Interior designing is the process of shaping interiors through the manipulation of spaces, volumes and different forms. It draws on differe...

Interior designing is the process of shaping interiors through the manipulation of spaces, volumes and different forms. It draws on different aspects like the environment, architecture and product design in addition to traditional decoration. It is not to be confused with interior decoration, which is concerned mainly with managing colour schemes and making aesthetic changes to an interior space.

An interior designer is a professional who has a degree/ diploma in the field of interior design and is concerned mainly with optimum space management. He/ she should have technical knowledge of building and an understanding of ventilation, electrical circuits and installations, drainage and water supply, air conditioning and heating systems. Additionally, designers need to develop the design documents, and diagrams that outline their clients’ needs, for which knowledge of software packages like CAD, 3D Studio Max, Photoshop and Corel Draw is an added bonus. Veena Arunkumar, Proprietor, Hallmark interiors, says, “If students want to get the right kind of exposure they should work under an interior designer. If working under an architect, then they should have a separate department with interior designers working on interior designing projects. If aspirants were to work only on the drawing board, it will dilute their efforts.”


In addition to educational qualifications and a substantial training period, interior designers need to hone certain skills to build a successful career.They should be able to communicate with the people they are working with, such as carpenters and contractors, and learn their lingo. Also, they should have a good imagination and possess good visualisation skills, as they are responsible for selecting colours, materials and finishes, which appropriately convey the design concept. An interior designer should be flexible enough to understand the clients’ needs, absorb their ideas and translate them into reality, simultaneously meeting socio-psychological, functional, maintenance, environmental and safety requirements. Coordinating with allied design professionals such as architects, structural engineers, mechanical engineers and electrical engineers, is part of the job demand.
Anish Shaikh, who has completed his course from Academy of Applied Arts, Dadar, says,“An interior designer should keep abreast of the latest innovations and be proactive, visit websites, read books, visit exhibitions and always be in touch with the market so as to have knowledge of new materials available.”

Interior Designer Alisha Doshi says,“In Mumbai, many architects are doing interiors, but there is lot of scope for a trained interior designer too.The earning potential depends on a person’s contacts and skills. One can work as a freelancer, and can take up this career even if he/ she has only the basic qualifications and an aptitude for the job.”
Mrinalini Godbole, Architect and Interior Designer, says,“With real estate rapidly developing in towns and cities and the rate per sq ft going up tremendously, everyone is interested in utilising space optimally. Thus an interior designer is of great value in today’s times.The budget is decided by the customer and he may pay the interior designer a fixed amount or a percentage of the total cost of the project,” adds Mrinalini who is also the proprietor of Godbole Associates.
Earning potential can start from Rs 2,500 as an apprentice and go up to Rs15,000 as a design coordinator (as a designer’s assistant). A person whose work is very good can even be made an associate/ partner. One can also start an individual practice where one can earn anywhere between 10-15 per cent of the total cost of the project which is a colossal amount. As in many other fields theoretical knowledge has to be backed by plenty of hands-on experience which can be gained by working as an apprentice under an architect or an interior designer from anywhere between three to five years.



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