How to Make an Interior Design Portfolio [+ Examples, Tips & Guide]

Interior Design Portfolio
Created by CakeResume

The best and most ideal way for an interior designer to display their work is by having viewers in the space that you have crafted, allowing them to experience the colors, textures, how lighting plays along in the room, and absorb the room ambiance. For most of the time that it is difficult to show your work in person, your interior design portfolio becomes an essential tool in letting potential employers or clients immerse themselves in your creativity. 

An interior designer portfolio serves a similar purpose to a resume. But, it comprises a whole lot more than just words, as it should focus more on encapsulating your personal style and planning skills.

What Is an Interior Design Portfolio?

Whether you are a professional or a student, your interior portfolio is crucial in taking you further in your career as an interior designer. An interior design portfolio is a collective visual resume about your previous and/or current interior design project that communicates your creative process, sense of fashion, and artistic conception.

Although an interior design portfolio functions like a CV or resume, it contains different elements. The main features of a great interior design portfolio are photographs of the finished projects. However, it's also important to include your thought process for those projects. Therefore, the design concept, renderings, mood boards, design boards, layouts, and other supplementary documents will make your interior design portfolio complete.

Producing a distinctive and polished interior design portfolio should not only illustrate your passion but also how dedicated and capable you are as an artist, be it as a freelancer or an enterprise. As a company, an interior design company portfolio acts as a corporate branding toolkit and further enforces the business' aesthetic and vision. 

Moreover, a successful professional interior design portfolio can help you attract more and better clients. For interior design students, who perhaps have yet to land a paid gig, an interior design student portfolio can be a stepping stone to land an interview at your dream interior design firm.

How to Create an Interior Design Portfolio

Now that you've familiarized yourself with what an interior design portfolio is and its purposes, here's what you need to know on how to curate an interior designer portfolio.

Step 1: Define your target audience.

Before even starting to sketch how you want your professional interior design portfolio to look, first thing first, ask yourself these two important questions: 'why do you want to build an interior design portfolio?" and "who will see/review your interior design portfolio?". The answers to those questions will affect the content and presentation. 

For example, an interior design portfolio for university applications will not feature the same information as an interior designer portfolio for job searches because prospective interior design students don't necessarily need to initiate partnerships or sales. Thus, some content, such as the testimonial feature or case studies, can be omitted.

Step 2: Select your medium.

The old-school way is similar to making a scrapbook, which uses paper and needs to be printed out with high-resolution quality paper. Although it requires more time and effort, with a printed interior design portfolio you can have complete control over your work and what the interviewer or client sees. Moreover, sometimes flipping through actual pages of an interior design portfolio can make a more lasting impression too. 

On the other hand, an online interior design portfolio is convenient to update, send and share. On top of that, you can save money on printing (yay technology!). However, technical issues can compromise your website and you need to protect your work, by watermarking your images, for instance.

Step 3: Gather your data.

After choosing your preferred display method, start compiling essential information and filter the projects you want to showcase on your interior portfolio. In general, the materials that should be included in an interior design portfolio are:

  • A professional-looking photo of you with a concise resume explaining your background. You can also throw in some friendly words explaining your passion for interior design on the interior design portfolio about me section.
  • Projects that you have done in the past or are currently working on, categorized. For each completed project, you should include images of the mood board, design board, 3D renderings, layouts, and actual space to guide the viewer through your creative process. Additionally, you can insert a short description of the project background to let viewers know what the objective was. 
  • A list of your technical skills and the demonstrations. Some hard skills you can include are CAD, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, etc. and some soft skills such as detail-oriented and communication can also be added.
  • If you have done any paid gigs, having clients' testimonials is a great addition to your professional interior design portfolio.

💡  Pro Tip: The work you select to be on your interior design portfolio doesn't have to be paid projects.

Step 4: Curate a palette.

The color scheme is the essence of any visual art, and undeniably one of the most important elements whether you decide on an interior design digital portfolio or a printed one. It is also a defining aspect that will affect how you choose the work to be displayed, the language, and the overall dynamic of your interior design portfolio.

The color theme should be able to communicate your artistic as well as the professional side and leave a lasting impression on whomever that reads it.

Step 5: Layout a template.

Now that you have everything to start constructing, envision where everything should be placed. Browsing different interior design portfolio examples will help you visualize the flow of your interior designer portfolio.

Step 6: Design an attractive cover.

When it comes to people, we should not judge the book by its cover. But in this case, it might be the first (if not the only) thing people judge. Opt for a simple yet charming cover with colors that complement your content and appeal to the masses. Put on your name, "Interior Design Portfolio" as the title, and range of years from the work you include in the portfolio.

Tips on How to Make an Interior Design Portfolio Online

We have compiled a few tips for you to ensure you have the best interior design portfolio. So, before publishing your interior design portfolio website, make sure to check out these tips below:

💡 Choose a platform.

Make sure the online portfolio platform you choose for your interior designer portfolio is reliable, provides features that are supportive for creating an interior designer portfolio website, and is credible.

💡 Do some research.

Draw inspirations from the best ones, do not copy-paste! Keep in mind, originality plays a big role for an artist. There are heaps of interior design website examples and interior design company portfolios for you to check out.

💡 Save time by prepping.

It's better to do the heavy-lifting upfront and have all your materials in one place before the construction starts.

💡 Utilize templates.

Your chosen platform to host your interior designer portfolio website might have several ready-to-use templates that you can simply edit. With a template, you will save a lot of time especially if you aren't familiar with building a website portfolio from scratch.

💡 Update regularly.

You might not always put your most recent work, but maintaining your professional interior design portfolio regularly is important to stay relevant.

Websites to Create Online Interior Design Portfolios

With tons of sites and tools available, it can be overwhelming to choose one for your online interior design portfolio. Therefore, in this article, we've put together our top 3 best websites to make professional interior design portfolios.

CakeResume now offers a free online portfolio builder for its users. The tools are simple and beginner-friendly yet able to generate a professional-looking interior design portfolio layout. It also offers free and paid services, but just using the free plan provides multiple beautiful templates for you to use as a base. 

CakeResume's winning feature is that you can link your CV and resume within the website to your online interior design portfolio without becoming a paid member. Hence, you can manage everything in one platform with ease! It is very suitable for students who are just starting to plan on building their student interior design portfolio for university, as it is free and convenient to operate and manage.

Having an online portfolio website is highly crucial in paving your career path as an interior designer. With CakeResume’s online portfolio maker, you can create your very own online portfolio that showcases your true skills and creativity. Create your free interior design portfolio now!

Even though it's not exactly a new website builder on the market, but Wix's popularity has skyrocketed in the past year. Wix offers a free plan as well as multiple types of paid plans with various features that will tend to different needs and budgets. 

With any of its premium plans, which are billed and renewed annually, you are able to use a customized domain for your interior design portfolio website and you're also paying for the hosting. It's highly recommended for SME (small-to-medium enterprise) or freelance interior designers who want to invest in some branding for their interior design company portfolio. Not only for business, students looking to create an interior design thesis portfolio.

No one doesn't already know about Wordpress.com. It is one of the most popular and oldest website creators that are popularized by writers and bloggers. Similar to Wix, you can use your own domain name if you subscribe to its premium plan. 

One of the reasons WordPress is still a favorite is because WordPress is highly customizable, especially if you are familiar with programming and coding. It lets users be as creative as possible. But, for someone who isn't a techie, you can still tailor your interior design website portfolio accordingly with the help of pre-made interior design portfolio layouts.

Interior Design Portfolio Examples

As stated above, one has to decide on who will see and what the purpose of one's interior design portfolio is. Here are some types of online interior design portfolios and interior designer portfolio examples to give you more ideas.

Interior design portfolio for a job application

As you are entering the working world, start off with your CV explaining your background and expertise. This way, your future employer or client can immediately have a gauge of your abilities.

Interior design portfolio for job application by Laura Taylor
Interior design portfolio for job application by Laura Taylor

Interior design portfolio example for university application

Design schools everywhere are highly-competitive, and in order to appeal to the admission board, you should pay extra attention to the requirements of the targeted university when creating your interior design portfolio for university. For the content, try putting together a few small personal projects you did in your own home or hypothetical ones that emphasize your skills.

Interior design portfolio by Kristen McGowan
Interior design portfolio by Kristen McGowan

Interior stylist portfolio

Though the term "interior designer" and "interior stylist" often overlap, an interior stylist or decorator focuses on beautifying the already existing and furnished room. Their work is usually for magazines, stage settings, and other visual media. Therefore, before and after photographs of the space can be the way to go for an interior decorator portfolio to show off your skills in enhancing the room.

Interior stylist portfolio by Emma Kay
Interior stylist portfolio by Emma Kay

Interior design student portfolio

For interior design students, it's better to start with your “About me”. Interior design portfolios’ educational background and skills are usually placed after the cover page. Then, proceed with showcasing your school projects and any relevant internships or part-time jobs.

Interior design student portfolio by Astrid Cintya
Interior design student portfolio by Astrid Cintya

Interior design company portfolio

For a design company, it is important to highlight your business aesthetic and company values. Select some notable work to be displayed and don't forget to ask for your clients' testimonials. 

Interior design company portfolio by Gavigan & Gruppo
Interior design company portfolio by Gavigan & Gruppo

🔑  Key Takeaways:

Ultimately, having an online interior design portfolio is never a bad idea. In fact, it's better to have one than none at all, just keep it simple and remember to update regularly. Now that you know the importance of having an interior design portfolio and the steps to build it, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started with our free online portfolio builder!

--- Originally written by Teresa Edria ---

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