What It Takes To Be A Designer

Oct 24, 2019 | Designer Insider

By Designer Lily Noordyk

Have you ever wondered, what does a gal have to do to hang out in glamorous showrooms and talk nothing but design all day long?  How does one simply get the coolest job ~ to help people design the most intimate aspects of their homes day in and day out? Well I’ll tell you, it’s not as simple or easy as one may think. I feel that one of the biggest misconceptions about becoming a designer or getting into this career field is that it is simple, and an even bigger misconception is that this is easy work. It takes a lot to become a designer.

Untitled design Designers never used to have a definition: something that described their expanse of knowledge and work required to do what they do. A number of clients have told me through the remodel process that if they just had a “Lily” (designer) when they remodeled 5 years ago they would have had the chance to understand this process much better and may have made different decisions. I think that this is the point in the process where they begin to see the value that a designer brings to a project. Designers used to be looked at simply as “decorators” and their input didn’t count for much more than the aesthetic appeal, and before this became my career path, I thought just the same. I couldn’t have been more wrong, there is such an immense difference between designers and decorators. The definition given by the International Interior Design Association (IIAD) goes into depth on what an Interior Designer is, but long story short, an Interior Designer is qualified by an education in the understanding of architectural elements, plans, and building codes in combination with the ability to create an interior that functions flawlessly and meets aesthetic needs. 

A designer can turn a blank space into a dream kitchen 1When thinking about revamping a space, starting fresh, or building from scratch, researching designers in your area is a crucial first step for planning your dream space. I never thought in a million years that becoming a designer was in the cards for me, but there is a certain satisfaction in the journey it took to get to where I am. One thing about design is that it is constantly redefining itself: the styles, the colors, the new methodologies in developing new ways to design spaces; the categories are endless.  I think that understanding the journey to becoming a designer gives clients a new appreciation of the work designers do.  

I spent four years with countless all-nighters tweaking renderings, researching product, making architectural plan corrections, studying for building code exams, and reading up on what concrete, plastic or wood is made of.  The education aspect of design is certainly in the dark to our clients before they come to us. There is so much knowledge and work experience behind the scenes; I feel it is necessary for clients to know about the expertise that a designer offers to a project. There is still a common fallacy that this is a job that anyone who watches HGTV can pick up.  As a designer, we can play our part by educating our clients on the entailments of our job; not only does this build trust, but also an understanding and appreciation.  

Don’t get me wrong, this is the most rewarding career path for me, and I’ve been so grateful to pour my life into this field.I highly encourage anyone who feels like this could be a career path for them to go for it because it is more than worth it. Getting to hang out in showrooms that blow you away and talking about design day in and day out, the kind of design talk that leaves you lying in bed at night thinking about all the ways you could design someone’s space, can be a reality.