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Our Best Career Advice for Aspiring Interior Designers

Late spring is that special time of year when college seniors graduate from college and begin a new life. A wonderful and exciting milestone, it’s called “commencement,” which means “beginning,” because it marks the start of the aspiring interior designers’ professional careers.

Along with a sense of pride and satisfaction come questions about the next steps. This is why we like to offer our best career advice to aspiring interior designers, giving them insight into what it’s like to choose interior design as a profession.

We asked a few of our DKORistas what advice they wished they had been given when they graduated from college. It brings back such fond memories of being full of desire to explore as we started our own lives as designers. The hope for success played a big role as we began our careers.

The first thing we tell our interior-designers-to-be is that it’s okay if they don’t have all the answers. You must keep in mind that your own path is unique. This is time for discovery and growth. You should go slow and take advantage of all the learning experiences life brings.

There undoubtedly will be challenges, and you will have a lot of questions, but fortunately with talent, dedication and a little luck, the brightest possible future is yours.

So listen closely, this year’s interior design graduates: take advantage of all the guidance given to you to help you on your path to an interior design career. Here is our best career advice for aspiring interior designers.

Career Advice for Aspiring Interior Designers


MARIANNA CERULLO (Studio Director)

  • Become familiar with your local furniture and lighting stores: go inside, ask questions about where the pieces are manufactured, who is their target audience, what are the types of fabrics, etc. In the real world, these are the questions your clients will ask you.
  • Learn about the cost of items. Once you begin working at a design firm, the first thing you will need to know is how to establish and follow a budget. Start learning now, so the selection process will be much easier.
  • For your first job, select a design firm that works with different styles of interiors. This will help you gain a well-rounded understanding of the design principles for each style, such as modern, contemporary, mid- century, transitional, etc.

ANAHI CARRILLO (Studio Director)

  • The best advice I can give you once you graduate is to look for an internship at a design firm. This will help you get to know the real world of interior design. By getting involved in projects with real clients, you will start to understand all the phases of an actual project and all the challenges involved.
  • If you are not sure what area of interior design you like the most, don’t worry! You have to start somewhere, so get involved with the real world where you can gain experience in all the phases of a project.
  • Travel, visit places and be curious about every design detail you see: finishes, details, everything!

VALENTINA VITRIAN (Residential Interior Designer)

  • Take advantage of every extended learning opportunity that is available to you. This is a great way to learn from others’ experiences and start connecting with people from the field.
  • Get an internship so you can see how the “real world” works. That way, you won’t feel as lost once you dive into your professional career.
  • Surround yourself with people beyond the design field. They can offer insight from a completely different perspective.
  • Pinterest and the internet are great, but don’t underestimate the value of looking for inspiration in magazines. Also, in physical spaces: hotels, restaurants, stores, etc.
  • Identify something in yourself that sets you apart from others that makes you valuable, whether it’s a skill, personality trait, passion, or past experience.
  • Ask as many questions as you can, and don’t be afraid to take chances!

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