What we look for in an Interior Designer

Being an interior designer is no easy feat… As such an interior design education helps ensure the project completion process is as smooth as possible!

What technical skills does an Interior Designer need?

Our design practice started just after Staffan graduated from the Inchbald – School of Design where he did a year long course in Architectural Interior Design. We employed from Inchbald year on year as we slowly grew, confident that we spoke the same language of design as the new graduates did. Now, nearly 15 years later our studio comprises designers with degrees in Architecture, Interior Architecture, Interior Design and Interior Decoration from all around the world. As our industry has grown and matured we’ve also seen it diversify and become more specialist. New graduates can choose a myriad of paths, specializing in residential or commercial, technical or FF&E, even focusing on different stages of the design journey for example: concept visuals rather than working on site.

360 degrees: the ultimate interior designer

We are a technical studio, relying on CAD and Sketch-up rather than hand-drawing to communicate with our clients. For us a designer needs to come to us with these skills but, more importantly, they need to demonstrate that they have a 360º approach to interior design. This is because our studio doesn’t silo designers into one part of the creative design journey. We believe that the same designer should take a client’s brief, develop it through concept stage, draw it up in CAD, turn the spaces round in Sketch-up and then furnish it – right down to the final fabrics and accessories.

interior designer
Monique & Sharon working on a design scheme in the Tollgard studio

We often ask our clients to imagine their house as a doll’s house. Or a box that you can turn upside down and shake. Some pieces are going to fall out first: the furniture, cushions, rugs, lights and accessories. If you shake longer and harder eventually the floorboards will fall out; the bath and eventually the walls. We use this metaphor to explain the different between interior design and interior decoration, or FF&E.

The right designer for us is someone who cares about the box, the shape of the box, what those walls are going to look like and where they’re going to be as much as the pieces inside: a 360º interior designer! Someone who is committed to all elements of the design journey, who has the technical skills & relevant experience but who also is deeply interested in the final pieces that arguably have the most physical and emotional impact on the people living in these spaces.

As the designer grows with us so will their skillset: at first working with the elements of design that they’re most comfortable with, to becoming a rounded interior designer that can work with all aspects of design.

To view our project work click here

Becoming an Interior Designer:
Inchbald School of Design

London based Interior Design School Inchbald

Founded in 1960, Inchbald School of Interior Design has provided exceptional interior designer courses acknowledged throughout the interior design profession.

Inchbald alumni have included many of the best known names in the profession including Lady Henrietta Spencer Churchill, Stephen Ryan and Luciano Giubbilei , confirming that the challenge of a course at the Inchbald School of Design is not only an enjoyable experience but it is also professionally relevant.

They offer various courses including the Inchbald Diploma which prepares graduates for professional practice through the exploration and development of practical and aesthetic design skills. This was the qualification that both Staffan and Erik (head of showroom) took together at Inchbald.

By tackling a variety of residential & commercial projects informed by design methodology, technical detail & research which are set during the course of the year thereby learning to develop their ideas through drawing & presentation skills which are taught across the duration of the programme.

The school also offers short courses focusing on Interior Decoration and complementary vocational skills related to interior design which Monique undertook. They offer a useful introduction to advanced study or to provide further skills development for students already involved in the field.

interior designer london

Most importantly the tutors are all working designers recognised for their professional standards & creative input. Lecturers are drawn from relevant practices and academic institutions. We are fortunate enough to have Monique be a regular lecturer at the school.

The highest priority of Inchbald teaching is the development of every individual student’s talent and potential; allied to a clear understanding of the possibilities of interior space. This is the very basis of the design confidence which is essential to professional life.

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