- developing initial ideas and acquiring key information about potential projects, discussing requirements in detail with clients (the brief) and setting project schedules;
- understanding clients' needs and the needs of the people using the building, developing design concepts in consultation with the client and establishing final briefs;
- considering materials and costs according to set budgets and negotiating project fees;
- conducting feasibility studies for projects;
- researching and gathering information and photographs relating to the project;
- producing 'sample' or 'mood' boards for presentation to clients;
- sourcing products, e.g. fittings, furniture, lighting, finishes, decoration and dressing, and providing samples for clients;
- preparing detailed working drawings, designs, plans, models and schemes, often using computer-aided design (CAD) software;
- surveying buildings;
- working in a team with other designers;
- supervising work at the design stage and on site;
- working closely with quantity surveyors to establish costs and work schedules on larger projects, with architects and other design professionals to determine the best use of space, and with manufacturers and contractors;
- identifying new business and selling services to potential clients;
- keeping up to date with new developments in the design industry.
- In addition,an interior designer may also sometimes act as a project manager for the client throughout the construction stage. This can involve coordinating the design on site and even managing the construction team.
Skills and knowledge
- high level of technical knowledge, including CAD and model-making skills;
- good drawing skills, including perspective drawing and spatial awareness;
- creativity and imagination;
- communication skills, both written and verbal, to write briefs, promote and explain ideas, and build relationships with clients;
- an awareness of building and safety regulations;
- knowledge of the wider construction and design industries;
- project management skills, including the ability to work under pressure and to deadlines;
- attention to detail;
- organisational and creative problem-solving skills;
- good negotiating and management skills;
- teamworking, in order to work with a range of other professionals;
- a flexible attitude;
- business, finance and marketing skills.
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