Step-by-step Guide for Creating Your Interior Design Student Portfolio (+10 Examples)
There are roughly 62.000 interior designers in the US. They work in different niches, have different styles and approaches. But they do have one thing in common: they all started somewhere.
You may only be at the beginning of your career, but nevertheless, you need an interior design student portfolio to get you started. And in this article, the team of Archifolio walks you through creating it step by step.
10 Interior Design Student Portfolio Examples
As step zero in your portfolio creation process, you’ll most likely want to see some examples. What worked for others? What didn’t? Is there anything that resonates with you?
So we’ve gathered the 10 best examples below to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Kelsey Heims
Kelsey is a talented interior design student with stunning projects. Her portfolio website showcases her design skills as well as her soft skills perfectly. She used the Agora template to create her portfolio.
Fiona is a talented architectural interior designer. Her out-of-the-box thinking and creativity stands out from the crowd. And her minimalist portfolio compliments her breath-taking designs perfectly.
3. MD Yeakub Ali
We’re constantly amazed by Yeakub’s cover. It’s the perfect introduction to his portfolio and works. Amazing job!
4. Bitte Design Studio
Bitte Design Studio achieved to create a sophisticated yet soulful vibe on their portfolio.
5. Alexia Archbold
Alexia Archbold’s PDF portfolio is well-composed, showcasing her outstanding design and aesthetic skills.
6. Amanda Shields
Amanda Shields’ portfolio is just as warm and inviting as the spaces she designs.
7. Margarita Bravo
Margarita amazed us with her professional photographs and her beautifully organized portfolio.
8. ASD Interiors
The portfolio of ASD Interiors is minimally designed, yet it’s full of inspiring projects.
9. Marcel Wanders
The portfolio of Marcel Wanders has the same wow-factor as their designs.
10. Rebecca Gaffiero
Rebecca created her PDF portfolio with her exquisite design aesthetic.
We hope these interior design portfolio examples gave you the inspiration you needed. Are you ready to dive in?
How to Make an Interior Design Student Portfolio?
Before jumping into designing your portfolio you first need to:
1. Think about who will see your portfolio
You may create your first-ever interior design portfolio to get into university. In that case, think about what the admission officers are interested in a potential student.
If you are creating your student portfolio as an undergraduate to land your first internship, you’ll have to understand what companies are expecting from interns and what makes them want to hire one.
2. Gather your materials
This might be tedious, but you have to look at all of your materials that you’ve created so far. If you are an undergrad and already have dozens of designs, make sure to collect and organize them. If you are applying to go to college and don’t yet have any interior design related projects, collect your artworks and drawings so that you can show your creativity.
Get in the habit of documenting your design process. Scan your sketches or hand renderings as soon as possible. It’s a good idea to document them even when they are half-finished, as raw sketches show your interior design skills and thought processes best.
Now, let’s explore further how you can create your interior design student portfolio for college.
How to create a portfolio for college?
Creating your first-ever portfolio is a difficult task. Chances are that you have doubts about what format to choose, which projects to include and how long it should be. But don’t worry, we brought you our recommendations to make this process easier. In only 5 easy steps you’ll have a portfolio that you can be proud of.
Step 1. Study the requirements carefully
First and foremost, it’s crucial to adhere to the requirements of the university if you are creating your interior design student portfolio for college. Sure, creativity is about thinking outside the box, however, if you break the rules too much, the admissions office might not even look at it.
Secondly, forget about creating one portfolio and sending it to all the colleges out there. Each university has different requirements, focus and priorities. When it comes to interior design portfolios, one size does not fit all.
Step 2. Choose the right format
Different formats work best for different purposes. If the university doesn’t specify exactly what format you should go with, then you can choose from these 3 main options:
- a website,
- a PDF, or
- a hard copy.
Having an interior design website as your master portfolio is a great idea. You don’t have to worry about the file size limitations and therefore, you can store all of your projects in one place. Plus, you can share it easily with a professional link (e.g. yourname.com). However, many universities want to print the portfolios that they receive, and thus, having a PDF sample is often required.
If you want to get both, create your portfolio with Archifolio. You’ll get an intuitive website builder with unlimited storage, and easy access to examples and guides. When you're done, you can simply export it as a PDF with the most important projects and then, you're left with your portfolio sample.
We make portfolio building effortless, so that you can focus on what really matters.
A template can save you loads of time and energy.
Line spacing, margins, fonts and colors. These are all crucial factors in any portfolio. But setting them one by one on all of your pages is a pain in the neck. Plus, unless you have unlimited time and patience, you’ll end up with a few inconsistencies that will make your portfolio feel a bit off. So we advise you to work smarter, not harder and use an interior design portfolio template. It will ensure you have the basic design principles down and afterwards you can (and should) make it your own to show your style and personality.
Step 4. Showcase the right projects
If you are creating your portfolio to apply to master studies, choosing which academic projects make it into your portfolio and which ones don’t can be tough. But if you ask yourself the following questions, you’ll have no trouble.
- What’s the university’s profile? Do you have projects that fit it?
- What skills do you want to showcase in your portfolio? Which projects show them the most?
- For which projects do you have the right amount of documentation (e.g. initial sketches, mood boards, digital and hand renderings)?
What needs to be in a student interior design portfolio?
The structure of a student portfolio is quite straightforward. It's similar to any creative field, so you may get inspired by architecture student portfolios as well.
- You start with a portfolio cover or homepage (depending on your format),
- continue with a resume or an introduction,
- then you introduce your project (with a title page or thumbnail image),
- and then you have your project page (with a brief description of the project and a walk-through of your design process).
And then you repeat steps 3 and 4 for your additional projects.
On your project pages your main goal should be to tell a story. This might seem like a difficult task, but we have a tried and true formula that will make it easy for you.
- Give a title to your project. It may seem self-explanatory, but it’s just as crucial since your audience needs a way to refer to it later on.
- Start with an image of the end-result. This can be your best render, or something that gives your audience an idea of what kind of project they are about to see.
- Write at most two sentences about your project to give context.
- Summarize the most important details of your projects in a bulleted list (e.g. your role in the project, size and type of the real estate (residential, commercial, hospitality etc), and the interior design softwares you used to finish the project)
- Include your inspiration or mood board,
- Add your initial sketches,
- Then come your floor plans and your interior elevations,
- And finally, add your renders, CAD designs and construction drawings.
When you start building your portfolio in Archifolio, you’ll find that these (and many more) recommendations are built into our tool. So, you won’t stare at the blank page for long minutes thinking about what to write. Instead you have the option to follow our tried-and-tested recipe and create your portfolio in no time!
And you’re done! Now that you have the basics down, let’s look at how you can stand out from the crowd and get accepted, shall we?
What Makes a Good Interior Design Student Portfolio?
Imagine that you are in charge of university admissions. You need to look at hundreds of portfolios and determine which candidates get accepted and which don’t. What would you look out for?
Firstly, you probably wouldn’t have too much time to assess the portfolios. So, you’d appreciate those that are skimmable, easy to read and navigate in.
Then you’d probably screen the portfolios based on certain aspects and only give a second look to fewer.
Other than having the hard skills and meeting the average standards, what would make you want to admit students? Most likely creativity, eagerness to learn and passion in the interior design field.
On the other hand… What would make you throw the portfolio in the “no” pile? Too few projects or bad quality images could be the reason. But also typos, bad grammar, and spelling indicate that the person creating the portfolio either does not care enough to proofread what they wrote or isn’t paying attention to the details.
What can you do?
So, now that you have thought about how it will be evaluated, you’ll see how you can make an awesome portfolio:
- Make it easy to navigate.
- All written content should be skimmable (use bullet lists and make important information bold).
- Show your willingness to learn and your interest in interior design.
- Pay attention to grammar and spelling and ask someone to proofread it for you.
- Make the first impression a good one (by using your best images upfront or creating a superb cover).
- Showcase your skills in your projects.
- Tell a story with your designs.
- Show your personality (e.g. include your artworks that don’t have anything to do with interior design)
- Keep it simple.
Now there’s only one thing left to do: Getting started! With Archifolio, you can create your own portfolio website in a matter of minutes. No coding skills needed with our intuitive what-you-see-is-what-you-get editor. Just upload your content and make it your own!
Marketing Manager of Archifolio, Architecture Portfolio Expert & Tiny House Enthusiast 🏡