, but the gratification from being self employed is well worth the extra effort.

This is a true story as told to JustJobs Academy, where you can find career interviews for the job you’ve been looking at, like a Graphic Designer or a Software Designer.  Visit to find an interview in your desired field today.

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