What are the Pros & cons of becoming an interior designer? 5 advantages & disadvantages of becoming a designer.

The pros and cons, or advantages and disadvantages of becoming an interior designer are endless of course, but I’ll cover the top few here. I’m not just speaking from experience, (I have been an interior designer for many years), I’m also listing what I hear others in the industry say. Step one is understanding what we actually do everyday, which helps me explain the pros and cons.

First let me say that every single day people tell me they want to become an interior designer, saying things like “that’s my dream job, I love picking out pretty items!” 

So here’s the main advantage of becoming an interior designer, we’ll call it PRO # 1

It’s very rewarding to hear good comments from clients, and I must admit, after years of experience I do get to hear these statements every week! It’s so rewarding to be told you’ve affected their life, by creating a home environment they love coming home to! We hear things like…..
“I LOVE coming home now!!” 
“Even my husband loves it, and he used to think it would be a waste of money!”
“I love the way you were able to use our existing things, and make it look fresh.”

“It’s like you read my mind, how did you nail my taste so well?!”

It’s even better than I imagined”  

“My friends can’t get over the change! We actually want to have people over now.”   

Interior design room

PRO # 2, or Advantage #2 of becoming an interior designer. 

Flexible hours, you can set your own hours. Now, don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean you’ll work less hours, you’ll probably work MANY more than a normal 40 hour work week, probably up to 55 or 65 hours, or more. Your busiest time of year will be August through Christmas, when people want their home to look amazing for the holidays, (and when kids are back in school). 

Advantage # 3 of becoming an interior designer:
You can often work out of your home, that is, if you are very disciplined, and if you have assistance for child care.  

Now instead of a pro, lets state the #1 disadvantage of becoming an interior designer:

….wouldn’t you rather know what you’re really getting into?  

It’s not just creative artistic work, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but picking out nice looking things is only about 20% of what you’ll actually do. Below I listed what you’ll really spend your time doing.

1) Communication – 

You must be efficient and prompt to follow up with installers, seamstresses, upholsterers, electricians, painters, builders, the tile store, the light fixture store, etc.
2) Scheduling –
It’s tough to narrow down the people listed above, to get realistic answers about delivery times, then even more so to schedule the two professionals (the husband & wife or people who hired you).
3) Budgeting –

Trying to get the homeowners or office manager to be realistic, so they don’t make impulse purchases!

See “How much should I budget for furniture and Decorating” here:

4) Encouraging cooperation –
Between the husband and wife, the homeowner and the builder, the supplier and the homeowner, since they normally have opposite views regarding taste, pricing, timelines, & what is a “necessity”. This can be rewarding, to help people come to an agreement.
5) Computer work – 
Such as Web development – writing blogs, editing before & after photos for files, status reports, for each client with paper trails & emails. Creating files for measurements, rug sizes, architectural details, etc etc.


Disadvantage number 2 of becoming an interior designer:

 Unless you are willing to spend money on expensive advertising (I’ve never advertised). You probably can’t dive into it as your main source of income until you’ve paid your dues by working for someone else.  You could start by working at a high end furniture store, fabric store, or perhaps an art gallery? During this time, you could do interior design part time so you can create a web site or portfolio of your work.
I learned a great deal by working at a very high end furniture store for many years before going out on my own!  After all, you’ll need to be able to understand furniture size & scale, durability & fabric content, architectural specifications, rug qualities, color tones, terms of styles, etc.

Disadvantage number 3 of becoming an interior designer:

Tough clients, I don’t mean rude clients, most of them are very nice!! What I’m referring to is clients who hire you, but don’t listen, they continue to make impulse buys. There’s times when I tell people a furniture piece is the wrong size, to later hear them say “you were right, I just hate it now that it’s in the room, it looked so different in the store”. Or, I explain things about sofa cushion content, or fabric durability (lack of) and they still make an impulse buy – to later say they wish they hadn’t.
Or there’s clients that say “look what I bought, can you find a place for it? I can’t seem to find a place for it”.  They admit it wasn’t a wise choice, but now that they’ve paid for it, they aren’t able to return it  – perhaps from that local art gallery that gave them several glasses of wine? 🙂 Or perhaps from that commission sales person who insisted it would be perfect! It’s the wrong size and scale, or style, but we’re stuck with it.

Advantage number 3 of becoming and interior designer.

Unlike many fields such as accounting, computer work, etc. your degree doesn’t have to be in interior design. I highly recommend a bachelor degree in business or some field, but I believe that you either have a gift for interior design or you don’t. You can either spot what’s wrong with a room or you can’t! You either have amazing attention to detail or you don’t! You can either pick a perfect wall paint color every time, or you can’t. You either have a strong work ethic and are willing to study architecture, period design, etc. or you’re not. If you have all these traits, then you have a major advantage over the competition.
If you are willing to find a mentor, you can learn a great deal. Every week I have someone offer to work for our design team  “for free so I can learn” but each time I tried it, they weren’t willing to really listen and learn.

Do you want to share your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages that I haven’t listed here? After all, it’s a subject in which one could go on and on for hours –

For beautiful interior designer room photos “8 designer rooms you won’t want to miss” 
See this link: 

  • How to hire a good interior designer?
  • How to communicate with your interior designer? 
  • What questions to ask a designer before your remodeling or new construction begins?
  • How much will it cost to decorate and furnish my home?

For answers to these: https://www.interiordesigngreensboro.com/search?q=designer

COMMENTS? We love reading your thoughts & opinions….Just click the word “comments” below……

8 thoughts on “What are the Pros & cons of becoming an interior designer? 5 advantages & disadvantages of becoming a designer.

  1. As for my personal opinion, this blog awaken my passion to be an interior designer. It's never a secret for me that interior designer is a tough job especially for a starter, but I pretty believe that with the great passion and dedication, all hardship will be overcome. I hope that this blog will be an inspiration to all those people who aspire to be one of the interior designer that they dream of.

  2. A diploma or a Bachelors degree is an important essential to work in the interior design field. These courses can be taken up by students or professionals who want to pursue a career in the Interior Design industry and develop design solutions. While fabrics, furniture and color are the basic elements in interior design, there is much more knowledge and skill required to be a designer. At Hamstech School of Interior Design, we mentor our students with specialist faculty from the industry for an end to end detail of the subject to prepare them to succeed in the industry. Interior design courses

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