Table of Contents
Contrary to popular belief, an interior designer doesn’t just arrange furniture in different rooms of a house, read on to answer your question of “What does an interior designer do?”.
What Is an Interior Designer?
We go more into what exactly an interior designer is in our post about How to Become an Interior Designer but here is a summary of what an interior designer is. An interior designer works with or consults with contractors, architects, engineers, and homeowners to design a space that is functional, comfortable, and visually appealing.
What Does an Interior Designer Do?
An interior designer’s main job is to work closely with their client to ensure that they create a space that is aesthetically pleasing while at the same time making sure that space is still functional and safe. Most interior designers pick a niche to stick to but many also run companies and hire multiple interior designers that can work in various niches like corporate interior design, residential interior design, or healthcare interior design.
Corporate interior designers work in a professional setting to design an office space that is ergonomic, visually appealing, and functional. These can be office spaces, cubicles, office kitchens, seating areas, or entryways. Some things they consider are how long clients will be expected to be in the waiting area, how many people work in an office space, and the types of people who work in an office space (mainly men, women, younger staff, etc.).
Residential interior designers work with clients to optimize the flow of their houses. Working closely with the client is very important in this setting since the client will be spending a majority of their time at home and using the rooms you design. In this case, you’ll want to know the colors that the client likes, any accessibility features they require (space between furniture for a wheelchair or a walker, etc), how often they’ll be having company for events, their budget, and their plans for family growth (if any).
Healthcare interior designers are designers that are hired by hospitals or long-term care facilities to set up spaces for patients and staff. These could be individual rooms for long-term patients, common spaces for staff, or office spaces for staff. This is a little harder to work with because although you’re hired by the facility, the client is actually the potential patient that will be using the room (or the staff), so you’ll have to try to anticipate a variety of factors when designing. It’s important to clarify if the rooms are for a specific type of patient, for example, some rooms may have to be wheelchair accessible while others don’t.
What Else Does an Interior Designer Do?
Besides the actual process of designing a space, an interior designer can have other things to do depending on the structure of their business. If you are just starting out, you’ll also be responsible for the day-to-day tasks involved in running a business. Some examples of things that you shouldn’t overlook include advertising to get new clients, drawing out (or using CAD software) to design the interior space for clients to see, communicating with clients to get their requirements, providing clients with a timeline and cost, picking and ordering materials and furniture, communicating with subcontractors if extra work is required, and managing your finances to keep your business profitable.
As your business evolves and grows, tasks may be added or removed that’ll make things easier. There are also a lot of tasks that you can outsource to subcontractors such as bookkeepers, other interior designers, your network of subcontractors, and business partners.