The interior design world is full of people who will say no to the above question. But the biggest criticism the workplace world gives design schools is that they send out graduates with little practical knowledge, which means that many graduates still need work experience before they are truly employable.
Having been one of those graduates many years ago and now being on the hiring end of the line, I can tell you that I have never hired a design graduate. Instead, I have been hiring people who are transferring from other fields, who have a passion for interiors, have experience in something else but really want to be doing this. I found out quite early on that passion, drive, commitment, loyalty and maturity are far more important qualities to me as an employer and someone who wants to learn is much more of a pleasure to work with.
You might be surprised to know that in most countries, including Australia, New Zealand, The United Kingdom and some states in the USA, you don’t need a formal education, qualification, experience or license to call yourself or work as a domestic interior designer. (Commercial interiors are a little different, I will write about that another time).
Although without some kind of education or experience you really wouldn’t know what you were doing because there are certain things that you do as an interior designer that you just wouldn’t know about unless you had been taught or had some experience.
But the reality is that being an interior designer isn’t actually that difficult, but many snobby designers will tell you differently! Sometimes, I can’t believe that I get paid to do what I do, I love it so much, and I’m not the only one.
Most interior designers are absolutely obsessed with interior design. They do it for work; they do it as a hobby, they read about it in their spare time, they dream about it, talk about it, live it, breath it, eat it, smell it (you get my point).
So could you become an interior designer in 3 months? In my opinion with the right knowledge, you could start working in the domestic market, yes!
So what would you be doing as a domestic interior designer? Some of the typical things that I do for clients include; drawing and providing layout options for rooms, designing and presenting how spaces will look, sourcing, choosing and purchasing furniture, finishes and fittings, designing lighting, joinery, furniture, wardrobes, coordinating audiovisual & TV walls, coordinating with builders, carpenters and electricians, choosing soft furnishings for curtain makers, drawing and presenting designs, running a project on site and lots, lots more.
Not every project requires all of the above and to be honest, the majority of smaller projects, just need colour, mood boards, well-designed furniture layouts, some creativity and a plan of execution (procurement method).
What I’m finding these days is that the average person buying a property is ready to hire an interior designer to help create their dream home and they just want someone that they connect with and understands what it is they need.
Having worked with over 30 happy (and paying) clients in my first year of business, I can tell you that you can become an interior designer in 3 months. You just need the right information, and it just depends on where you want to practice, how dedicated you are to your career and what kind of work you want to do.