Welcome to Internwise UK

Dream jobs by sector

Essential Skills Needed to be a Successful Interior Designer

When it comes to preparing the interior design students for success in the "real world," most design programs or interior design courses fall far short. In fact, being a brilliant interior designer has very little to do with running a successful design business. To build a successful, lucrative interior design career, the design graduates or young professionals should be about 40% outstanding designer and 60% marketing/business expert.

Essential Skills Needed to be a Successful Interior Designer

The interior design industry is said to grow substantially in the coming decade or so. There is a high demand of interior designers in the market because clients need some who has knowledge and skills needed to create clean and practical designs. An interior design career can be creatively very fulfilling but as an interior designer its your duty to take the client towards the right design choice. 

If you have a creative disposition, an affinity for interiors and decor, and excellent eye for detail, interior design may be a good career option for you. While there are numerous degrees in interior design that can demonstrate to you the ins and outs of designing and arranging an interior or space, there are a few essential skills that you can concentrate on right away.

Listed below are most important skills for an aspiring Interior Designer


Expertise in Design and Technical drawing - Computer-aided Design

One of the most important skills to become and interior designer. You need to be able to work on the design skills and design projects the way clients desire. Knowledge of technical skills make a lot of positive difference in this field. 

  • Hold originality of thought, an eye for aesthetics, and an innate flair for design (qualities that can't be taught yet are necessary for success in the design industry).

  • Knowledge of design principles (you should educate yourself in this area if you lack formal training). They are an inherent part of the interior designer's job.

  • Keep abreast on the newest offerings, vendors, and industry developments. 

  • Develop your technical drawing skills so you can show your work properly using design software like SketchUp, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, and Revit.

  • Proficiency in drafting (that is, the ability to produce accurate documentation drawings). Interior designers need these skills like a fish needs water.

  • Learning sustainable design principles is becoming increasingly crucial as more and more customers demand it.

Ability to Convey Ideas and Information - Focus on Communication Skills

  • Be approachable and sociable. Its one of the most essential skills you need to be a successful interior designer.

  • Possess high levels of emotional intelligence, including empathy and the ability to forge meaningful connections with others.

  • Master the art of communicating effectively with a wide variety of people — from high-end commercial clients to entry-level construction workers.

  • Master the art of active listening by tuning in to what potential customers and other stakeholders are saying and then interjecting with questions.

  • Practice making your design ideas and vision crystal obvious to others.

  • Hold excellent written communication skills and proficiency in public speaking. Successful designers are excellent communicators.

  • Be able to explain design concepts to people who aren't designers, for as through simplifying technical terminology or jargon. 

Understand how to Generate Leads and Convert them into Revenue.

  • Educate yourself on effective lead creation tactics if you lack the self-discipline to consistently work on lead generation (despite being swamped with client work). Interior design firms have teams to work on this, assist and work with them closely.

  • Never stop promoting your company and informing others of your progress - You Should Always Be Trying New Lead Generation Methods Because You Never Know Where Your Next Client Is Going to Come From

Excellent Organisation Skills

Interior designers typically know the nuances of the field, various design styles or everything related to interior design. For that you need to develop essential skills.

  • High levels of initiative and self-control; have skills in project management and strategic thinking. 

  • Excellent time management and monitoring skills; know how long projects take and whether or not you are making money from them; and manage competing deadlines and assignments.

  • Be able to make snap judgments, often under duress; have the ability to focus on and achieve specific goals.

  • Leadership skills (crucial if your firm is to expand). 

  • Adopt a systems-thinking attitude; as your company expands, create systems to streamline processes, save time, and record your progress.

How to Market Oneself as an Interior designer 

  • Have faith in yourself and your abilities; if customers sense any doubt in you, they will go elsewhere (even if they are wrong). Marketing yourself is needed to become a successful interior designer. 

  • Gaining confidence takes time; in the meantime, small gestures like making direct eye contact, shaking hands, and taking the lead during consultations will go a long way.

  • Display zeal and interest. Pay closer attention to others than to yourself. First impressions count, so make sure you dress and groom accordingly.

Proven Marketing Prowess - Keeping Abreast of Emerging Social Media Marketing Trends

  • Passion for marketing knowledge and keeping up with the latest developments in the field. Interior designers often have to market their firms' services.

  • Build your profile as an expert and give potential customers a chance to get to know and trust you by giving away as much of your work as possible for free Monitor your marketing metrics to determine what is working and what isn't (double down on what is)

  • Focus a lot of time and energy on learning as much as possible about the marketing strategies employed by competitors. How come they seem to be succeeding? 

  • Be open to being filmed; if you want to succeed in marketing, you'll need to become used to talking to a camera. Don't be scared if you have to, you have to do this. Social skills are essential to be successful in the industry these days.

Expertise in Selling

  • Feel at ease in a sales environment; many creatives are too timid to charge their true worth.Design professionals need to liaise with relevant clients.

  • Know your market better than they know themselves by learning about their routines, habits, difficulties, and challenges. The more you learn about your target market, the more success you'll have selling to them.

  • Have a solid sales funnel and know your analytics in order to achieve your revenue goals.

  • Be able to identify which customers are not worth keeping as against the paying ones. Several interior or architecture firms keep this as a crucial factor for hiring an interior designer.

Get a Handle on Finances and Budgets

  • Be adept at using calculators and spreadsheets. Budgeting skills are a must to become an interior designer. Designers need to be able to create and control financial plans.

  • Interior designers also need familiarity with balance sheets is a must. Improve your skills by continously taking required courses.

  • Be able to read P&Ls, budgets, and financial reports, and grasp the basics of bookkeeping.

  • Be familiar with the fundamentals of your chosen accounting package (Xero, MYOB, etc.).

  • If you lack these abilities, you should get some training (from an accountant, for example) or learn them on your own. Keep your skills up to date.

Knowledge of Corporate Risk Management and Self-defense

  • Do not attempt to draft legal agreements for your company; rather, seek the services of an attorney.

  • You should be familiar with the rules and regulations that govern construction in your area. A designer will need to coordinate with the building authority of the area if required.

  • Find out as much as you can about the design laws and regulations in your country. 

  • It's important to be aware of the dangers specific to your line of work (for example, a house decorator or stylist faces a different set of hazards than an interior designer working on a major restoration project).

  • Be able to manage cash flow effectively and have company insurance coverage. Good interior designers help their clients with sound budgeting advice.

  • Put everything (including verbal decisions) in writing. 

  • Understand how to handle customer expectations; good communication is the key to solving many design-related problems.


As a design professional, you’re headed in the right direction if you have an interest in interiors, strong communication skills, interior design qualification, a wealth of creative ideas, and these core competencies. If you're interested in becoming an interior designer, all you really need to do is hone your interpersonal, technical, numerical, and pictorial communication and organisational skills.

Are you still interested in pursuing a career in interior design? Internwise.co.uk, the one stop job platform specially for interns can help you get off to a quick start. If you are interested in learning more about getting internships in interior design field, please visit our Architecture/Interior Design page or contact us immediately. 

Found it useful? Share with your friends and other job seekers

Share your feedback on this article, and recommend suggestions to improve it. If you'd like Internwise assistance to find you a guaranteed internship, please do contact us:


Employment Journey

(select your stage)

Let Internwise be your helping hand through your Employment Journey

See all

The fastest, simplest and safest way to create your digital CV

See all

Increase your profile visibility and connect with the prospective Employers

See all

Seize the best interview opportunities - be it in-person, on the phone or a video call

See all

Landed in your new job? Consider this

See all

What does working for each sector entails?

See all
Vacancy Sector Location Job Type Date Published
DJFAN LIMITED internships in Greater London, London

Social Media Intern


Media / New Media, Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Internet Business / Online / Mobile

London, Greater London Part-time Nov 20, 2023
L BOISSEL LTD internships in Central London,

Social Media & Events Assistant


Public Relations (PR) & Communications, Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Events

London, Central London Full-time Nov 15, 2023
LUXEMORE LONDON LTD internships in Greater London,

Client Lead Generation Specialist


Business Management / Development, Travel & Leisure

Remote, Greater London Part-time/Full-time Nov 08, 2023
SPROOT BABY LTD internships in Greater London, London

Marketing & Social Media Internship (Startup)


Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Industrial / Manufacturing, Fashion & Luxury

London, Greater London Part-time/Full-time Nov 01, 2023
SPROOT BABY LTD internships in Greater London, London

Sustainability Internship (startup)


Agriculture & Environment, Industrial / Manufacturing, Fashion & Luxury

London, Greater London Part-time/Full-time Nov 01, 2023
Pelham Communications Ltd internships in Central London,

Digital and Social Media Intern

Pelham Communications Ltd

Marketing / Advertising / Social Media, Arts / Dance / Theater / Entertainment

London, Central London Full-time Oct 29, 2023
ANAKINA LTD internships in Central London, London

Client Manager Assistant/Admin


Administration & PA

London, Mayfair, Central London Part-time/Full-time Oct 18, 2023
POSH SHOWROOM LTD internships in Central London, London

Fashion Wholesale Showroom Internship


Fashion & Luxury

London, Central London Part-time Oct 10, 2023
BETTER BUILDINGS PARTNERSHIP internships in Greater London,

Stakeholder Engagement & Communications Coordinator


Public Relations (PR) & Communications, Property Management / Real Estate, Marketing / Advertising / Social Media

London, Greater London Full-time Oct 04, 2023
MERCURY EIGHT LONDON LTD internships in Central London, London

Brands Partnership Intern Placement


Marketing / Advertising / Social Media

London, Central London Part-time Sep 28, 2023

Similar articles

Employers - Post your vacancies and review your applications received

Candidates - Start applying for Internships and review Employers feedback

Lacoste internship
Manutd internship
Nike internship
Oracle internship
O2 internship
Penguin internship
Events internship

Employers - Post your vacancies and review your applications received

Candidates - Start applying for Internships and review Employers feedback

Lacoste internship
Manutd internship
Nike internship
Oracle internship
O2 internship
Penguin internship
Events internship