16+ Interior Design Portfolio Examples & 4 Easy Steps to Create Yours
Would you like to create a stunning interior design portfolio? Follow our tips and build yours in a flash!
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 interior design portfolio 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.
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16 Interior design portfolio examples for inspiration
So, let’s get right to it and see what a great interior design portfolio looks like.
1. Interior design portfolio by Kelsey Heims
2. Interior design portfolio by Fiona Anthony
3. Interior design portfolio by Studio Adjective
4. Interior Design portfolio by Laura Taylor
5. Interior Design portfolio by Emily Hardin
6. Interior Design portfolio by Rebecca Gaffiero
7. Interior Design portfolio by Amanda Shields
8. Interior Design website by Ore Studios
9. Interior decorator portfolio by Laura Baross
10. Interior design and architecture portfolio by Dean Works
11. Interior Design portfolio by Mutuus Studio
12. Interior design portfolio by Sybrandt Creative
13. Interior Design portfolio by Tessa & Tara Sakhi
14. Interior design portfolio by ASD Interiors Inc.
15. Interior Design portfolio by Jacqueline Dantier
16. Interior Design portfolio by Kristen McGowan
And now, let’s look at the 4 easy steps that will help you create a stunning portfolio:
Step 1: Plan your portfolio specifically for your goals
Before jumping into color palettes and font sizes, you first need to identify your goals. For instance, these can be:
- Getting accepted to an interior design school,
- Landing your dream job, or
- Building your clientele and doing freelance projects.
Let’s get into the details: How can you tailor your portfolio to best suit your goals?
1. Interior design portfolio for college students
The people in the admissions office are interested in your affinity to arts in general and how much you are willing to learn. Before you have any projects or any experience the most important thing is to show your creativity and your eagerness to learn. You do not yet have the skills that an experienced designer has and nobody expects it from you.
Here’s a practical example of how to create a portfolio for college: You can show your progress by the order of your works. Having a chronological order will indicate the progress you’ve made.
You can also have the piece you are most proud of in the beginning, in order 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.
What should you include in your student portfolio?
- Cover letter,
- Introduction, and
Among your artworks, you can think of sketches, paintings, drawings, photography, models, sculptures, etc. You may include some that are of some sort of space or building, in order to show your understanding of 3D visualization.
2. Interior design portfolio for landing your dream job
If you are seeking employment, you need to approach your portfolio from a different angle. Firstly, you need to have a clear understanding of the sort of firm you are applying to.
For example, check their projects and their company profile (type of market, services, specializations). Then, analyze the job description (position, requirements, must-have skills). List all this information and include these points in some form or another.
A key concept – that is often forgotten – is that you want to make it as easy as possible to view and understand your work. Hiring managers more often than not are in a hurry to review the thousands of applications they receive, and the smoother their experience is with yours, the happier they are.
What should you include in your interior design portfolio to land a job?
- 3-10 projects:
- Project name,
- Basic information about the project (type and size of real estate, your role in the project, credit to the photographer),
- Short description of the project and client brief,
- First sketches,
- Moodboards & inspiration,
- Floorplans & Furniture layouts,
- 3D visualization, and
- Photography of finished project (in case of remodeling: before-after pictures).
- Contact details
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 professional photography.
Similar to the interior design student portfolios, you may organize your offline portfolio by having your best piece in the beginning, and your second best at the end.
3. Interior design portfolio to impress clients
A key idea when creating a portfolio for freelance work is to 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: you might want to only include photography of finished projects instead of detailed floor plans, and construction drawings when working with residential clients.
What should you include in your freelance interior design portfolio?
- Introduction (including your services and location),
- Professional photography of the finished project,
- Client brief,
- Basic information about the project (e.g. type and size of real estate, service you provided),
- Your design process,
- Contact details (with a contact form),
- Press, and
- Client testimonials.
For example, here’s an interior design portfolio set out to impress clients from Domaine, a home staging and design firm based in New York.
Step 2: Settle on a format for your interior design portfolio
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 interior design portfolios:
- Quick to create,
- Easily shareable,
- There are tons of templates available,
- Easy to update any time,
- Customizable, and
- Looks professional to have a website (think www.yourname.com)
- A backup is needed,
- Can’t be viewed without Internet connection,
- Sometimes you need coding skills (with traditional website builders), and
- It’s hard to print it.
How to make an online interior design portfolio? You have two options: You may either use a general website building tool (e.g. WordPress). Or, you can find a portfolio website builder, like Archifolio, created specifically 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 interior design portfolio creator. It allows you to showcase your work in the most professional way, 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: You first need to have a portfolio cover, then your interior design resume (and cover letter), a contents page, a title page, and a project page for each of your projects.
Let’s see the pros and cons of offline portfolios:
- Endless customizability,
- Can be viewed without any 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 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, but there are a few guiding points: Does the job ad or college application specify the type? If yes, make sure to follow their instructions. If not, then we recommend online portfolio websites with a tool specifically designed for interior designers due to the convenience they provide of being able to update it regularly.
Step 3: Share your portfolio in the right way
When applying for a university or a job, you will send your portfolio in email, no doubt. But you need to be conscious about how you go about it: 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 your portfolio to your social media accounts that you use professionally. What’s more, be easily found by sharing your portfolio on platforms created for creative professionals. Some of these are for instance:
Step 4: Present your portfolio with confidence
Even though your portfolio matters a whole lot, when you are asked to present your portfolio in an interview and you have no idea what to mention at certain projects, you won’t be convincing. Refresh your memory from time to time so that you know everything about your projects.
Make sure you practice presenting your portfolio. You could ask a friend or colleague to listen to you, but you can even practice by just talking out loud. Make sure that you are prepared for all types of interviewers. Some people sit back and listen to your presentation until you are finished and only ask questions at the end, while others may prefer a discussion. Be prepared for both.
What’s more, don’t forget to practice online presentations 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 be in conformity with some sort of regulation? Was there a tight budget for the project? Did you have to meet strict deadlines with the project?
What makes a good interior design 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 interior design 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 interior design portfolio templates and get tons of guidance on how to create a portfolio that stands out.
Here are some other useful resources you might like: