A bachelor's degree in interior design, architecture, or a related field and relevant work experience are generally required for this position, though some companies will accept candidates with significant success as interior/exterior designers in place of a degree. Knowledge of Auto CAD and Microsoft Office is often required, as well.
Interior/exterior designers must be proficient in the residential design process, including different types of furniture (antique and modern), fabric and finishes, paints, and many other relevant factors. They must also be familiar with exterior hardscape design, including plaster textures and colors, landscaping, pool line tile, decking materials, and other design elements. These designers generally schedule appointments with customers; they must listen to what customers want and present customized designs for their approval, and should also be willing to make changes as necessary.
Excellent interpersonal and presentation skills and strong verbal and written communication skills are important in this position, and interior/exterior designers are also encouraged to continuously follow trends in their industry and visit various shows, such as home/garden shows presented by vendors specializing in home decoration, furniture, landscaping, and so on. Those in this position must always maintain good relationships with material suppliers and may need to attend classes, workshops, and conferences to improve their knowledge and skills. Some may also mentor and coach junior designers.
Interior & Exterior Designer Tasks
Subcontract fabrication, installation, and arrangement of carpeting, fixtures, accessories, draperies, paint and wall coverings, art work, furniture, and related items.
Estimate material requirements and costs, and present design to client for approval.
Coordinate with other professionals, such as contractors, architects, engineers and plumbers.
Plan, design, and furnish interiors and exteriors of residential, commercial, or industrial buildings.