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Inside an Interior Design Portfolio With Andie Hamm and Louise Dalrymple

Megan Hill
Check out the portfolio that got these junior interior designers hired

Whilst there is no definitive answer to "how to become an interior designer", one thing that remains undisputed is that you need a good portfolio!

An interior design portfolio is a visual resume showcasing your interior design body of work to date, and it can act as the deciding factor in whether you land your first interior design role or not.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to crafting that portfolio and building a career in interior design, so we spoke to two junior employees at leading interior design firms who took vastly different journeys into the industry.

A well-travelled graduate and a career-switcher with an improvised approach share how they landed their first role, the portfolio piece that helped them do it, and everything they have learnt since.

Louise Dalrymple

The role:

"I am currently working as a Junior Interior Designer. I saw the job advertised on LinkedIn, applied, and then met for an in-person interview."

The portfolio:

"My MA focused on the connection between design and emotion. I think that the moodboards I created as part of that project are the 'star pieces' in my portfolio—they showcase my knowledge of colour, fabrics and texture combinations used to promote well-being.

A 2-page spread from Louise's portfolio. On one side a colour palette of neutral pinks and browns, on the other a minimalistic, natural moodboard in these colours
Concept moodboard by Louise Dalrymple.

The initial idea for my concept 'HUIS' was born from my own experience of living and working abroad. My job involved travel throughout Europe and when I relocated to Amsterdam, I spent my first month in temporary accommodation provided by my new employer. Whilst it was in a prime location, the actual studio itself was rather dingy and isolating with no space to entertain new friends.

Busy times of year meant weekly travel and strict deadlines that left little opportunity for anything in between. With irregular shift patterns and extended stays, the choice of the hotel vasty influenced my well-being whilst travelling for work.

Although many hotels offer their visitors the option of various social areas to spend time in—spas, gyms, restaurants and bars—these do not necessarily cater for guests who may not want to socialise in those sorts of spaces. I felt as though there was a missed opportunity to apply some simple but effective changes to how many hotels are currently operating.

As a result, I created a project exploring four key separate spaces: Work, Play, Sleep and Bathe."

A 2-page spread from Louise's portfolio. 4 circles contain illusrations of each space: work, play, bathe, sleep. An introduction paragraph accompanies the images
Concept overview by Louise Dalrymple.

The lessons:

"In this role, I have been able to develop my knowledge of interior design software programmes such as AutoCAD and SketchUp. If I were to make edits to my portfolio now, I would add in more bespoke pieces from independent designers."

Follow Louise Dalrymple on Instagram.

Andie Hamm

The role:

"I work as a design assistant at an interior design firm in NYC. I often find myself shopping around our office, picking up items, bringing them to project sites, and helping with move-ins, deliveries and installations.

I also spend a lot of time putting together concepts for clients. This usually means sourcing furniture, finding inspiration images, and creating floorplans and presentations. Now and again, I'll spend time putting together floral arrangements, styling project sites and assisting on the final photo shoots of our projects."

The portfolio:

"Before my current role, I was not working in the architecture/design field so I didn't have a massive portfolio to pull from. However, I did major in architecture and complete a few internships in design and have always had a deep love for interiors and everything 'home'.

I had a few pieces in my portfolio but the one that I was interviewed on was actually my own apartment in NYC. It is very small, but I decorated it thoughtfully and I loved the way it turned out.

A sleek glass dining table with two modern artistic chairs, metal base with cream wool coverings and wooden backs, sit on top of a blue patterned rug
Andie Hamm's dining room, as featured in her interior design portfolio.

This project definitely shows my design personality—it is my own home after all! I had to make use of what I was already bringing into the space, as well as the small square footage, but with light tones, mixed materials, and pops of colour I created a really nice environment."

A white corner sofa sits a top a blue patterned rug. Walls are painted an off grey with an assorted array of artwork in different sized frames hanging behind the sofa
Andie Hamm's living room, as featured in her design portfolio.

The lessons:

"Being able to spend my days around top design professionals on incredible project sites has been a game changer for me.

I am super passionate about my work and I have absorbed so much in just a few short months in my job. I am much more attuned to design trends (that are not actually 'trendy'), cool furniture pieces, ideas for niche design situations, colour combinations, and styling techniques. I am excited to keep learning and creating my own spaces!

Using all that I've learnt, I am in the process of rethinking the gallery wall above my couch. I want something a bit more modern and creative, and I want to make it myself! What that looks like is still to be decided but that is my next upgrade to tackle."

Follow Andie Hamm on Instagram.