When a member of the family leaves for the military, spouses or other family members are left at home to take care of the household. As an unexpected consequence, a great many of those spouses find themselves developing a knack for perfecting the homestead, making them ideal candidates for an interior design career.
What is Interior Design?
At its simplest definition, interior design is the process of planning out and decorating the interior (and sometimes even exterior) of a room or building. Interior designers, as professionals, are contracted by clients (usually homeowners, sometimes business owners) to evaluate fashion, style, budgets, space concerns, and more, and plan the next layout of an interior space.
A professional interior designer will need to know how to find clients, manage budgets, communicate regularly, understand others’ tastes (even if they conflict with their own), present interior design ideas, match colors, be knowledgeable about furniture, and build a portfolio.
Interior Design Career Pros and Cons
Interior design fosters both creativity and independence. Often, interior designers are able to set their own hours, handle much of their work at home, forge their own business strategies, and, ultimately, act as their own bosses.
It’s also an ideal profession for those who want to see their creativity flourish. Interior designers work with colors, patterns, various artworks, and basically create layouts like a painter decorates a canvas. Those with an artistic flair will never find their talent underutilized.
This profession also helps people develop business acumen and financial skills—elements that are necessary for any day-to-day business. It’s a great job for people who want to be constantly challenged.
Another benefit is the constant social interaction. Every day brings new opportunities to foster relationships and connections with people of diverse interests and backgrounds. It’s an excellent gig for the extroverted crowd.
As with all jobs, interior designing also has its fair of challenges. Though the demands of the job may ultimately be rewarding, they can also be stressful and fatiguing. Simple jobs may blossom into hectic ones at the drop of a missed email, miscommunication, or changing whim of a client. Like most careers, interior designing requires hard work and patience.
Still, with its flexibility, creativity, and independence, interior design is an ideal career choice for many military spouses.
How to Start a Career in Interior Designing
To start a career in interior design, consider taking courses that help develop relevant skills. Art, design and business courses are valuable in helping you be prepared for an interior design career. Programs like those found at Meditec, provide excellent interior design career information and potential job training.
Research to see if your state requires an interior design license. Even if it doesn’t require one, getting a license or certification can go a long way to proving credibility to your future clients.
Most importantly, build your portfolio—even if that means taking on a few pro bono projects early in your career. They say a picture is worth a thousand words— to your clients, they could potentially be worth thousands of dollars.