Episode 2: Do You Need a Degree to be an Interior Designer?

Hmmm, it’s a big question – do you need a degree to be an interior designer?

In this week’s show, Kate and Lesley dive deep into the realities of running an interior design business with – or without – a design degree. It’s a topic with no right or wrong answer, but we hope our discussion shines some light on your options to help you make the best choice.

One of the biggest takeaways from today’s episode? A degree gives you credibility BUT in school they don’t teach you style. You must have a natural eye and inclination for design including an understanding of basic principles and elements of design.

Episode 2 Show Notes

  • Check your local state Title and Practice Laws! They always trump our opinion here.
  • We agree 100% that you need a degree for Commercial Design (although there are some anomalies of very successful commercial designers that don’t have degrees)
  • In residential design (if state title and practice laws don’t prevent you from practicing) you can get away with designing without a degree be prepared to make lots of learning mistakes.
  • A degree gives you credibility BUT in school they don’t teach you style. You must have a natural eye and inclination for design including an understanding of basic principles and elements of design.
  • Select a school that is CIDA accredited
  • There are skills that need to be taught – drafting, space planning, safety standards, lighting
  • Know your personality – If you are self-motivated to learn new skills on your own, maybe you can skip going to school. However, school is a fast-track.


Kate will be offering SketchUp online course soon. Email kate@katebendewald.com to sign up on the waiting list.

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