Impressive Interior Design Portfolio: 8 Practical Tips
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Showcase your best work first
  2. Create a clean and easy-to-navigate layout
  3. Include detailed project descriptions
  4. Use professional photography
  5. Highlight your process and skills
  6. Include testimonials and references
  7. Keep your portfolio up-to-date
  8. Make your portfolio accessible and shareable

When it comes to showcasing your talent in interior design, nothing speaks louder than a well-crafted portfolio. It's your visual resume, a tangible evidence of your creativity and skill. But how do you go about creating a portfolio for interior design that not only captures your unique style, but also impresses potential clients? Here are eight practical tips to guide you on this exciting journey!

Showcase your best work first

You want to grab your viewer's attention from the very beginning, right? That's why it's a smart move to put your best work upfront. Think about that project you did where everything just clicked— the color scheme was spot on, the furniture pieces were a perfect match, and the client was over the moon with joy. That's the project you want to dazzle your audience with first!

Remember, your portfolio is not a storage box for all your projects. It's a curated collection that shows off your design skills at their finest. So, make sure you pick projects that reflect your style, creativity, and versatility. Don't be shy to show off that chic loft apartment you designed, or the cozy rustic cabin that was featured in "Home & Design".

Here's a simple tip on how to create a portfolio for interior design that packs a punch:

  • Pick the top 5-10 projects:

These should represent your best work. The ones that you're most proud of, the ones that got rave reviews, or the ones that really pushed your design boundaries.

  • Order them strategically:

Start with a bang! Your most impressive project should be first, followed by other high-quality works. This way, you immediately establish your skill and talent, encouraging viewers to explore further.

Creating a portfolio is like telling a story—you want to hook your audience from the start. So, remember to put your best foot forward, or in this case, your best work first!

Create a clean and easy-to-navigate layout

Imagine walking into a beautifully designed room. Everything is in its place, the colors harmonize, and you can easily find what you're looking for. Isn't that the kind of experience you want your portfolio viewers to have?

Creating a clean and easy-to-navigate layout is like designing a room—it needs to be inviting, organized, and user-friendly. You want your visitors to smoothly navigate from one project to another, appreciating your work without getting lost or overwhelmed.

So, how do you create a portfolio for interior design that's easy on the eyes and simple to navigate? Here are a few tips:

  • Keep it neat and tidy:

Just like in interior design, clutter is your enemy. Avoid too many elements, fonts, or colors that can distract from your work. Stick to a clean, minimalist design that lets your projects shine.

  • Make it intuitive:

Your portfolio should be as easy to navigate as your favorite website. Use clear menus, categories, or tags to guide your visitors. If you have a variety of styles or types of projects, consider dividing them into sections.

  • Be consistent:

Keep the layout and design consistent across your portfolio. This creates a cohesive look and feel, just like in a well-designed room.

Remember, your portfolio is a reflection of your design sensibility. A clean, easy-to-navigate layout not only enhances viewer experience, but also underscores your attention to detail and organization—two key traits of a successful interior designer!

Include Detailed Project Descriptions

Imagine this — you're browsing through an interior design portfolio, and you see a stunning living room design. But there's no information about it. You're interested in the designer's thought process, the materials used, the client's brief, but you find nothing. It's like admiring a dish at a restaurant and not knowing its ingredients. Frustrating, isn't it?

This is why it's important to include detailed project descriptions in your portfolio. Not only do they provide context to your designs, but they also showcase your thought process, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail. But, how do you create a portfolio for interior design with effective project descriptions?

  • Start with a brief overview:

A good place to start is with a brief overview of the project. Talk about the client's brief, the objectives, and the challenges you faced. This sets the stage for the design you're about to present.

  • Discuss your design process:

Next, walk your viewers through your design process. How did you approach the project? What ideas did you explore? How did you solve the challenges?

  • Highlight the materials and color scheme:

Detail the materials you used and why, along with the color scheme. This helps your viewers understand your design choices and the aesthetics of the space.

  • Wrap up with the results:

Finally, share the results. How did the client react? Did the design achieve its objectives?

Detailed project descriptions not only enrich your portfolio but also demonstrate your communication skills, an important attribute for any interior designer. Remember, a picture might be worth a thousand words, but a descriptive story makes it priceless!

Use Professional Photography

You know what they say: A picture speaks a thousand words. When it comes to presenting your interior design work, this couldn't be more accurate. It's not just about showing a before-and-after scenario — it's about capturing the essence, the mood, and the unique elements of your design. That's why using professional photography is like adding a cherry on top of your design showcase.

But you might be wondering, how does professional photography tie into how to create a portfolio for interior design? Let's break it down:

  • Quality Matters:

High-resolution images make your designs pop off the screen, giving viewers a near-real experience. They can see the texture of the fabrics, the grain on the wood, and the shine on the metals. It's almost as if they're walking through the space!

  • Lighting is Key:

Good lighting can make or break a photograph. Professional photographers know how to use lighting to enhance your designs, highlighting the areas you want to focus on and creating a mood that resonates with your design concept.

  • A Picture Tells a Story:

A professional photographer doesn't just capture images; they capture stories. They can bring out the soul of your design, showcasing not just the aesthetics but also the emotions and the experience of the space.

So, when you're creating your interior design portfolio, invest in professional photography. It gives your portfolio a polished look, sets you apart from the crowd, and most importantly, it does justice to your hard work. After all, your portfolio is the window to your design world — make it worth the peek!

Highlight Your Process and Skills

As you map out how to create a portfolio for interior design, remember that it's not just about the final product. Your potential clients will be curious about the journey that got you there. They want to understand your process, your skills, and how you solve design challenges. This is your chance to shine a light on what makes you unique as a designer.

  • Showcase Your Process:

Do you start with hand-drawn sketches or dive straight into 3D modeling? Do you have a knack for repurposing vintage pieces or do you specialize in sustainable design? Let your portfolio tell that story. Include images of sketches, mood boards, or even notes that illustrate your thought process.

  • Highlight Your Skills:

From space planning to color theory, from CAD proficiency to project management — let your portfolio reflect your wide range of skills. And don't forget those soft skills, like communication or problem-solving, that make the design process smoother for your clients.

  • Address Design Challenges:

Did you turn a small space into a functional marvel? Did you find a creative way to bring natural light into a gloomy room? Show how you tackled these challenges — it's a great way to demonstrate your problem-solving skills and your ability to think outside the box.

In short, your portfolio should paint a complete picture of you as a designer — your style, your approach, your skills, and your problem-solving prowess. It's your story, so tell it in a way that captures the imagination of your viewers and turns them into potential clients.

Include Testimonials and References

When pondering how to create a portfolio for interior design, don't underestimate the power of testimonials and references. They're a vital part of your portfolio that can help build trust and credibility. Here's why:

  • They Tell Real Stories:

Testimonials are firsthand accounts from previous clients who have experienced your work. They don't just say that you're good at what you do, but they narrate the story of how you transformed their spaces. It's proof that you not only talk the talk but also walk the walk.

  • They Build Trust:

Words of praise from your clients can give potential customers the confidence to hire you. They show that you've successfully delivered on your promises before, and are likely to do so again.

  • They Offer Different Perspectives:

Each client you've worked with has a unique perspective on your skills and approach. By including testimonials from a variety of projects, you can paint a fuller picture of your capabilities.

So, how do you incorporate testimonials into your portfolio? Consider adding a quote from a client to each project description. Or, create a separate section dedicated to testimonials. As for references, make a note that they are available upon request. This way, potential clients can reach out to your previous clients if they wish to know more about your work.

Remember, your portfolio is your best salesperson. So, let it speak volumes about your work, through your designs and through the words of your satisfied clients.

Keep Your Portfolio Up-to-Date

Creating a portfolio for interior design isn't a one-time gig, it's a continuous process. Just like you keep your home or workspace up-to-date with the latest trends, your portfolio too deserves the same TLC — Tender Loving Care. Let's discuss why updating your portfolio is important:

  • It Reflects Your Growth:

Over time, you hone your skills, experiment with new styles, and take on more complex projects. An updated portfolio captures this growth, giving potential clients a clear view of your evolving capabilities.

  • It Keeps You Relevant:

Interior design trends change like the wind. By showcasing your most recent work, you demonstrate that you're on top of the latest styles and techniques. This can be a big draw for clients who want a modern touch.

  • It Shows You're Active:

A portfolio full of old projects may lead clients to wonder if you're still in business. Regular updates show that you're active, engaged, and ready for new projects.

Updating your portfolio doesn't have to be a chore. Make it a habit to add new projects as you complete them. And every once in a while, take a step back and look at your portfolio as a whole. Are there any outdated projects that no longer reflect your style or skills? Don't be afraid to remove them. Remember, your portfolio is all about showcasing your best, most relevant work.

At the end of the day, your portfolio is your professional story. So, keep writing new chapters as you continue your journey in the world of interior design.

Make Your Portfolio Accessible and Shareable

So, you have followed all the steps on how to create a portfolio for interior design, and now it's time to share it with the world. And that means making it both accessible and shareable.

Accessibility is more than just making your portfolio easy to find. It's about creating a design that can be enjoyed by everyone, including people with visual or physical disabilities. Simple adjustments, like high-contrast colors and large text, can make a big difference. Some website builders even have accessibility features built in, so take advantage of these when you can.

Next, let's talk about shareability. The easier it is for people to share your portfolio, the more exposure you'll get. Here are a few tips:

  • Include Share Buttons: These buttons allow visitors to share your portfolio on social media with just a click. It's free advertising!
  • Optimize for Mobile: More and more people browse the web on their phones. If your portfolio looks great on a desktop but loads slowly or looks messy on a phone, you could be losing out on potential clients.
  • Use SEO Techniques: Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your portfolio appear higher in search results. This increases its visibility and brings in more visitors.

Remember, creating a portfolio for interior design is about more than just showing off your work. It's about connecting with potential clients and making it easy for them to find and share your designs. So, make your portfolio as accessible and shareable as possible — it could be the key to your next big project!

If you're looking to create an impressive interior design portfolio, you might find the workshop 'Creating a Portfolio for Graduate School' by Ciarra K. Walters particularly useful. Although it focuses on graduate school, the tips and insights provided can be applied to your interior design portfolio as well. Don't miss out on this valuable resource to help you showcase your work effectively!