Upskilling Series Part 1: Interior Design

Posted on 12/08/2016 by admin

If the thought of staying in your current job role for eternity is a scary thought, don’t worry – that’s perfectly normal.

Naturally, we want to progress and move forward in our careers, and that’s where upskilling becomes essential.

Upskilling goes beyond the experience and the knowledge that you passively pick up at work; it involves putting yourself out there to learn new skills, and to acquire new qualifications.

In this month’s blog series, we’ll focus on a different industry each week and show you the best ways to upskill in that area.

Interior Design

Let’s assume that you’re starting out with a qualification in interior design – the industry- Diploma of Interior Design & Decoration (MSF50213).

There are a number of additional ways you can build on your skills throughout your interior decorating career.

1. Stay on top of the trends

interior design 11 There are a number of great interior stylist slash bloggers out there and you should be following them. Not only can their sites give you amazing inspiration and ideas to try out for yourself, they can keep you up to date on the latest industry developments and modern styles to experiment with.

Some of our favourites:

The Interiors Addict

The Design Files

Design Milk

2. Get your ABN

Getting your Australian Business Number (ABN) is a simple, online process that will cost you nothing. Once you’ve got yours, there’s no limit to the work you can do – you’ll be your own boss, after all.

3. Try something new

It’s common for interior designers to have a favourite style that they love to work with, but it’s important not to get stuck in a rut. Branch out and try new styles and new colour palettes. You’ll develop a more varied portfolio, pick up new skills, and get a better idea of what works – and what doesn’t.

4. Make connections

The official word is ‘networking’ but don’t get put off by the professional sounding term. You would be amazed at the impact a few new friendships can make to your career. (See earlier blog on how to network here.)

Introduce yourself to industry professionals, ask them their advice and opinions, and listen to their insights. They are at the top of their game for a reason.

5. Build a repertoire of suppliers

Collect the latest collection look books, and be sure to bookmark websites of key suppliers. This way your course work and client sample boards will be varied and tailored to each individual brief.

6. Attend trade shows

Shows like Life InStyle, Furnitex and the home show exhibitions are great for networking, and seeing what’s new and exciting within the industry.

7. Take a refresher

Using platforms like, keep your existing skills up to date with short courses in the Adobe Creative Suite or the latest conceptual software (ie. SketchUp).

8. Specialise

Interior decorator sounds great, but did you know there are many other varied roles within the industry? Hone your passion and skills to become an expert colour consultant or a respected spatial stylist. Make it your own.

9. Build your business skills

Part of being successful in the design industry is to run a tight ship! Here are a few ways to improve your business skills:

– Read about current trends in the design industry by checking the professional association websites such as the DIA

– Stay on top of the financial management aspect of being a decorator

– Find out about the latest marketing tools and trends

– Familiarise yourself with project management techniques.

You can’t upskill without having a strong base to work from. Kick off your career journey on the right foot with Martin’s Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration (MSF50213) and get started today.


Categories: News, Spotlight Series, Studying, Working Life

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