Interior Design Portfolio. The Most Common Portfolio Formats, Content, and Tasks

Different types of interior portfolios for various needs and purposes. Learn how to win your customers and employers with an interior design portfolio.

Interior Design Portfolio. The Most Common Portfolio Formats, Content, and Tasks-01

Creative people know perfectly well that no theoretical description works better than practical examples. Interior design is an applied field in which drawings and visualizations are the quickest way to prove your professionalism. Most customers wouldn’t be particularly interested in your diplomas if you show them low-quality projects. Therefore, you need to perceive your portfolio as an interior designer resume that will determine whether you get the job. It’s a valuable investment in your future career success that will definitely pay off. Based on the data provided by Statista, the current interior design market value amounts to 109,067 million US dollars. By 2021, it is predicted to reach 121,054 million.

Bother to compile a convincing interior portfolio to find your niche in this rapidly developing market segment. If you have never created an interior design portfolio before, this article is just what you need. Our designers have shared their recommendations on how to design portfolio relying on their considerable experience and best practices. Continue reading to learn more about interior design portfolio format, content, and purposes.

Main Types of Interior Designers Portfolios

Based on Interior Designer Experience

Although every designer portfolio needs regular updates, there are two main groups that create it from scratch – students/graduates and design beginners. They usually don’t know where to start from and what portfolio ideas are effective in the current market situation. If it’s your case, get acquainted with our tips below or ask additional advice from more experienced fellow designers.

In case you focus on interior planning or design and lack visualization skills, you can order rendering from professionals. They will create high-quality 3D images based on the dimensions, drawings, and other information you provide. Nevertheless, make sure to indicate your own technical skills if you apply for a design position.

Based on Purpose

This classification is all about the source of projects. Those who work for a design agency need a different kind of interior design portfolio than those who find customers independently. Professional designers are interested in your technical skills, whereas customers want to see a nice picture and creativity. Make sure to adapt your design portfolio taking into account the differences between these two groups:

- Interior portfolio for a design agency

If you want to persuade your potential employer to offer you a position in their design studio, provide as detailed information as possible. Complement your portfolio with an interior designer resume describing your education, qualifications, skills, and advantages. This will tell the employer more about you as a person and help them understand how you can strengthen an existing team.

Your interior design portfolio has to include the most interesting projects (graduates can add their student projects). Reconsider everything you have done before and choose interior designs that you are proud of. Such a portfolio for interior design should comprise:

  1. Visualizations (computer 3D renderings and manual drawings). This will allow your potential employer to understand the level of your skills and see what type of work you can do. Besides, appealing visualizations will attract more attention to your interior design portfolio and resume.
  2. Blueprints (light fixtures and switches plan, socket location, spacing options, dimensional drawings, wall elevations). Although interior design is a creative field, it is heavily based on math and calculations. Also, designers need to know common behavioral patterns of people and understand how they will use the space. Every type of room has different functions and requires space planning. Thus, the drawings will show your technical skills and ability to make accurate calculations. The more detailed drawings you provide, the better they show you understand what you do.
  3. Initial customer requirements. It’s an optional component that, nevertheless, makes interior designers portfolios really special. Show that your projects are linked to certain people with their preferences, problems, and tastes. Explain what your customer wanted at the beginning and how you have managed to realize this in the interior. Moreover, in case your employer expects you to closely communicate with customers, this information will show that you have the necessary qualities.
  4. Before and After photos. Everyone loves before and after photos, including potential employers. Make sure to always take a photo before you start a project and another one after everything is done. Most customers won’t mind if you do that. Unlike visualizations, such pictures will show the existing interior design that illustrates your work.

- Interior design portfolio for a customer

The portfolio format for customers is quite similar to the portfolio we have described above. Although they may include the same components, you need to accentuate different things. Customers are more interested in the visual part and pay less attention to drawings. In most cases, they don’t even have a clue why you need so many drawings and how to read them. To understand what people expect to see, try to think like them. What did you like when you knew nothing about the technical side of design? The most probable answer is pictures. Nice color combinations, interesting furniture, textures…Remember that potential customers only want to see their future interior and be sure that all their preferences are taken into account.

Very often, you don’t even need to provide your interior designer resume. Just make an engaging interior design portfolio with one detailed project (all drawings and visualizations, photos, etc.), visualizations and general plans of other projects, before and after photos of the realized interiors. This information will be sufficient to show your experience without overburdening customers with unnecessary details.

Based on Portfolio Format

There is no universal portfolio template, so you’ll need to evaluate your target audience before choosing any portfolio format. Take into account the mode of communication you use to exchange information with potential customers or employers. Based on our experience, everything starts with emails. Only if people like our digital portfolio, they arrange a meeting. Therefore, we recommend to have two portfolio formats:

Printed. Professional designers usually use A3 format. This way you’ll be able to show in detail both 3D visualizations and drawings.
Digital. Add your projects to such websites as Behance and Flickr.

If an employer has already seen your digital portfolio, there is no need to demonstrate a printed one. During the interview, they will be mostly interested in your interior design approach, personal traits, and specific skills.

Conversely, when you are meeting with a customer, it’s better to bring a printed interior design portfolio. It’s a great basis to show the scope of work, explain the purpose of drawings, and the reasons behind the offered solutions.

Also, if you work as a freelance designer, you can invest in website development to showcase your projects online. Check out the portfolio of Kucheriavi Studio as an interior design portfolio example. Don’t hesitate to contact us in case you need professional 3D rendering for the projects in your interior design portfolio.