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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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How to become an  Interior Designer

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ARCHITECTS are credited with creating spaces while the interior designers are those who are responsible for judiciously designing them to suit the purpose!


It is the interior designers and decorators who are responsible for devising blueprints for the efficient usage of space to suit the purpose it has been created for. Interior designing and decoration are terms that are often used interchangeably, but are in fact two very specialised fields that require varying degree of talent, knowledge and skill sets.

Interior designing

Interior designing is more of an art than a profession. Professionals in the field are more involved in the designing of the interiors of any construction. They work closely with the architects, structural engineers and other technicians. They plan the complete look, layout and ambience of the space; in other words they are responsible for the aesthetic and efficient use of available space. They interact closely with the client to research, plan, design and implement the most suited indoor environments for that particular construction varying from lobby space in offices to closet contours for homes. Their work palette is much more extensive as they are involved right from the time the designs are drawn up.

The writing on the wall...

Those who want to excel in this field should possess an excellent design sense that is both practical and appealing to the eye. One has to possess the creativity to design the best within tight budgets and deadlines. In addition to structuring the space these people are also responsible for selecting the right colours, furniture, fixtures and carpeting, according to how the space is going to be utilised.

The job responsibilities also include preparing tender documents, choosing the right contractors for the job and getting work done out of them, supervising, checking and certifying bills. Knowledge of computer programs like CAD (Computer Aided Design) and AutoCAD have become essential designing tools for making numerous blueprints.

Nook and cranny...

The minimum academic qualification required for admission to such courses is 10+2 or its equivalent. A natural aptitude for working with colours, an artistic leaning, dexterity with hands, creativity, imagination, visualisation of thoughts and an ability to translate one's thoughts effectively into three-dimensional structures is greatly desired.

Apart from technical knowledge, professionals in this field should possess the tenacity to chase the technicians and get the work done. One should also be an excellent communicator who can understand what the client needs and effectively break it down and communicate it to the contractors as to what has to be done to achieve the desired result. A good commercial sense is required to exactly understand the costs that will be incurred and the ability to convince the clients accordingly.


School of Interior Design, Centre for Environmental Planning Technology, Kasturbhai Lalbhai Campus, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad.

Exteriors Interiors, S-49, Kalkaji, New Delhi; 47/1C, Hazra Road, Calcutta.

J. J. School of Arts, Mumbai.

Nirmala Niketan, 49, New Marine Lines, Mumbai.

Sophia College B. K. Somani Polytechnic, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai.

SNDT Women's University, Mumbai.

South Delhi Polytechnic for Women, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi.

The duration of these courses ranges from two to four years, depending upon the type of course and the institute identified for study. The course covers subjects like art and basic design, furniture design, furnishings & fittings, design, construction and materials, history of interior design, services, professional management-estimating and budgeting, display, computer aided designing. Other areas covered include lettering, properties of materials and paint technology, exhibition design etc.

Job canvas

Interior designers can specialise in various niche areas like designing restaurants, hotels, hospitals, offices and private homes. With the principles of Vaasthu Shastra and Feng Shui gaining popularity many have chosen to become consultants on these too.

Interior Decoration

Interior decoration on the other hand is a relatively less tedious field, which does not need intensive training. There are numerous diploma courses that are available in the field as also many magazines and journals that help and serve as reference points.

Interior decorators are brought into the project at a much later date after the building has been fully constructed and the basic amenities are provided for. Their job is not just confined to choosing the right kind of furnishings to enhance the ambience of the space but do it adhering to a particular style and theme.

In India interior designers and decorators work in collaboration with architects. Many architects employ their own in- house professionals from this field and extend their services as a package deal.


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