Making Your Portfolio Work For You - Tips For the Interior Designer

When meeting a new client for the first time, your portfolio can make or break a deal, depending on how you use it to sell yourself and your design talents. Be sure your entire portfolio reflects your style and abilities, providing potential clients with a clear idea of the level of professional interior design services you are capable of providing.

Your portfolio should contain not only a showcase of your best work, but also be a collection of some of your finest designs and solutions from throughout your career. Of course, if you are a relative newcomer to the industry, your portfolio will be more limited than that of a veteran designer. Nevertheless, you can still create a portfolio that speaks straight to your talents and build on that base as your career progresses. Remember, your portfolio is an ever changing tool to be reinvented throughout the years as you take on more varied and difficult projects. Show them off! This is your opportunity to show a potential client who you are and what you are capable of creating for them.

Thanks to the progression of technology and the Internet, today's interior designer portfolios are not limited to the traditional portfolio cases or files filled with paper samples of the designer's work. Today's designers can amplify the impact of their portfolio by supplementing the paper samples with online photos, electronic images and even virtual tours of past projects. Designers can even create a portfolio section on their business website with updated project photos, before and after shots and even some "virtual designs" that they have yet to complete for an actual client.

How you decide to arrange the information in your portfolio is a personal choice, with some choosing to show a progression of difficulty in design work and others categorizing by design style or even type of room. Portfolios can give a general overview of your talent or offer in-depth information and detail of design elements used in a particular project. You can also use this opportunity to share testimonials from past satisfied clients.

Regardless of how you choose to arrange your work, it is crucial that the portfolio appear clean, organized and professional. After all, what client wants to hire a designer that presents an amateurish portfolio with messy loose, crumpled designs in no apparent order or theme? Your portfolio is often your first impression on a potential client, so make it a good one!

By Natasha Lima Younts
Image by Fotum
Natasha Lima Younts
Designer Society of America