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Do you have a habit of scourging furniture shops? Do you always critically look at someone's home decor? Do you keep doing up your home with newer and better knick-knacks? Do you sometimes feel that some homes do not reflect the owner's personality?
If you have said yes to any of the above, you are well on your way to being a good interior designer.
Interior design does not require an introduction. Most of us have come across this speciality sometime in our lives and like all careers, it is boom-time for interior designers too. So, if you are looking at making a career in interior design, here's some helpful information.
What is interior designing?
Interior design is the process of shaping the experience of interior space. So it's not just interior decoration but it also involves aspects of environmental psychology, architecture and product design.
While some would say it is just the art of putting some furniture together, interior designers beg to differ. Experts say that interior design is a creative process that understands the client's need, creates a conceptual design, reviews the design, and produces a final cut design document or plan.
Many a time, an interior designer works closely with the architect to define the finer nuances of a home. However, these are absolutely different branches looking at different aspects of a home. While your architect will tell you the dimensions of your bathroom and even the tiles to be used, your interior designer will tell you the best fittings and how the bathroom will compliment your mood.
Who can become an interior designer?
There is quite a big debate on that front. Everyone agrees that you need to be a creative person if you want to be an interior designer. However, some feel that you need added qualifications.
"You need creativity, financial acumen, interest and knowledge of materials to be a good interior designer," says Parthajeet Sarma, director of iDream Advisory Services Private Limited.
Sarma is actually an architect however he has been involved in interior design with as much success.
He adds, "(Some) One who has an eye for detail and loves solving cryptic puzzles would make a good interior designer. I am not an interior designer but an architect -- however I have been involved in this industry for 12 years now."
The key word then is interest. The rest falls in after that. Create a checklist and tick from interest, creativity, financial knowledge and the willingness to learn about brick and mortar.
What are the career prospects?
Interior designers are in demand. Industry experts say there is a dearth of good interior designers.
"Interior designers are in much demand now due to the retail boom in India," says Shubha Jain who offers interior design courses at the International Institute of Fashion Design (Mumbai). "Career prospects range from starting their own firms and taking up projects, to working as a designer for malls, hotels and design companies. Interior designers are also employed by big architectural firms to cope with project load."
But success will not come instantly. Once you finish your training, you will need to work hard to get some recognition. "Yes, the career prospects are good," says Sarma, "But be prepared to slog it out during the initial years. If you do that and you are intrinsically good at design, you will surely shine. Be warned however that this is not like doing an MBA from an IIM where you join at the top and retire at the top."
Part II: Tomorrow
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