A design by Kelly Hoppen

There is no single route to a successful career in interior design. Some of the nation’s most celebrated exponents — including Kelly Hoppen, Nina Campbell and Nicky Haslam — have no formal training. But times are changing and the trade is professionalising. The official line is that a great eye, contacts and entrepreneurial flair, without qualifications, may only get you so far.

Susie Rumbold, head of Tessuto Interiors and former president of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), says half its members enter the industry after university and half are second-careerers. For graduates, retrainers and inexperienced designers, it offers a six-year Professional Pathway, after which they may become a BIID-registered interior designer.