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A competitive market and hectic schedules make interior design a challenging industry to compete in. Many interior design firms face obstacles—from selecting the right designs to effective project and time management. Below are the most common challenges one faces if they are in the interior design space.
User Experience and Brand Identity:
These two factors drive the design process from start to end and their importance has grown tremendously over the years. They will continue to define the industry as a whole, right from decisions about size and style of a space to the furnishings, lighting, and materials used in it. Conceptualizing spaces based on brand identity is a must. There is a rising demand for interiors that tell a story, share a message and create an emotional ‘connect’, across the design spectrum.
Time Management and Working Within Fast Turnarounds:
For interior design firms, time management skills are a must. There are only so many hours in a day and dozens of things need to get done. Organizing one’s time allows you to budget your hours effectively, prioritize projects and stay on schedule to meet your forever looming deadlines. Maybe your client wants the project done next month—or maybe next week. Whatever the timeline may be, interior designers often find themselves working within tight turnarounds. This is where time management and organizational skills are really put to the test.
Sell Your Idea:
One of the biggest challenges interior designers face is selling big ideas. Often times, you only have pictures or a floor plan to try and express the feelings of an entire room. It’s hard to sell something that doesn’t physically exist. Do whatever it takes to get your ideas across. From fabric samples to mood boards, your clients will always appreciate the extra effort to help them understand the vision.
Maintaining client expectations:
More likely than not, you’ve worked with a client with sky-high expectations. Being an interior designer is all about working with people and managing expectations. Don’t get discouraged. Set boundaries, work within the budget, and don’t forget the timeline. Managing your clients’ expectations is a huge part of the interior design—and it’s always challenging, no matter how large or small your business is. If the client is a little more old school and tech-shy, perhaps have him/her complete a quiz identifying styles. The goal, clearly, is to narrow the options of interest before you spend hours sourcing product. Keep it visual. And if they have trouble saying “yes” to what they like, focus instead on what they do not like.
Ability to distinguish between contemporary and modern style:
A Lot of designers get confused between these two. They are both essentially very different, while modern refers to the specific time period between the early to mid-twentieth century. Modernism and clean lines essentially emerged from the industrial revolution where manufacturing drastically scaled on a global level and the style was more functional with cleaner symmetries. Modern aesthetics are defined by extremely crisp lines and warm neutrals. Contemporary doesn’t really reflect a time period or era. It is the pop culture of design trends which basically blends a multitude of different time periods as an aesthetic. So in a residence, if you see elements of French classical design all the way to visually heavy Victorian design blended with futuristic technology that would be contemporary.
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