What is it really like to be an interior designer?

A day in the life of an interior designer.


What is a commercial interior designer?

And more importantly, what do they get up to on a daily basis?!

I often get asked what a typical work day consists of. Most of the time people assume a day as a designer is a glamorous and easy one!

What better way to give you an insight than to record my day and write it up here as a blog post.

I’m an interior designer who works on commercial projects. I’ve been doing this for the past 8 years (give or take). This basically means I create concepts and deliver them for bars, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs. So, what do I get up to during working hours?!

I tracked all my tasks on a standard Monday and below is a run down of my day…
Firstly, glasses on for a day at the computer screen.


I am just about to leave the house. I live quite a drive from any city so I have always understood that to do what I want for a job, I will have to commute. It takes me over an hour to drive to work and unfortunately today I hit all of that manic Monday traffic and so it begins.


I aim to get to the office about 8.30. This is so I can ply myself with coffee before I start the day. I’ve normally consumed 2/3 before 10am!!

First things first, emails! I usually am able to keep on top of my emails on my phone but it’s broken (new pixel phone ordered last night yay!) So I have to tackle my inbox. I have a number of messages which all relate to a different project which are all at different stages in development.
One urgent email requires me to revise a few drawings on AUTOCAD so I get stuck in and change it and send it out to the client.

My job role also includes overseeing all of the companies marketing and advertising. I have to check over some blurb for a magazine article and make and few amendments before signing it off to be published.

As you may have already picked up, the life of an interior designer is varied and fast paced. I have to juggle multiple jobs and tasks throughout the day. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Social media is also part of my role so I check our Facebook,  Twitter linkedin and instagram pages and reply to comments and messages.


Office meeting!

As I am a Senior member of staff, we often have management meetings to catch up with new jobs and any issues. Another chance for more coffee!!


I’m looking at lighting and electric layouts and planning where the cable trays will go in a restaurant project. Some elements of an interior designers job are quite technical and require a bit of thinking and mathematics!


Final coffee of the day. If I have anymore I will struggle to sleep tonight!

My next task is to find a specification for a light fitting for another project. This project is an old project which requires a bit of hunting and detective work to find out what we used previously. I struggle to find the details so I contact a couple of lighting manufacturers to get them to quote for making a replica fitting.


Time for a bit of lunch. I’m being healthy today (it is Jan/Feb so it won’t last long!). Soup and ryvita at my desk while I carry on with a few bits.

I’m doing well ticking off bits from my to do list today.


Time to speak to a 3d visualiser and arrange some images of a new project. Visuals is an important part of ay project as it helps the client to see what the project will look like in the actual space.


I’m scouring pinterest for inspiration for some fixed seating. I know what I’m looking for so it makes the search a bit more difficult. I do love pinning though and visual imagery is a really important part of my job.

So I’ve found an image and now I need to choose a leather. I’m thinking deep forest green for this section of seating. I pop down to our samples library and pick a swatch and write down the spec. I also quickly contact the company to order a loose sample.  This will come in handy when creating a mood board to present to the client.


Again,  another different project. This time I am discussing my ideas for a new concept with the director. I’m using imagery laid out on a digital board to help sell the idea. Adobe InDesign is the software package we use and it’s really useful for creating presentation material.


I need to make a couple of tweaks to this digital mood board and send the initial ideas out to the client. Hoping for some feedback in the morning.


I’m finishing up and I need to get on the road. I play netball near home on a Monday with a few of my friends and I can’t miss the match! Luckily traffic goes easy on me and I make the 8pm kick off just in time!

And…. We won!

So that is a broad breakdown of my actual working day. I probably worked on a total of 5 different projects and covered a wide range of tasks. No two days are ever the same and who knows what I’ll end up doing tomorrow!

If you have any questions please do ask!

Mimi x


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