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What makes a good interior designer?

This article walks you through what skills and qualities make a good interior designer. We will reveal the best qualities that budding interior designers will desire to have before they start kick start their career.

Interior designer

Personal qualities

As is the case with any profession, there are certain personal qualities which are preferable and will put you in a good position with potential employers. Being an interior designer not only demands a creative flair, but involves several other important qualities being put to the test.

Some personal attributes which would be very useful in interior design include:

- Creativity – this is an obvious quality required in design, it is a quality that may come naturally but needs to be refined for certain tasks and briefs

- Organisational skills - for managing and working with groups of people as well as sticking to a schedule and budget

- A practical orientation

- The ability to work independently

- Good communication skills – you will be working alongside your client and other tradesmen and will need to be able to communicate your vision

Skills and knowledge

Whilst some personal qualities may be more inherent to us, there are also a handful of key skills that if learnt and nurtured, will make you a great interior designer. By acquiring these skills and knowledge you will make yourself a clear candidate to employers. These skills are not only useful for interior design but are transferable to other career paths too, should you choose to make a change later on.

- Technical skills – you will be required to use AutoCAD

- Creativity and excellent sketching ability

- Good spatial awareness and being able to visualise your design in the space

- Communication and empathy skills – this will be very helpful as you will be working with many different people, including suppliers and contractors. Should problems arise, you need to be able to empathise with your client and see from their point of view.

- Team work and management skills – you will be required to direct the build and ensure it runs smoothly. Your vision needs to be materialised as planned.

- Time management – being able to keep to deadlines

- Knowledge of design techniques and tools

- Knowledge of building and construction, materials and methods


The skills and qualities listed above will put you in a good position for potential employers. However, professional experience of interior design is really important to help you start off. Taking advantage of unpaid work experience or student placements is a good way to help yourself out when looking for jobs in the future. Most employers in interior design will prefer candidates with 3-4 years of experience working in design. Interior design jobs can be incredibly competitive. By gaining work experience and building knowledge of the industry, having a portfolio to show and skills to demonstrate, you will make yourself a strong candidate in the eyes of the employer.



Sara Corker has been a successful interior designer for over 25 years. In this time, she has built a strong, positive reputation for herself and an ever-increasing clientele. Sara has set up a design school to help aspiring interior designers by using and sharing her own experience and knowledge of the industry

Find out more in Sara's book "How to become an interior designer"

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