Furniture designers, as the name suggests, are experts who create and design furniture by taking into account a number of factors like aesthetics, sustainability, current fashion, ergonomics, practicality and customer preferences. It is a highly creative job and quite rewarding too, both in terms of job satisfaction and remuneration.
How to check whether furniture designing is in your cards
If you want to check whether you will enjoy doing furniture designing, you can read the following traits and see if they match with yours
- A strong interest in creative designing
- Love to do interior decorating
- Willing to wait while you build up a portfolio
- Possesses CAD skills and can do manual illustration
- Can effortlessly merge aesthetics with functionality
- Can be articulate and self-disciplined
- Aware of latest trends in furniture designing
- Finally, you enjoy being self-employed and are ready to take the risks that come along with it
How to get more experience as furniture designer
Alongside your course in furniture designing, you can do an internship with an established cabinet maker in order to learn the tricks of the trade quickly. This would give you practical hands-on experience, apart from the experience and knowledge that you learn from universities. You get to know about the day-to-day operations, business productivity methods and marketing strategies. You will also learn about how certain trends become accepted, and how customers get influenced by them.
Besides that, you need to build your portfolio as well. Initially, you will not make much money because you need to concentrate on perfecting your skill. It would involve drawing great illustrations, doing 3D modeling work and polishing your practical skills. Once you establish your own furniture designing firm and start practicing, it would be a good idea to have an online presence as well. It would help clients from different geographical locations to discuss work with you, especially when corporate companies are expanding and they need to furnish their offices in various locations.
If you are going to work for a furniture firm or a cabinet maker, you would have to perform the following duties:
- Do continuous research and gain knowledge about new trends that keep coming in
- Prepare the budget and material costs for each project
- Prepare final costs for a particular project demanded by the client
- Discussing furniture design ideas with clients and make them understand about the same
- Conferences, seminars and training problems would be held regularly; it is important they are attended if you want to grow in your career
- Networking with other designers on the production staff to ensure everything is on the right track
Getting a degree in furniture designing
Apart from doing internships and working under reputed furniture makers, you must also get a recognized degree because that would help you get a permanent job. A Degree in Visual Arts and Technology would teach you about the aesthetics in furniture design, the importance of ergonomics in furniture, how to perform consumer trend analysis, knowledge about the basic business practices, how to choose the best quality materials, basics of mechanical and engineering techniques, knowledge of CAD, sketching and model making and finally, marketing. You would learn about the history of furniture and the different methods used in furniture manufacturing as well.
You have to be seriously committed if you want to be a furniture designer. You would have to spend 40 hours a week in workshops as part of the course and you must have the funds to buy all the tools and materials required for learning. The number of hours dedicated for teaching furniture design would, of course, be dependent on the university, but you have to spend lots of time on it and must be ready to work hard.