Interior Design Schools

Interior design is now a very popular profession, as more and more individuals find it challenging to come up with creative and technical solutions in order to achieve a well-built interior environment. This field combines creativity, aesthetics and business, making this an interesting prospect for many individuals. If you are one of these individuals who love to turn something into a creative work or piece, you must enhance your skills and talents by going to an interior design school.

An interior design school is a creative avenue, where you can acquire the knowledge and enhance the skills to push your creativity to the limits. Here you will not only learn the basics of interior design – you will also be trained in color coordination, design and layout of furniture and other interior structures and placement of interior lighting. These will help you develop your skills to arrange and design interior settings that are attractive and appealing, as well as functional with use and form.

Aside from the basics, interior design schools also give advanced training to those individuals who want to further enhance their interior designing skills. This will help you build on your design foundation and add new elements of business and finance. An important skill enhanced here is your ability to work with clients. In interior design, it is important that you know how to deal with your clients in order to have good coordination for the success of the entire project. You also learn the idea of budgeting, sales and promotion that are also important if you wish to establish your own business in this field.

There are lots of interior design schools offering programs. If you are interested, all you have to do is to search for the interior design school that will bring out the best in you.

Interior Designers: Designing The Way Into A New Era

Some of the topics I write about work well mixed with a little humor or sarcasm. Some, like the one I’m writing about today, are best left as they are. This is written for designers who are feeling a little discouraged with the economy. There is hope. We are designers. We make a living out of turning nothing into something. We can make a difference.

If there’s one trend that I’ve noticed over the past few years it’s the concept that the good times are gone. People are complaining about jobs, taxes, gas prices, loss of home values, etc. It’s become a national pastime to find something wrong with everything. Just listening to people who complain all the time can put otherwise happy people in a poor mood and it propagates the whole situation. It’s contagious. Those things do exist and of course, it’s a concern to everyone. What most of us forget when things get rough are the opportunities that present themselves. It’s during these times when creative minds have a little more time to think, they think harder than ever and as a result, we usually end up better in the long run. Remember the late 70’s and early 80’s? A global recession was going on, mortgage rates were at 18%, but it was also a great time of inventions. MS-DOS(Microsoft Software), Cell phones, the Hepatitis B vaccine, the IBM-PC computer, CD-ROM, Apple Mac, Sony Walkman, MRI’s, and of course, Prozac to name just a few. Apparently, not everyone was sitting around relishing in their misery.

In the past, most designers in my area relied heavily on new home sales. South Florida was in a building boom for many years and designers rode that gravy train to the last station. Clients were spending like there was no tomorrow, some of them as if they were posting their W-2 forms on their front door. It was a great time for everyone. Many designers took for granted that another big job was always around the corner and lived like celebrities, spending every dime they made. Unfortunately, many of those same people, and now some of the biggest retailers in Florida have been forced to close up due to the economy. It’s a sad story that’s being played out over and over. But fortunately, this will not be the end of the story.

The late famous designer, Jay Spector, always had a positive outlook on life and business. He used to say “The time to take the cookies is when they pass the plate.” In other words, when opportunity comes your way, grab it. And while the economy appears to be in the toilet to most people, it is creating opportunities for those who have the ability to adapt to the business of the future. It’s a time to slow down, put a little more thought into what we do and make sure we are giving our clients the best possible design.

A good example of one of the opportunities is that while new home sales are at a halt, more and more people are deciding to stay in their current home for the next several years. In doing so, many of them will be doing renovations and additions to make their homes more comfortable. They are realizing it’s cheaper to do this than buy a new home and pay the higher property taxes or sell their home at a loss. These projects may be a little more work for the designer, and a little less profitable, but it’s a great opportunity to add new clients to their portfolio. Who knows what lies in store for the future with these new clients? It’s an opportunity for a whole new market of design clients. It’s also a great time for clients to save money as many vendors and workrooms have lowered their pricing in order to survive.

Another positive result of the economy is that many people need to sell their homes and the competition is brutal. The market for staging firms is increasing dramatically. It may only cost a small amount to stage your home professionally but for most homes, it will increase its marketability and value. This may be especially true for the condo market where several identical units may be competing for the same buyer. Don’t kid yourself into thinking that all buyers are just looking for the cheapest price. If they are from out of town, they may want something that is already done rather than deal with the headaches of construction or decorating a new home via long distance. Even in this economy, there are people who will pay the price for convenience and good taste.

The economy has also misplaced a lot of homeowners into rental properties. Some of them will stay in the rental market for some time while they are rebuilding their credit and savings accounts. For those with families and careers, a rental home does not mean living like a college student. They still want the same comforts of a home to raise their family. Some of these new clients are renting luxury properties. These customers may not be looking to make lifetime investments so for those designers who have well-priced resources and ideas, this is a whole new market. Creativity is what will count with these customers. And creativity will require more than just giving them the first thing that pops into your head so you can get the job done quickly. Sometimes the best ideas come after your first ideas.

Case in point: When I was in college, I had a very gifted design instructor. He got his Masters from Pratt Institute and owned his own design firm while also teaching at the University level. He was no stranger to hard work. He had what I thought at the time, was a cruel concept for getting us to rise above what we thought we were capable of. During our fifth year, he would assign actual design projects that had been given to the University by local private and public businesses. The class size was small and was extremely competitive at that level because it was the final year of what was then a prototype design program. Most students had left the program a year earlier with their bachelor’s degree. Only a handful continued on for the extra year. Anyway, a couple weeks after getting our assigned projects, he had us put up our design concepts for the entire class to critique. Some of the student’s designs were, to put it simply, outstanding. At the end of all the critiques, including the instructor’s, he took them down, thanked everyone for their hard work and creative efforts and then threw them in the trash! To say we were stunned is an understatement. Hours and hours of work in the garbage. We sat there dumbfounded. Then he made his point. “Now that all of you got that obvious crap out of your head, let’s move on to the good stuff.” His belief was that your first idea is never your best. Knowing that you couldn’t go back to that design concept forced you to think beyond and come up with a new one. He was no less than a genius. The final design projects that came out of that class were award worthy. I still find myself looking for that better idea on every project.

The economy has had an effect on everyone, not just the design business. I strongly suspect that it’s one of the driving factors why contemporary furnishings have made a strong comeback over the past few years. People may be wanting something fresh, something less complicated and heavy. It’s not unlike during the depression, the most glamorous decade of the American century. It was the zenith of an era of unbridled, unapologetic and authentic luxury. While our economy was at it’s worst, people were finding comfort by throwing the most lavish parties our country had ever seen.

The times we live in are a challenge for most everyone to some degree. But then again, life is a challenge. It’s like one big fat puzzle…we just need to figure it out one piece at a time and to find a way of enjoying it during the process.

Working From Home – How to Become an Interior Designer

In the past 1-1/2 years I have been doing workshops for the interior design industry. I know this has been a really tough year for most of us. I also noticed that when times are tough and we are all looking for the magic answer, it also makes us vulnerable to, as the song goes, looking in all the wrong places. There’s some great information out there, but there is also what I call “Smoke and Mirrors”. I would advise you to be very careful who you look to for advise. Don’t fall for the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Everyone is calling themselves an expert now….

But what I thought was to let you know that I also practice what I preach….oh yeah, with tangible results.

I am not doing this as self-promotion, but to show you that you can do this too!

My business, was not immune to the downturn of the economy. I very suddenly lost two major clients in 2008. I had to really work hard (AND SMART) to build my business back and make up for those two clients. As I am writing this, I have almost reached AND surpassed those goals. How did I do it, you ask?

I am sorry to say this, but it’s what I preach to all of my clients, in my workshops and what I will tell you now.

(1) I have a very specific target market. I NEVER, EVER call myself a consultant. It says nothing about my value to someone. Someone I took business classes with when I first started my business asked me what I do. I replied, “I am a consultant”. She answered in a very sharp tone, “You and every other out of work person”. Boy did that give me a wake up call.

(Q).So when someone asks what you do, how do you reply? I am an interior designer? I sell high-end products? I do residential design? I do commercial design? I do window treatments? I will say the same as my teacher said to me…you and thousands of others! Do you want to put yourself in a pool of others vying for the same work? FIND YOUR TARGET MARKET AND YOUR VALUE TO THEM! Solve their problems! Design is not solving problems that’s a given. If value is a mystery, people will not buy. People are now looking for value. You need to connect those dots for people with a very clear marketing message.

Think of it as throwing away what everyone else offers and pulling on your own strengths. Pull your company away from every other designer.

(2) I spend over 50% of my time on marketing. YES 50% of my time! Most successful people spend AT LEAST that much time on marketing. Others spend much less and the results are indicative of that. Unreliable income, unrealized dreams of having a thriving business and worse yet, businesses closing.

But the key was that I put myself into target rich environments. AND I provided the VALUE of working with me. I networked in person, online and built my value and brand. I did not waste time, energy and money (our precious resources) going to events or doing online Social Media to people who I knew would NOT be interested in the value I have to offer with my services. I thought very strategically about where I was going and who I wanted to meet. That was my goal for 2009 and I worked hard at it!

(Q). So how much time have you worked on marketing in a target rich environment? Have you yet to define your target market? And have you crafted your “elevator speech”? Mine is “I work with the interior design industry on strategic business planning so that they can reach their ultimate business goals”. That’s how I introduce myself to anyone I meet on or offline.

(3) Pro-active follow up. I have not been out of contact with my “sales funnel” for more than 4 weeks. It’s a call, a blog post, a Facebook entry, a newsletter, an in person visit, a workshop, a networking event. It’s ALL pro-active. I really don’t have that Kevin Costner attitude of “Build it and they will come” or ” I have been doing this for 30 years and have an incredible track record of successes…don’t they know that”? You can NEVER, EVER rely on passive marketing such as referrals, brochures, postcards, etc.

Don’t forget the cardinal rule of marketing. You need to get in front of a potential client 7 to 13 times before they will take action. I know this may sound crazy, but I even keep on ticker on some of my potential clients to see if that is true. You know what? It is!

Follow up is crucial..but make sure when you do PLEASE do not just say I am following up. Make the call, email whatever your mode meaningful to your potential client. An example is: I just designed an amazing storage solution for another client and I know that’s of particular interest to you..wanted to talk to you about it and how we can make that same kind of idea work for you.

So, you ask, all that is well and good on paper…”Show me the money!”

I have two new clients I got from Social Media and a third I am in talks with a third one right now.

I have given my in person, 5 part workshop in two design centers and I am scheduled to give it at THREE others this year.

I have SIX major proposals out there just waiting for approval.

In a few months I am slated to have an income that would supersede my best year!

Business is getting better, the economy IS changing for the better, you can position yourself right now!

And what’s really amazing about this is not about me, it’s that YOU can do this too!

Modern Interior Design For Your Hotel & Restaurant

Cafe Interior Design

The idea was created in my mind after watching the Chef Gordon Ramsay in TV. In that TV show they will teach, how to decorate our kitchen and nightmares restaurants with the verge of closure. It will save the detailed remolding of the tuning staff, menu, set up, and cooking techniques. There is an interesting thing that impresses all is re-launching and sustain efforts used by the postcards. Cafes and restaurants will get benefit from the customer post card print. By using the costumer designed postcard it promotes their menu and especially it is established by the images for their business. The Commuter of the town is situated near the airport, railway station and other module of transportation, which gets the gain from the designer postcards.

Hotel Interior Design

Having to say this, the fact is the hotels require catchy designs than the restaurants. The hotels want to look attractive to the new people who might be strangers, tourists and travelers. The hotel gives more importance and needs reputation also. They are looking the rates and service charges for per day. The interior of hotels should be designed in such way that it will reflect the essence of town or city in which it is situated. The all kinds of food offered in the hotels also influence with the interior designs. For example, if it is a hotel offering cuisines belong to foreign country, the interior and decor should represent the strength of that country. The tables and chairs arrangement in hotels must be very unique. The way of arrangement will also attract the people. The interior walls should be nicely painted and some pictures related to various cuisines will surely help the hotels to get more customers.

Office Interior Design
The one style of office will not outfit every type of business. However, there is no set rule concerning what comprise the best office style. They will imagine the office of your limited garage and then compare with the office of the high-tech original or creative director to do they look like the same, if you visualize them in your mind.