Prepare for Interior Design School the Right Way

These five tips will help you start school on the right foot.
An interior designer looks over her work

So you've decided to follow your passion into a career as an interior designer. Good for you for taking the first step.

But there's more to preparing for interior design school than watching "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition".

The more  information you have the easier it will be to make the right decision. Arming yourself adequately with school and career information will help you choose a program that fits your personality and will meet your ultimate career goals.

Start implementing these five action items now to ensure your time at interior design school is well spent:

Five Tips to Prep for School

1. Start Thinking Like a Designer

Interior design school starts well before you walk in the door on the first day of class. Glean everything you can from your experiences between now and then by paying attention to the function, form and feel of the spaces you see. How do the rooms facilitate movement, portray a style and absorb sound? Is there anything you would change about it? Asking yourself these questions whenever you enter a space will give you an awareness that will be indispensable at interior design school and in your career.

2. View a Variety of Interior Design Styles

The best interior designers have an in-depth knowledge of a variety of styles, even if they identify most strongly with one or two. Being familiar with multiple styles allows you to use elements that you like from each and create new, complimentary designs of your own. It will help you develop your own style, and it will also help you match styles to your personal experiences when you learn them in interior design school.

3. Get Ready for a Well-Rounded Education

Chances are you want to be an interior designer because you have an eye for lay-out and aesthetics. You love creating beautiful, functional spaces, and you've a developed sense of style that you can't wait to market to a waiting world. But, your interior design school experience may be frustrating and stifling if you expect to simply strengthen your existing preferences. Instead, you'll get the most out of your education if you have an open mind. So get ready to explore styles you wouldn't naturally gravitate toward.

4. Familiarize Yourself with CAD

Computer-aided design (CAD) utilizes specialized software to draw, render and model objects and environments, and has become a standard tool in the interior design industry. You'll use CAD at interior design school to test and visualize ideas. Although there are many different CAD programs available, familiarizing yourself with some of the more popular ones like AutoCAD® will help you prepare for the more technical aspects of the job and give you a leg up when school starts.

5. Research Interior Design Schools

If you want to make the most out of your interior design education, know what you're getting into before you begin. That means requesting information straight from interior design schools, learning about the courses you'll take, and checking accreditation statistics. Check out the faculty, talk to current students and see what people are saying about the school online.