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Becoming an Interior Designer: Do You Have What It Takes?

Are You a Natural? If So, Interior Decorating May Be for You!

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Becoming an Interior Designer: Do You Have What It Takes?
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It is said that a great designer is born, not made. While this is often true, many decorators and designers came into their line of work because they simply loved pretty furnishings and fabric.

Still, no one can deny that natural talent definitely helps in any chosen career, so if you are thinking about becoming an interior designer or decorator, check out this list of traits to see if you could be happy and successful in the decorating and design field.

You have a good eye for color.
If all your friends see black but you can see a blue-black with hints of green, then you definitely have a good eye for color. The trick to really seeing color is being able to see a color’s undertones. If you have mastered this, or this comes naturally to you, it will be a great benefit to you as a future decorator.

You are fine with multitasking.
As a decorator, you will often be called in to be mediator, contractor, marriage counselor and personal consultant – all at the same time. You’re going to have to think on your feet about multiple clients and projects (or disasters) at multiple times. If the thought of this stresses you out, you will be less than pleased when dealing with this on an ongoing basis. Some personality traits are naturally more methodical and do not multitask well. (Good news: These folks usually make great architects!) If this is you, look to another career choice.

You are a natural born leader.
A lead designer is basically a project manager, requiring kind (and sometimes not-so-kind) but firm leadership skills with contractors and crews, as well as with clients. In this case, soft-spoken pushovers should not apply. However, many successful decorators aren’t natural born leaders and prefer to play supporting roles. These personality types are often wonderfully supportive and do well working for other designers or in the retail field.

You possess a love of organization.
Much of decorating is good organization. Also, when dealing with multiple clients, projects and budgets, one has to be organized. If being able to arrange furnishings, art and decor in a pleasing manner brings you much pleasure, and if you enjoy keeping your own living space and life well organized, interior decorating may be for you.

You are good with eyeballing.
Much of interior decorating is visualizing. Yes, cameras and laptops help, but most times you will still be required to visualize an item’s size, color and scale in a space long before it arrives there. If this is not something that comes naturally to you, decorating will be a struggle for you and may even cost you (or your clients) money when mistakes are made.

You generally like people.
I hesitate to list this because many decorators are creative souls and love to spend large amounts of time alone. (Decorators with sanguine personalities tend to gravitate toward decorating sales and marketing careers.) But when you work with the public, you’ve got to like them. Not all of them, mind you – you will probably have to turn down clients for various reasons throughout your career – but you’ve got to enjoy what you do. As an interior decorator, what you will do is work with people.

You have a natural talent for scale, proportion, perspective and balance.
Some people are born with a natural ability to visualize these concepts. Others will gain a good understanding of them through education and experience. However, there are many in this world whom, for whatever reason, cannot ever grasp these ideas regardless of how much they study or train. If this is you, don't fret. There are still many careers within the design world that you may be very successful in (for example: furniture sales, design marketing, decorative painter, etc) but interior design probably isn’t it.

Unfortunately, many who don’t naturally have good design and decorating skills often don’t realize it. Do yourself a favor and study these traits and concepts, get to know yourself well and be willing to be honest about your personality, skills and talent. Work a few jobs in the interior's field to see if you naturally have an knack for decorating and design. A career may last for decades, so the true goal is for you to be happy and successful in whatever field you eventually decide upon.
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