Interior design is all about fluffing pillows and arranging décor, right? Actually, not at all. The belief that interior design solely involves decorating rooms is a common misconception, but the profession encompasses much more. Interior designers work with clients to address their needs by creating a more functional space where people can live, work, and have fun. If you are considering a career in the field, check out these four crucial tips from Zac Marshall, Interior Design Program Chair at Ensign College.
You Need a Hungry Mind to Learn Through Doing
First things first, there is no better way to learn than through practicing. A willingness to make mistakes and learn through doing will provide you with opportunities to develop and gain new skills and give you a competitive edge in your profession. Brother Marshall reminds students that in interior design, books and lectures can only help you so much. “In interior design we don’t learn a lot through reading books. They can provide a nice introduction, but not much learning happens,” he says. Though you can gain a solid theoretical knowledge through reading and observing, it is in real-world practice that you will truly become the best professional you can be. The hands-on approach at Ensign College provides the perfect setting for you to gain new skills through practicing from your first day of classes.
You Need a Critical Mind and Thick Skin
The more you practice, the better you will become, but not without failing a few times—and that is entirely normal! There is no way to get better at something without receiving honest feedback every step of the way. Embracing criticism with a discerning mindset is what will show you how you can enhance your skills and build confidence. When you understand that feedback and critique are not about you, but about the work you are still mastering, you will start seeing them as trusted friends. Don’t take constructive critique personally; instead, take it as a melody that will add depth to your tune of self-improvement.
Don’t Covet Your Ideas
Do you sometimes keep your ideas to yourself due to fear of judgement? Or do you put your ideas on a pedestal, hindering the evolution of fresh, improved ideas? Such tendencies aren’t helpful when your goal is to deliver the best design to your client. Your client deserves your very best, and that comes from your commitment to adapt and innovate. Getting too attached to a single concept might prevent you from exploring alternative approaches that could lead to more innovative and effective solutions. As Brother Marshall emphasizes, “Don’t covet your ideas. Just have more.” With working professionals as faculty at Ensign College, you are exposed to insights that only experience can provide, opening your mind to new ideas and projects.
Design Is a Service Profession
Finally, here’s the best tip to help you understand what interior design really is about. Service to others is the frame of mind that should guide you through your journey of becoming a great professional. The skills you nurture will ultimately contribute to improving your clients’ quality of life through carefully designed spaces. About working in interior design, Brother Marshall says, “It is about lifting spirits of others.” With that mindset, you will always work in a way that will address people's needs and you will become a remarkable professional.
Brother Marshall’s insights reflect the essence of the Interior Design Program at Ensign College. As you take on this advice, your skills will flourish through experience, resilience, innovation, and the genuine aspiration to enrich lives. Within Ensign College’s theory and practice approach, you'll learn, adapt, and refine your abilities. As you work with your creative touch, your journey as an interior designer will become a canvas for transforming lives—one thoughtfully designed space at a time.
Want more interior design tips? Watch our full interview with Brother Marshall here.