If you are thinking about a career at school or are about to leave school with A-levels, university might appear to be the choice as this is the traditional path for the professional adult and will take several years. Normally 3-4 years for a first degree and more if you wish to study for an MA. If you are past this time you may consider part-time educational courses that will give you an equivalent vocational qualification.
Alternatively, there are some very good private design academies, colleges, schools that have an excellent reputation for shortening the process, with greater focus on the practice of design as opposed to design education. The top pages of Google, Bing and Yahoo will give you a choice of these organisations, many of which are in London, for example, Inchbald, Interior Design School, JJAADA Academy, KLC. There are now many organisations that offer online programmes.
You will meet the client, survey the property, receive the design brief and negotiate your fee with an initial payment before starting the work and the balance to be payable in stages.
You will prepare a sketch scheme and when that has been approved, carry out working drawings by freehand or computer-aided design, eg AutoCAD, using other packages to support your visuals: Photoshop/Sketchup, ArchiCad, Artlantis, to assist you to maximise on your visualising and photo-real presentations.
During this time you will also be discussing and liaising with suppliers, lighting, furniture, soft furnishings and textiles specialists, sound experts, considering and selecting design enhancements such as water effects, art (contemporary and old masters), antiques, artefacts, sculpture, window treatments, garden design and planting.
Every month jjaadacademyonline.com will discuss the main topics that matter to contemporary interior designers. We have been doing this for a number of years but please share any ideas you have with us!