16+ Interior Design Portfolio Examples & 4 Easy Steps to Create Yours
A resume alone is never enough in any creative field. Therefore, creating a good interior design portfolio will get you ahead, but failing to do so might cause you a lot of frustration.
In this article, you’ll find some of the best examples to get you inspired. Then we’ll walk you through creating your own stunning portfolio in 4 easy steps. No matter if you are planning to go to college, seeking employment, or starting freelance work, this article is for you.
16 Interior design portfolio examples for inspiration
1. Kelsey Heims‘s Website
2. PDF Portfolio by Laura Taylor
3. Portfolio by Fiona Anthony
4. Studio Adjective‘s Website
5. PDF Portfolio by Emily Hardin
6. Rebecca Gaffiero‘s Portfolio
7. Amanda Shields‘ Interior Design Website
8. Interior Design Website by Ore Studios
9. Interior decorator portfolio by Laura Baross
10. Architecture portfolio by Dean Works
11. Mutuus Studio‘s Portfolio
12. Sybrandt Creative‘s Website
13. Interior Design Portfolio by Tessa & Tara Sakhi
14. Design portfolio by ASD Interiors Inc.
15. Jacqueline Dantier‘s Portfolio
16. Kristen McGowan‘s Interior Design Portfolio
17. Domaine‘s interior design website
And now, let’s look at the 4 easy steps that will help you create a stunning portfolio:
Step 1: Identify your goals
Before jumping into color palettes and font sizes, you first need to identify your goals. For instance, these can be:
- Building a clientele for your freelance practice,
- Becoming employed as an interior designer,
- Landing an internship or starting Master’s studies, or
- Getting accepted to uni as a high school student.
Let’s get into the details: How can you tailor your portfolio to best suit your goals?
1. As a freelance interior designer…
Recommended format: website
- min. 5 projects,
- Client brief,
- Before-after pictures of renovations,
- Professional photography of finished projects,
- Client testimonials, and
Only include those types of projects that you’d like to work on. For instance, if you want to get commercial clients, don’t publish your residential projects.
- Home page (with your location & services),
- About me page,
- Portfolio (with separate pages for each of your projects), and
- Contact page.
Get into the habit of asking:
- What is best for my potential clients?
- What are they interested in?
- How can I make myself clear, and most importantly
- What makes them want to work with me?
For example, if you work in residential design, your clients will most likely not appreciate the use of design and construction jargon. Whereas commercial clients might consider it vague and unprofessional if you aren’t using the terminology they use.
It’s the same with visual content. When working with residential clients, don’t showcase your detailed construction drawings. Instead include photography of finished projects and before-after images.
Make sure that the resolution of all your images is top-of-the-line, as they will do most of the work. For example, use a professional scanner and hire a photographer.
2. As an employed interior designer…
Recommended format: website/PDF
Recruiters are more interested in your thought process rather than the outcome.
- 3-10 projects
- Name of the project,
- Contextual information (e.g. type and size of the project),
- Short description of the project and client brief,
- First sketches,
- Moodboards & inspiration,
- Floorplans & furniture layouts,
- Technical drawings,
- 3D visualization, and
- Photography of finished project.
You can include those projects you’ve worked on while at a previous firm. Writing “Designed while at _____” and giving credit to the photographer is enough. Just make sure that there’s no NDA for the project.
- Home page (a.k.a. Cover page for PDFs)
- Resume page
- Table of contents (a.k.a project thumbnails for websites)
- Project pages
If you are seeking employment, you need to have a clear understanding of the sort of firm you are applying to.
- Check their projects and their company profile (type of market, services, specializations).
- Analyze the job description (position, requirements, must-have skills).
List all this information and include these points in some form or another.
Make it as easy as possible to view and understand your work. Hiring managers are usually in a hurry to review the thousands of applications they receive. Thus, the smoother their experience is with yours, the happier they are.
3. As an undergraduate student…
Recommended format: PDF
Avoid sending a file that’s bigger than 10 Mb.
- Thesis project,
- Class projects,
- Models, furniture designs,
- Conceptual drawings,
- Moodboards & Inspiration, and
- Technical drawings.
Be ruthless with the selection and only include those projects that you’re proud of.
- Home page (a.k.a. Cover page),
- Resume page,
- Table of contents (a.k.a project thumbnails for websites),
- Professional projects (if applicable),
- Academic projects, and
- Artworks & extracurriculars.
4. As a high school student…
Recommended format: PDF
- sculptures, and/or
- any artwork that shows your understanding of 3D visualization.
- Cover page,
- Motivational letter,
- Experiments with 3D designs/rendering.
The people in the admissions office are interested in your affinity for arts in general and how much you are willing to learn.
Have the piece you are most proud of in the beginning, to make a statement about your abilities right at the start. Afterward, show your progress chronologically and end with your second-best piece (which often is the most recent) to have a wow factor at the end too.
Step 2: Settle on a format
Once you have an idea about how to create your portfolio and what to include, you need to settle on a format. Here are the most common types and their comparison:
1. Online portfolios
Portfolio websites have been on the rise in the past few years. No wonder, everybody is trying to build an online presence. Therefore, as an interior designer, you might want to do the same.
Now, let’s see the pros and cons of online portfolios:
- Quick to create,
- Easily shareable,
- There are tons of templates available,
- Easy to update at any time,
- Customizable, and
- Looks professional to have a website (think www.yourname.com)
- A backup is needed,
- Can’t be viewed without an Internet connection,
- Sometimes you need coding skills (with traditional website builders), and
- It’s hard to print it.
How to make an online design portfolio? You have two options: You may either use a general website-building tool (e.g. WordPress). Or, you can choose a website builder, like Archifolio, created for interior designers and architects. The latter will give you tons of guidance and pro tips along the way and there’s no need to learn to code.
Archifolio is your one-stop portfolio creator. It allows you to showcase your work professionally, customize it to your needs, and get the job that you want.
2. Offline portfolios (PDF)
The second most widespread portfolio type is the offline portfolio. This is a PDF file, which has a rather strict order:
- portfolio cover,
- interior design resume (and cover letter),
- contents page,
- title page, and
- project page for each of your projects.
Let’s see the pros and cons of offline portfolios:
- Endless customizability,
- Can be viewed without an Internet connection,
- There are tons of templates available,
- No need for coding skills, and
- Graphic design skills are needed,
- InDesign skills and software are needed,
- Difficult to share (if the file size is too big, you can’t send it via email),
- Once you send it, you can’t edit it,
- Difficult to edit and update, and
- It’s time-consuming to create from scratch.
3. Printed portfolio
Printed portfolios have been losing popularity in recent years and not many employers or admission offices are stating it as a requirement. However, some places may still insist on having all of your work printed out. So let’s analyze the pros and cons:
- It feels professional to show your portfolio in print,
- Can be viewed without an Internet connection, and
- No chance of technology failing you.
- Time-consuming to create,
- Expensive to print,
- Graphic design skills are needed,
- A pain in the neck to carry around and post when you want to share it, and
- Not updatable.
What kind of portfolio do you need for your interior design career?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this question. However, our recommendation is to have a combination of all the above:
- a website for your master portfolio,
- a PDF sample to make a good first impression, and
- a printed portfolio to wow your interviewers.
We created a tool for you to do all of these quickly and easily. Archifolio has unlimited storage for your online master portfolio. Plus, with a click of a button, you can download your PDF portfolio for online use or for print.
in the right way
One thing's for sure: When applying for a university or a job, you will send your portfolio via email.
Forget greetings like “To whom it may concern”. Instead, dig a little deeper and find out the person your email does concern.
Other than emails, you have a couple of other options as well to share your portfolio. Make sure to upload it to your social media accounts that you use professionally. What’s more, be easily found by sharing your work on platforms created for creative professionals. Some of these are for instance:
Step 4: Present your portfolio with confidence
Even though your portfolio's design matters a whole lot, when you are presenting it in an interview and you have no idea what to mention, you won’t be convincing. Refresh your memory from time to time so that you know everything about your projects.
Plus practice presenting your portfolio. Ask a friend or colleague to listen to you, or just talk out loud.
Be prepared for all types of interviewers. Some people sit back and listen until you are finished and only ask questions at the end, while others prefer a discussion. Prepare for both.
Don’t forget to practice your presentation through the most well-known online communication software (Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, etc) to look professional no matter what.
If you are in doubt about how to present your portfolio, here are Archifolio’s tips:
- Start with the context. For instance: What were the client’s expectations or the college assignment? What sort of services did you provide? What was your role in the project?
- Mention some sort of challenge and how you overcame it. Did you have to conform to some sort of special regulation? Was there a tight budget? Did you have to meet strict deadlines?
What makes a good portfolio? Top 5 tips for success
So now that you have all the means to create your stunning portfolio, we brought you the top 5 tips that can help you take it to the next level:
1. Show your design process
Showing your design process will allow your interviewers to get a glimpse of your way of thinking and see much more than a beautiful interior. Chances are that when you apply for a job, your competition will also have great designs, so you need to stand out from the crowd and you can do that by walking them through your design approach.
2. Make an impression – Tell a story
Generally, people remember stories better than facts. You can use this to your advantage by walking your audience through your projects by telling a story. Before and after pictures show a great visual comparison, which can be remembered for a long time.
3. Make it easy to view
As mentioned above, hiring managers generally give only a couple of minutes to each portfolio. Therefore, you need to make sure that you choose a format that is easily accessible. What’s more, having clear navigation and layouts makes their experience better.
Also, it’s best practice to make your portfolio skimmable. You can for example do this with bullet points and highlighting important information from texts. Rely on the visuals instead of texts, which brings us to tip #4.
4. Let your pictures do the talking
We mentioned above, but it’s crucial, so we’ll repeat it: Have high-quality images. Your images are what give soul to your portfolio. Therefore, you should allow a considerable amount of room for them. What’s more, don’t be afraid of whitespace. It will allow your pictures to shine even more.
5. Show your personality
In short, your portfolio should be about you and your work. So, don’t leave out your personality, your interests, and your approach to life itself. The whole point of your portfolio is to introduce yourself in a professional way and in conclusion that’s what makes a great portfolio.
Well done for taking this time to do something useful for your interior design career by reading this article!
We hope that you got the motivation to start building your portfolio. If so, then give our tool, Archifolio a try. You’ll find stunning templates and get tons of guidance on how to create a portfolio that stands out.
Here are some other useful resources you might like:
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