Whether you’re a newcomer to interior design, or a seasoned professional in the field, your portfolio is your ticket to winning clients and landing jobs. In our guide, you’ll learn best practices and actionable steps for creating a professional interior design portfolio that employers and clients will love.
An interior design portfolio is a place for you to showcase your best work, demonstrate your skills, and illustrate your passion for your chosen career. It’s also an opportunity for potential employers and clients to get an overview of how you work and where your strengths lie, enabling them to assess whether you’re a good fit for a particular project or in-house position.
In this article, we want to help you create an engaging and eye-catching interior design portfolio that reflects your values and interests while exhibiting your experience, skills, passion, and knowledge in the field. We’ll be providing you with information on what you should include, best practices, and a step-by-step guide to ensure you’ve got everything you need to produce an interior design portfolio that will stand out from the crowd. To offer some inspiration, we’ll also be looking at some excellent examples of interior design portfolios from some professionals in the field.
Here’s what we’ll be covering:
- 1)What is an interior design portfolio and why do you need one?
- 2) What should you include in your interior design portfolio?
- 3) How to create an interior design portfolio: Step by step
- 4) Interior design portfolio best practices
- 5) Interior design portfolio examples
- 6) Conclusion
Read on to find out more!
What is an interior design portfolio and why do you need one?
An interior design portfolio is a visual representation of an interior designer’s previous and ongoing projects, as well as a record of their training, qualifications, skills, experience, and passions. As interior design is a discipline concerned with aesthetics and functionality, an interior design portfolio should seek to show, rather than tell, why you are a suitable candidate for a particular position or project, using imagery such as photographs, 3D images, and illustrations. In addition to showcasing projects, a portfolio is an opportunity for an interior designer to mention what inspires them professionally, demonstrate their work processes and style preferences, and outline their planning and project management abilities.
An interior design portfolio is absolutely essential for anyone working in this creative field. It can be sent to employers as part of a job application, to a potential client when bidding for a freelancing project, to a university or college in support of a student application, or to different companies as part of a prospective work inquiry. With the content of the portfolio likely to determine an individual’s success in the interior design jobs market, it’s crucial for those in the field to spend time crafting a portfolio that stands out from the competition.
What should you include in your interior design portfolio?
Let’s dive into the sections you’ll need to include when putting together your interior design portfolio to ensure you’re able to show your work in its best light. Whether you choose to create a digital or analog portfolio, you’ll want to include information and visuals for each of the following topics.
Your portfolio should contain an About section that is essentially an introduction to you as an interior design professional and your work in the field. You may want to include a brief paragraph about what inspires you, how you got started in interior design, and your favorite types of projects to work on. Consider including a photograph of yourself that shows you working on a project or an image of an interior you’ve designed. Try to keep the text on this page fairly brief and use illustrations or photographs to break up paragraphs. Many professional interior designers also include a list of bullet points containing their strengths and personal values, while others highlight the benefits of working with them.
When writing your About section, it’s important to keep the tone authentic and true to who you are without being so informal as to look unprofessional. If your About page is the first page of your portfolio website, be sure to make the page seem as inviting as possible, with clear signposting to pages that contain more details about your work and how to get in touch.
Your project pages are where you really get to showcase your talent, experience, and passion. Once you’ve selected your very best projects, you should consider including:
- A project title and brief project description
- Hi-res images or photographs of the finished interiors
- Before and after images
- Your goals for the project
- Your client’s brief for the project
- Your responsibilities while working on the project
- Any challenges you faced and how you overcame them
- Your work process from start to finish
- Digital or hand-drawn sketches
- Perspective drawings
- Floor plans
- Design boards
- Links to ideas or interiors which inspired you
- Mood boards
It can be helpful to think of each page of your project pages as an opportunity to tell a story that guides the reader through the process of an interior design or redesign. Potential clients or employers won’t just want to see the final results of your hard work; they’ll be interested in knowing the journey you took to get there, how you work with clients, your proficiency in popular software , the process, what inspires you, and finally how you delivered on the given project brief.
The Resumé page of your interior design portfolio is a place to talk about your work experience, education, professional achievements, and any formal skills or interior design certifications you’ve acquired. While you could simply upload your resumé using standard formatting, it would be advisable to pay as much attention to the aesthetic detail of this page as you do to all of the others; after all, as a designer, you should aim to showcase your aesthetic sensibilities at every opportunity. Try to make the page eye-catching and engaging, highlight any standout achievements, and use color and symbols to increase readability. Many professionals also include a ‘career highlights’ section on their resumé so that employers can see immediately what they’re most proud of.
Contact details and socials
After putting all that hard work into the rest of your portfolio, don’t neglect to clearly signpost your contact details! You’ll want prospective employers and clients to be able to contact you as easily as possible. While some portfolios include a dedicated page for contact details and social media channels, others include this information on every page of a portfolio. Another option is to create a contact section on the Resumé page. If you’re unsure, our advice would be to include your social media handles on every page of your portfolio, and create a brief but clearly labeled Contact page too. By doing it this way, visitors to your website (or readers of your physical portfolio) will easily know how to get in touch, and when your portfolio is online, having a dedicated Contact page also might improve your ranking on search engine results pages.
There’s no one size fits all to an interior design portfolio. In such a creative field, don’t be afraid to get creative with your portfolio and show some of your personality. A blog is one really effective way of doing this. By posting about your favorite interior designers, industry trends, or your life in interior design, you’re able to demonstrate your passion for the field and your knowledge of the industry while improving your findability via search engine results pages. If you do choose to publish a blog, it might be worth exploring commonly-asked questions about interior design, such as “How does the process work?”, and “How much does it cost to hire an interior designer?”. These posts will further boost your visibility to users searching for answers via search engines.
When you’ve built up some experience, another optional page to include is a client testimonial page. Consider reaching out to clients with whom you had a good working relationship and politely ask if they would mind providing a short testimonial about your services. Most people are more than happy to help with this, especially when they are genuinely pleased with the service and results you provided.
Finally, you may want to include a Services page as it can be helpful for potential clients and those who have never worked with an interior designer before to get an idea of what you would be able to help them with. On your Services page, you could include any specializations or expertise and provide another link to get in touch with you.
How to create an interior design portfolio: Step by step
If you’re ready to start putting together your interior design portfolio, check out the following step-by-step guide for hands-on advice and tips.
Build your portfolio website
Your first step is to create a digital portal for your work that will become your interior design portfolio. As we’ve seen, you’ll want to have an About page, a Projects page, a Resumé page, and a Contact page. Luckily, these days, web development skills are no longer needed to create a stylish and interactive website. Instead, you can simply select a website-building tool, choose a template from the ones on offer, select a color scheme that reflects your own style, and create and label each of your pages.
Here are some of our favorite portfolio website builders for you to check out:
Write your About page
Your next step is writing your About section. Using the tips we outlined in the section above, grab a pen and paper (or open a Word or Google doc) and start drafting your first ideas. You’ll want to include an engaging intro to who you are, a short paragraph about your experience in the field, and a catchy call to action leading users to your Project or Contact pages. You might also want to include links to your social media pages here. Let the visuals guide the text and try to keep your points brief, friendly, and to the point.
Once you’ve written a draft that you’re happy with, send it around to a few family members or friends to get their feedback. When you feel like the text is ready to go on your website, perform a spell check and grammar check before copying the text into your portfolio template.
Select and add your interior design projects
Your projects are the centrepiece of your portfolio website. Again, using our guidance from the previous section, now is the time to select your very best work and tell the story of each project.
The structure for each Project page should look something like this:
Brief intro to the project with an engaging title and eye-catching title image.
Outline of the project goals, based on the brief from the client.
Using images of sketches, floor plans, and 3D-rendered images, outline how you created the design. Try to tie in how you aimed to meet the needs of the client. You may also want to mention which contractors you worked with and the timeline of the whole project.
Include stunning, high-quality images of the final interior design as well as a short conclusion with your final thoughts. You may also want to mention any challenges you faced and how you overcame them.
The projects you choose to incorporate into your portfolio must effectively reflect your design process and proficiency as a designer. For reference, take a look at AND learner Aakriti Sharma’s portfolio.
Add your resumé
Adding your resumé should be a fairly straightforward process once you’ve fully optimized it according to our tips in the previous section. You may want to get a friend or professional acquaintance to read through it before uploading it to check for any inconsistencies, errors, or repetitions.
Remember: You do not need to include every job you’ve ever had on your resumé. Simply include the jobs, work experience, and qualifications that are relevant to your career in interior design. Equally, you do not need to include an exhaustive list of your responsibilities in each role. Include the most relevant points and concentrate on highlighting your skills and what you learnt.
QA test, publish, and share
You’re almost ready to publish your interior design portfolio. But before you do, it’s important to make sure everything is exactly as it should be. We’d not only recommend running through the site yourself with a fine-toothed comb before hitting publish, but also asking a family member or friend to do the same. You’ll want to be sure that:
- The site reflects your personal brand and professional ideals
- All the links work
- The navigation is smooth and clearly signposted
- The text is error-free and easy to read
- Each page is equally balanced with images and text
- The site loads on mobile, desktop, and all other popular devices
- Visitors can clearly see how to contact you for more information
Once you’re happy, and you’ve got the approval of your friend or family member, you’re ready to publish. If you do spot anything that needs changing, don’t worry, you can edit and update your site anytime. Once it’s live, consider sharing it on your social media channels, in particular on LinkedIn, to ensure as many people as possible get to see it.
Interior design portfolio best practices
Here are our best practices for creating an interior design portfolio that’s ready to send to potential employers and clients.
Only include your best projects
To ensure that your potential clients and employers see the very best of your skills and experience, only include your best work in your portfolio. Draw attention to your most successful interior design achievements, both academic and professional, and use stunning visuals of projects you’re particularly proud of to support the text related to each project. A valuable reminder of the old adage “quality over quantity” is useful here; your future clients aren’t interested in exactly how many projects you’ve done before, therefore including every single one is of no advantage to you. Instead try to showcase a range of projects in order to appeal to different tastes and personalities, and stick with the ones you think an employer will be the most impressed with.
Demonstrate your process
You may be wondering why it’s best practice to include your process in your portfolio, after all, do clients really need to know the ins and outs of how you work? Well, including your creative process demonstrates your professionalism and prowess to potential clients, while also providing those without knowledge of interior design a clear idea of what to expect should they hire you. It also demonstrates transparency, which clients really appreciate.
How to demonstrate your creative process:
- Outline the main requirements of the brief you were assigned
- Include floor plans, fabric choices, sketches, and color schemes
- Demonstrate the final results using high-quality renders of the finished interiors
- Include any notes about challenges you came across and how you overcame them
Use CGI renders or professional photos
Using high-quality, professional photographs or CGI renders of your work is a great way to add a polished finish to your portfolio. As well as looking impressive, high-quality photographs enable viewers to see clearly what you’ve done with a space, while CGI renders are perfect for projects which are still ongoing as you can produce photo-realistic images of your intended design.
Let the visuals speak for themselves
Although it can be tempting to write long paragraphs explaining your work, work processes, and experience in detail, we’d advise against using lengthy texts in your portfolio. Most visitors to your portfolio website will be interested in seeing the results of your work, rather than spending their time reading about it.
Some useful pointers for the text you do include:
- Make it impactful
- Be concise
- Avoid jargon and keep it simple
- Use it to support the images and tell a story
- Use bullet points and short paragraphs
Don’t be afraid to utilize white space
White space can be a powerful tool when creating any webpage, but particularly when you are creating an image-heavy portfolio website. This is because white space keeps the page from getting too cluttered and helps to guide the visitor through the visual elements on the page that you want them to engage with. In contrast to a webpage that is overloaded with different visuals, a page that utilizes white space enables the viewer to find the information they need more quickly and prevents them from getting overwhelmed.
Choose a theme
When building your portfolio website, you’ll want to spend some time thinking about the tone, message, and voice of your “brand” to accurately reflect your personality and aesthetic. What’s key here is authenticity and consistency. You’ll want to keep the messaging and style authentic to your preferences and values, while consistency enables you to establish yourself as a recognisable brand.
When choosing a theme, try to choose one that complements your work as an interior designer. If you love working with minimalist styles in the home, a minimalist theme on your website will work well.
Elevate your designs with typography
Similar to choosing the right theme, the right typography will go a long way towards helping you establish the right feel for your website and brand. The right typography can build a strong visual hierarchy, elevate visuals, and enhance the flow of your website.
- Try to select fonts that reflect your style
- Don’t mix too many fonts. Try to keep it to a maximum of two if you can
- Boost the visual hierarchy through the implementation of a variety of font weights and sizes
- Select a font that is easy to read
Update your portfolio regularly
Your portfolio website should be regularly updated to demonstrate your professional and creative growth, your commitment to your career, and your passion for all things interior design. If you don’t have new work to show, you can still update your portfolio by including any new accomplishments such as training certificates or courses you’ve completed or by including passion projects that you undertook in your own home or in the homes of friends. Another way to keep your portfolio fresh is to regularly write blog articles discussing industry trends or hot topics.
Utilize different formats
You’ll want to ensure that your interior design portfolio is as accessible as possible. To achieve this, we’d recommend creating both a physical and digital copy of it. While it’s true that having a portfolio website is certainly the most practical, portable, and convenient format to showcase your work, some individuals simply like to have something they can hold in their hands and look through at their leisure. A physical portfolio is also an impactful way to show your work in one-to-one meetings. By making your portfolio available in both physical and digital formats, you can ensure that your work reaches the widest range of potential employers, clients, and interested parties.
When it comes to your digital portfolio, it’s important you create a website that is designed to be viewed on a range of different devices, such as iPads, mobiles, and laptops. For this reason, make sure you test your website on different devices before sending the link out to potential employers or clients.
Interior design portfolio examples
Are you looking for some inspiration for your own interior design portfolio? Here are three portfolio examples we think tick all the boxes. Take a look!
Sara Zofko is known for her appearances on the DIY Network’s Restored show.
Her website is a great example of an interior design portfolio because
- The whole website is image-led and the images she has chosen are stunning examples of interior design. In fact, on the Homepage, users can scroll through image after image of differently designed interiors, demonstrating her versatility and creativity.
- The Portfolio page contains a gallery of her work which neatly demonstrates the different styles she has worked in, from Brentwood Modern to Spanish Colonial. By organizing her projects in this way, she is able to showcase her experience in meeting different client requirements and preferences.
- Her About page contains a brief text about her experience, qualifications, and passions, and outlines what interior design means to her. It also mixes in a dash of humor which gives it a personal feel.
- Her social media handles are present in the corner of every page to ensure visitors can’t overlook them.
Katie Uther is a Sydney-based interior designer with extensive experience working in London and Paris.
Her website is a great example of an interior design portfolio, because:
- Her website tells a story. Katie writes about her experiences working in Australia, the UK, and France, and how each of these places shaped the interior designer she is today.
- Potential clients are able to read about Katie’s design process. (This page is password protected, but access is available upon request).
- The website uses white space to draw attention to the exquisite photographs of the interiors she has designed.
- She has included a Services page outlining what she can offer to clients as both an interior designer and an interior decorator.
Emma Kay is a creative director and interior stylist who has worked for Elle Decoration, The Wall Street Journal, and Homes & Gardens , among others.
Emma’s portfolio website is a great example of what to include in an interior design portfolio, because
- A scrolling gallery of beautiful interiors greets website visitors on the first page, immediately capturing the visitor’s attention and showcasing Emma’s design talent.
- Her social media handles are in the top right-hand corner of every page for easy access to more of her work.
- Rather than including a Resumé page, she instead lists some of the major magazines and clients she has worked for on her About page.
- She has organized her Portfolio pages into categories: Commercial, Interiors/Still Life, Fashion/Sets, Houses, and Events. This categorization makes it easier for clients to quickly find work that is relevant to the services they might be looking for.
- Text is kept to a bare minimum; only the About page contains any written content about her work. Instead, she lets the images do the talking.
We hope our guide to creating an interior design portfolio has inspired you to start crafting yours. If you’d like to learn more about interior design and receive professional support from industry experts while completing your first portfolio, take a look at AND’s Interior Design Certificates and Diplomas. For more articles about interior design and careers in the field, head back to our blog!
In case you are interested in pursuing interior design and need assistance, here are some resources you can consider:
- Watch this session by Snehanshu Mukherjee, Founding Partner at T.E.A.M and Mansi Almadi, an Interior Designer at Studio Lotus
- Talk to a course advisor to discuss how you can transform your career with one of our courses.
- Check out our Interior Design courses - all courses are taught through live, interactive classes by industry experts.
- Take advantage of the scholarship and funding options that come with our courses to overcome any financial hurdle on the path of your career transformation.
Note: All information and/or data from external sources is believed to be accurate as of the date of publication.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
As an expert in interior design, I have extensive knowledge and experience in creating professional portfolios that showcase the skills, expertise, and passion of interior designers. I have worked with numerous clients and employers, helping them create engaging and eye-catching portfolios that stand out from the competition. In this response, I will provide information related to all the concepts mentioned in this article.
What is an interior design portfolio and why do you need one?
An interior design portfolio is a visual representation of an interior designer's previous and ongoing projects, as well as a record of their training, qualifications, skills, experience, and passions. It serves as a showcase of an interior designer's work, demonstrating their abilities and suitability for specific projects or positions. A portfolio includes imagery such as photographs, 3D images, and illustrations to visually communicate the designer's style, creativity, and expertise [].
An interior design portfolio is essential for anyone working in this creative field. It can be used in job applications, freelancing project bids, student applications, or prospective work inquiries. The content of the portfolio plays a crucial role in determining an individual's success in the interior design job market. Therefore, it is important to spend time crafting a portfolio that stands out and effectively communicates your skills and experience [].
What should you include in your interior design portfolio?
To create a comprehensive interior design portfolio, you should include the following sections:
About section: This section introduces you as an interior design professional. It should include a brief paragraph about what inspires you, how you got started in interior design, and your favorite types of projects to work on. You can also include a photograph of yourself working on a project or an image of an interior you've designed. Keep the text concise and use illustrations or photographs to break up paragraphs [].
Individual projects: Showcase your best work through project pages. Each project page should include a project title, a brief project description, hi-res images or photographs of the finished interiors, before and after images, your goals for the project, your client's brief, your responsibilities, challenges faced, work process, sketches, floor plans, design boards, links to inspiration, and mood boards. Use these pages to tell a story that guides the reader through the process of each interior design project [].
Resumé: Include a page that highlights your work experience, education, professional achievements, and any relevant interior design certifications. Pay attention to the aesthetic detail of this page, as it should reflect your design sensibilities. Consider including a 'career highlights' section to showcase your proudest accomplishments [].
Contact details and socials: Clearly provide your contact details, including social media handles, so that potential employers and clients can easily reach out to you. You can create a dedicated contact page or include this information on every page of your portfolio [].
Optional sections: Depending on your preferences, you can include additional sections such as a blog to demonstrate your passion and knowledge of the industry, a client testimonial page to showcase positive feedback from previous clients, and a services page to outline your specializations and expertise [].
How to create an interior design portfolio: Step by step
If you're ready to create your interior design portfolio, here's a step-by-step guide:
Build your portfolio website: Select a website-building tool like Squarespace, Wix, Duda, Strikingly, Zyro, or WordPress. Choose a template that reflects your style, and create pages for your About section, Projects, Resumé, and Contact details [].
Write your About page: Introduce yourself as an interior design professional, share your experience, and include a call to action leading users to your project or contact pages. Keep the text engaging, concise, and true to your authentic self. Incorporate visuals to support the text [].
Select and add your interior design projects: Choose your best projects and create project pages for each. Include project titles, descriptions, hi-res images, before and after images, goals, client briefs, responsibilities, challenges faced, work processes, sketches, floor plans, design boards, inspiration links, and mood boards. Tell a story that guides the reader through each project [].
Add your resumé: Optimize your resumé according to best practices, highlighting relevant work experience, education, achievements, and certifications. Pay attention to the aesthetic detail of this page and consider including a 'career highlights' section [].
QA test, publish, and share: Review your portfolio website for consistency, functionality, and readability. Ensure all links work, navigation is smooth, and the text is error-free. Test your website on different devices. Once you're satisfied, publish your portfolio and share it on social media platforms to increase visibility [].
Interior design portfolio best practices
Here are some best practices to consider when creating your interior design portfolio:
Only include your best projects: Showcase your most successful and impressive interior design achievements. Quality is more important than quantity. Select a range of projects that appeal to different tastes and personalities [].
Demonstrate your process: Include your creative process in your portfolio to demonstrate your professionalism, transparency, and problem-solving abilities. Outline the main requirements of the brief, include sketches, floor plans, and 3D renders, and explain how you met the client's needs [].
Use CGI renders or professional photos: Utilize high-quality, professional photographs or CGI renders of your work to add a polished finish to your portfolio. Clear visuals enable viewers to see your design skills and the transformation of spaces [].
Let the visuals speak for themselves: Avoid lengthy texts and let the images of your work take center stage. Use concise and impactful text to support the visuals and tell a story. Utilize bullet points and short paragraphs for readability [].
Utilize white space: Incorporate white space in your portfolio to prevent clutter and guide the viewer's attention to the important visual elements. White space enhances readability and prevents overwhelming the viewer [].
Choose a theme: Select a theme for your portfolio website that complements your design style and reflects your personality. Keep the messaging and style authentic and consistent throughout your website [].
Elevate your designs with typography: Choose typography that enhances the visual hierarchy, elevates visuals, and improves the flow of your website. Select fonts that reflect your style and avoid using too many fonts. Use font weights and sizes to create a visual hierarchy [].
Update your portfolio regularly: Keep your portfolio fresh by regularly updating it with new projects, accomplishments, and passion projects. Consider writing blog articles on industry trends or commonly asked questions about interior design to boost your visibility [].
Utilize different formats: Create both a physical and digital copy of your portfolio to reach a wider audience. A digital portfolio is practical and portable, while a physical portfolio can make a strong impact in one-to-one meetings. Ensure your digital portfolio is optimized for different devices [].
Interior design portfolio examples
Here are three interior design portfolio examples that can provide inspiration for your own portfolio:
Sara Zofko: Sara Zofko's portfolio website features stunning images of different interior designs, showcasing her versatility and creativity. The website includes an About page, a Portfolio page organized by different styles, and social media handles on every page [].
Katie Uther Design: Katie Uther's portfolio website tells a story of her experiences working in different countries. It includes a password-protected page that outlines her design process. The website uses white space effectively and features high-quality photographs of her work [].
Emma Kay: Emma Kay's portfolio website focuses on visually captivating images of her interior designs. The website includes an About page that lists major magazines and clients she has worked for. The portfolio pages are categorized for easy navigation [].
Creating an interior design portfolio is crucial for showcasing your skills, experience, and passion in the field. By following the steps outlined in this guide and incorporating best practices, you can create an engaging and professional portfolio that stands out from the competition. Regularly update your portfolio to demonstrate your growth and commitment to your career. Remember to let the visuals speak for themselves and utilize white space effectively. Good luck with your interior design portfolio!