When starting out, creating a stellar interior design portfolio can be challenging. Color swatching, mood boards, sketches, and sometimes – if you are fortunate — pictures of the final product make up your portfolio. Like many interior designers, you probably included some of your first assignments, a few sample boards, and any earned certifications.
However, now that you’re an established professional, your portfolio should be doing more than establishing your body of work. You need to focus on how to improve your portfolio.
Top tips for creating a stellar interior design portfolio
Your portfolio is a creative showcase of your interior design talent and abilities. You want it to reflect who you are and how you’ve gotten to where you are today. Use these tips as a guide to create and update your portfolio:
Build a website
You must have a digital presence to be taken seriously, which means having a website. At the beginning of their careers, interior designers may fail the legitimacy test if they don’t have a website. Established interior designers can also fail. Your website should be simple and easy to navigate, and don’t forget to link your social media accounts to it so clients can find and follow you.
Maintain an old-school printed portfolio
Even though you upgrade your website, you still need a physical presence. Interior design is about the senses, visual and incredibly tactile. Being able to feel and touch art evokes emotions – just the kind of thing your designs should do, especially if you’re applying for jobs with a firm.
Show off your versatility
Add a skills page that shows what digital apps you’re familiar with (including AutoCAD or Revit), which parts of the design process you’ve personally undertaken (such as construction management), and sketching/hand rendering. The goal is to show what you bring to the design table.
- Include testimonials.Because of your experience, you’ve gotten testimonials from clients. Share these reviews on your website and in your physical portfolio.
- Update your portfolio regularly. Some interior designers adjust their residential to commercial project ratio depending on client interest. Other designers focus on their project preferences. A portfolio should be a living testimonial to your ongoing work, not a memorial to what you’ve done.
What your professional portfolio says about you
A stellar interior design portfolio reveals much about its owner. It says:
- You’ve got skills. Curate your work, keeping design projects that reveal your creative strengths. Be brave enough to take out earlier work and keep the best and most current.
- You take appropriate risks.Risk-taking leads to personal and professional growth.
- You’re still learning.Although no interior designer, Michaelangelo had it right! He said, “Ancora imparo,” which means “Yet, I am learning.” You should be, too, and your portfolio is proof of that.
A stellar interior design portfolio communicates your skills to clients and employers. It’s an essential tool for evaluating any design firm, and recruiters utilize your portfolio to connect you to new design firms.
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