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Ask Designers: I’m an interior designer stuck in a rut. How do I get out of it?

Being an interior designer can be stressful, sometimes leading to burnout. Here is how to fix it.

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Ask Designers: I’m an interior designer stuck in a rut. How do I get out of it?
Clara Carlino de Paz
January 10, 2024

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The question today is: “I’m an interior designer stuck in a rut. How do I get out of it?” 

If you're an interior designer feeling stuck in a creative rut, don't worry – unfortunately to many, it’s incredibly common. Feeling burnt out is a typical experience for creatives and professionals in many fields. The demanding nature of creative work, combined with the pressure to consistently produce high-quality output, can lead to stress and burnout. Additionally, creative work often involves working on multiple projects simultaneously, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm and exhaustion.

If you’re feeling this way, don’t lose hope. Interior design is a captivating profession that requires a combination of creativity, skill, and dedication. However, even the most accomplished designers sometimes find themselves facing a creative block, feeling uninspired, or stuck in a rut. There are plenty of things that you can do to help you reignite your creative spark and get back to designing beautiful, functional spaces. We've gathered expert tips from renowned designers on how to break out of the funk.

First and foremost, consider taking a break to recharge your batteries. Whether it's a long walk in nature, a yoga class, or a trip to the spa, it's essential to clear your mind and focus on your well-being. It's important to take care of yourself before taking care of your clients.

Next, seek inspiration in everyday life, from the colour schemes in nature to the architecture of your city. Follow other designers and architects on social media, attend design conferences and exhibitions, or travel to new destinations to broaden your horizons and find new ideas. Broadening your creativity beyond your existing ideas is the best thing you can do right now.

Experimentation is also key to breaking out of a design rut. Try new textures, colours, and materials to add depth and interest to your work. Approach a project from a different perspective or try out a new design style. By taking risks and challenging yourself, you can open up new opportunities and find fresh inspiration.

Collaborating with other designers and professionals can also help you break out of your comfort zone and see things from a new perspective. You can exchange ideas and insights, collaborate on a project, or seek feedback from other designers to get a fresh take on your work. You can join our interior design community here.

If you have a quiet afternoon to yourself, rethink your design philosophy and purpose to find renewed inspiration. Ask yourself what drew you to interior design in the first place and what motivates you to create beautiful and functional spaces. By rediscovering your passion and reconnecting with your purpose, you can find renewed inspiration and energy to tackle new projects. And who knows… It might be time for a rebrand!

Learning new skills and techniques is also essential to breaking out of a design rut. Attend workshops or seminars to gain new insights and expertise, or take a course to acquire new skills and knowledge. By expanding your knowledge base, you can add value to your services and stay ahead of the latest trends and innovations, without feeling like you’re reliving the same project over and over again. 

Finally, practise gratitude for the opportunities you have had and the clients you have served. Appreciate the work you have accomplished, and reflect on how far you have come in your career. Focus on the positive and let that positivity fuel your creativity and passion. You’re incredible, and I am sure you have so much more to give to the world when it comes to design!

In conclusion, as an interior designer, change is your bread and butter, and a rut should be a good indication that something needs to give. By taking care of yourself, seeking inspiration, experimenting, collaborating, reconnecting with your purpose, learning new skills, and practising gratitude, you can break out of your design rut and reignite your passion for creating beautiful and functional spaces that inspire and delight. If you enjoyed this article subscribe to our weekly newsletter!