How to Become An Interior Designer

From Daydream to Reality: Your Future in Interior Design
By Michelle de Grasse
Are your friends and family inspired by your sense of style when they visit your home?
When you go to other people's houses, are you always rearranging things?
Do you tape all the episodes of "Trading Spaces" or "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"?

If you've answered "yes" to any of these questions, there's a chance you might have the makings of an interior designer inside you just waiting to be nurtured and encouraged. Just think of the pleasure you could bring people, designing interiors of homes, hotels, offices, and the list goes on.

Interior designers foster a special relationship with their clients to ensure that they create an environment to satisfy their client's every need. Not only should the space be healthy and safe, but it should fit the owner's aesthetic tastes. As an interior designer, you would make a significant difference in the way people feel about their living and working environments.

In today's society, this is a hot field to be in. At any given time, there's bound to be an interior decorating show of some kind on. Why would you sit at home fawning over these decorating professionals and their fun careers when you could be doing it, too?

Design with the Best

Several well-known and celebrated Interior Designers had their start in design school. Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Thomas Britt, (of Thomas Britt, Inc. in New York City) went to interior design school and with his experience he has not only designed interior spaces for Her Highness Raj Mata of Jaipur and Princess Priya Ransit of Thailand, but his designs have been profiled in the New York Times and Business Week. An honorary member of the American Society of Interior Designers, Britt has received the coveted "Giant of Interior Decorating" award from Smithsonian magazine in 1987.

With famous clients such as the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Westin, and Hyatt Regency hotels, Trisha Wilson and her firm, Wilson and Associates, have been designing interiors for over 20 years. Wilson's interior design studies originated in Texas, but they have taken her to many places worldwide. With particular strengths in being able to address her client's spiritual and cultural needs, Trisha Wilson has gained international acclaim for her designs.

So, what do you need to think about to embark upon a successful career in interior design? Here are some things to consider.

Location, Location, Location

You may want to go to a school in a remote location so as to foster a peaceful and serene studying environment. You may want to attend school in a bustling, metropolitan area with easy access to arts and culture institutions. Whatever you decide, interior design programs are offered by many schools throughout the nation, so you won't have a problem finding one.

Compare & Contrast

Once you've narrowed it down to a few schools, compare their programs and offerings. What is the tuition for each school? Do the schools offer a variety of industry-standard courses on Interior Design? What is the ratio of hands-on training to lecture training? How experienced is the faculty? Will the school help you in finding a job after you've earned your degree? How ma

ny students have gone on to work at prominent and well-respected interior design firms?

Take the Plunge

Applying doesn't have to be a bureaucratic hassle. Make a checklist of everything you need to file (transcripts, financial aid, essays, etc.) and mark them off one by one as you go. You might even want to give yourself a little reward for each step you've succeeded. This is a great incentive to keep going. If you have any questions regarding the applications process, you shouldn't hesitate to contact the school advisor. They are trained to help you every step of the way.

The Steps in a Nutshell

• Determine what kind of interior design program you're looking for
• Research the schools in the geographical areas you want to study
• Assess your funds, whether you will need financial assistance
• Compile everything you need to complete your applications
• Apply to the schools you've chosen

You could be the next Thomas Britt, Trisha Wilson, or interior design television personality. Your vision for interior spaces could inspire many people. Learn more about this exciting career, take the next step today!

About the Author

A freelance writer, Michelle de Grasse is a copy editor and assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of QuinStreet Publishing, a division of QuinStreet, Inc. She has worked at Xerox in both San Francisco and Seattle and has also enjoyed a legal internship. Michelle has a Bachelor's Degree in Chinese Language and Literature from U.C. Berkeley, and one year of law school under her wing.

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