"My name is Tiffany and I wanted to contact you to get a little bit of your input on the idea of pursuing a career as an interior designer. I have recently graduated high school and want to begin college. I have found that a big interest of mine is interior design... I was just wanting some information, ideas, and a little bit of ideas to let me know what I need to be waiting for. I would sincerally appreciate this... Thank you."
It's makes me smile that Tiffany would reach out to me for advice. Tiffany, the first thing you should know is that I am not an interior designer. I actually studied Marine Biology in college and work as an Environmental Scientist but I have a strong interest in interior design. I voraciously consume information about the subject and write about the topics that interest me. I also have a father who once owned his own interior design business, a brother who works as an interior designer and was actually on the third season of HGTV's Design Star, and an uncle who was a very talented artist. I guess you can say interior design is in my gene pool. I also do small amounts of design work (usually for friends and usually for free) because I love it so much. I am working to build that business and perhaps one day will do more (paid :) work as a decorator or designer.
Now that you know more about my background you can see that I can't actually provide guidance about what kind of schooling is necessary to become an interior designer. This is why I would like to turn this question over to my readers. I know that some of you are professional interior designers & decorators, some that may have followed a traditional route and some that have not, and I was hoping you could give Tiffany some advice. It would be great if you could give her some insight into the path you followed to get to where you are today.
Photo Credit: Jorge Luis Garcia Jimenez, Interior Design Student, Pratt Institute, 1960