Duties and responsibilities
Interior design consultants advise clients on topics related to the design of an interior space. They design plans personalized to their clients tastes that also serve a functional purpose. They can work for themselves, or for someone else. Regardless, their typical duties of a interior design consultant include:
- Meeting with clients and discussing their design needs
- Drafting design plans for existing or new spaces. They analyze the function of the space with the client’s goals in mind and then draw design, sketches and blueprints
- Formulating a design plan that includes the specific materials, product sourcing and budgeting
- Consulting with real estate firms to help increase the appeal of a location for potential buyers
- Promoting and marketing their business/the business they work for
In general, interior design consultants will need a bachelor’s degree in a field that has a focus on interior design, drawing, and computer-aided design (CAD). Mostly, aspiring interior design consultants may choose to take an interior design degree. Specific programs in interior design are available at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree levels. Aspiring interior designers should take courses accredited by The National Association of Schools of Art and Design and/or The Council for Interior Design Accreditation.
Skills and relevant work experience
Interior design consultants need to be creative and have eye for detail. As well as this, interior design consultant will need skills such as:
- Communication skills, as design consultant need to regularly meet with clients, contractors and suppliers and must communicate effectively during every phase of the project
- Drawing skills, as interior design consultants will need to draw illustrations and technical drawings to plan the design process
- Creativity and artistic flair, as design consultants must be able to create aesthetically pleasing visions
- Business skills, as interior design consultants will need to market and promote themselves. They will also need to manage the project so that they stick to the deadlines
- Attention to detail, as interior design consultants will need to spot even the smallest of things (e.g., colour or texture) that may effect the outcome
Interior design consultants often work for themselves and can therefore pick their own hours. However, in saying this, interior designer consultants often need to work to meet the needs of their clients so often end up working around 40 hours per week.
According to Salary Expert, the median annual wage of an interior design consultant in the United States is $58,559. The lowest 10% earned less than $42,654 and the highest 10% earned over $71,786 per year.
Interior design consultants are likely to start out as interior designers. After gaining experience and knowledge, they will become design consultants. At this level, they can progress to opening their own business and hiring designers to work under them.