What Qualifications And Experience Should an Interior Designer Have?

interior design in Chicago

Choosing the right interior designer for your home or commercial space involves evaluating a variety of factors including their qualifications, experience, style and personality fit. When vetting candidates, here are some key qualifications to look for:

  • Education: Reputable interior designers should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program in interior design or interior architecture. Some may also hold master’s degrees in these areas. This educational background provides critical artistic, technical and analytical skills.
  • Certifications: Many top interior designers obtain certifications through examinations from professional organizations like the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). These certifications indicate mastery of building codes, design principles, space planning, and lighting design among other specialties.
  • Experience: Ideally, you want to work with an interior designer who has been practicing for a minimum of 5 years. Those newer to the field may have creative ideas but lack the experience needed for complex projects. Ask candidates about their past work on projects similar to yours.

  • Specific Expertise: Look for interior designers who specialize in residential versus commercial spaces, if that matches your needs. Some designers focus on just one area like kitchens and baths. Pick someone with robust experience in your specific type of project.
  • Business Acumen: Talented interior designers also need strong business, accounting and project management skills to oversee budgets, timelines and contractor relationships. Opt for someone organized and responsive when working through a renovation.
  • References: Reputable interior designers should be able to furnish referrals from past clients. Speaking with references is a great way to get honest feedback on their skills, professionalism and finished products.
  • Portfolio: When interviewing interior designers, ask to see a portfolio of their work. Examining current design projects similar to yours provides the best sense of their overall aesthetic and talents.
  • Location: For hands-on help throughout your project, it often works best to hire interior designers located in the same geographic area likeĀ interior designers in Chicago for Chicago projects. Local designers will be most familiar with area products, codes and contractors.

The ideal interior designer has the right blend of education, experience, business skills and artistic sensibility. Taking time to thoroughly evaluate qualifications will help you find the perfect design expert to bring your home or office vision to life.