How to Build an Interior Design Portfolio: Tips & Tricks

Portfolios are gaining popularity by the day. They are emerging not only as showcasing platforms for students but also as a great alternative for the regular website format for businesses and professionals as well.

Interior design portfolios are a great way to not only display your best work but also to visualize your uniqueness and identity through the design of your site.

It is almost impossible to keep up with the ever-changing design trends, but some things never change - less will always be more & quality over quantity!

In this article we will cover:

  • Why portfolio is so important
  • The structure of a good portfolio
  • Show great examples
  • Steps by step guide to creating your own interior design portfolio
  • Tips & tricks throughout to ensure the best possible result

Here's the 1st trick: learn how to create a portfolio website for free on WordPress.

Scenarios When Interior Design Portfolios Are Useful

In design, regardless of the specific field, a portfolio is an absolute must. Quite simply, the more impressive your portfolio is, the higher your chances to obtain new clients and gain exposure.

Create an interior design portfolio to get more clients
Interior design portfolio sample by Kelly Wearstler

An online portfolio is always better than a printed one because you can make all the changes you want - when you want. You can and should combine both mediums, and – let’s face it – there will always be that one client that demands a hard copy.

Establishing relationships between your company and your clients becomes easier too. You can keep track of what people are saying about your services, gather images from past projects and list them on your website, ask them to leave feedback, and answer questions faster.

Tip: Finding the added value of your content is key.

Importance of User Experience

If you decide to build an interior design portfolio, you will have to keep some things in mind to obtain the best result.

A good interior design portfolio needs to contain both information about your services and gorgeous visuals to back it up.

There is no benefit in having a good-looking portfolio if it is not responsive or if it doesn’t offer enough information to your website’s visitors. On average around 68% of users use mobile devices while only 29% use desktop.

Interior design portfolio sample for responsive design
Interior design portfolio sample by Birignao

Because all companies that work in the design industry should have an aesthetic-driven website, focus on looks, but you can’t neglect the website’s usability and the customer experience it creates.

When visitors access your website, they should be encouraged to go through the portfolio. So catch their attention with your strongest pieces of work.

Tip: The number one criteria for success is efficiency.

Creating a Customer Persona Card

Without defining your target audience, your interior design portfolio will be way too general. As an interior designer, you can focus on individual clients that want their homes designed, as well as on companies who want a collaboration. Or both – it’s up to you.

Interior design portfolio sample for building contacts.
Interior design portfolio sample by Linia

The target audience is quite restricted if you think it through. Trying to please everyone never works, so forget about the word “everyone” and take your time to figure out exactly who you’re trying to reach.

Tip 1: Analyze your previous projects and see what clients you enjoy working with. This is probably the best way to identify your target audience while finding work that makes you happy.

Tip 2: Get in the shoes of your customers. List their general gender, age, income, interests, hobbies, and other defining factors, that will help you to build a better approach and construct a more effective message around that information.

Note: You can create multiple customer persona cards.

The Story of Your Journey

An interior design website can act as a business card if you know what to include on it. Luckily, the answer is simple: not too much!

Interior design portfolio sample for story
Interior design portfolio by Anna Tencher

You can get creative with your personal description, but remember to keep it short, professional, and include contact details.

Think deeply about your introduction to ensure it is compelling. Include it on the homepage or in the “About Me” section, if you want to keep it more simple.

If you are managing an entire company and multiple members are included in your team, each one should have its own section.

Stories & Visuals

First off, what’s an interior design portfolio without proper work samples? If you have projects that you are exceptionally proud of, you should emphasize them by listing them more prominently.

It is a good idea to combine projects from different styles instead of choosing similar ones. Show off your versatility!

Secondly, explain your approach to each specific project and what challenges you faced. This shows your visitors that you care about their unique needs and preferences.

Interior design portfolio sample for stories and visuals
Interior design portfolio sample by Olga Karpina

Storytelling skills are important here, and you will need to put in some effort into showing viewers what you have envisioned and achieved.

Tip: Stories are a good way to connect with your audience by relatability.

Platforms for Creating Portfolios

Next, you need to decide what web platform you’re going to use.

If you’re not that tech-savvy and you want a quick result and a website that’s easy to manage, a website builder might be the right choice for you.

We recommend choosing WordPress.org - it is completely free and open-source and can be installed on any type of web hosting package out there.

Choose between free and premium themes, plugins such as Visual Composer to create your portfolio with a drag-and-drop system and do all sorts of fancy things with your website that are sure to wow your clients.

Let us show you how!

How To Create A Portfolio Page Using Visual Composer

We already gave you the greatest tips and listed the best practices. Now it's time to go through the creation process of an interior design portfolio that takes the breath away from your website visitors!

With Visual Composer offering over 200 pre-made templates and customization options, we can say without a doubt that you will find the right fit for showcasing your work.

Let's dive in.

Pick A Design That Fits Your Style

The design you choose says a lot about you. It should be simple enough that visitors of your portfolio get a gist of what you have to offer without being distracted by an overwhelming amount of imagery.

Think about that “IT factor” that stands you out from the crowd. What’s unique about what you have to offer? Once you figured it out, show it with your work and through the composition of your page.

Visual Composer Hub with free template examples
Visual Composer Hub with free template examples

In the Visual Composer frontend editor, you will find the Hub. A hub is the cloud marketplace containing elements, templates & additional addons to choose from.

In this case, we are searching for a portfolio template. Keep in mind that there’s a wide variety of templates to choose from to fit your page. Minimalism has always been in trend & the 'Rohu Photography Portfolio' template is a great example to start with.

Note: If you need help with learning how to navigate within the interface, head over to this tutorial. Other than that it's pretty self-explanatory - elements are the building blocks of any page in a website. Edit and change the placement of elements with right-click controls, and simple drag-and-drop movement.

Concentrate On The Hero Section

The first thing your portfolio visitors will see is the hero section. This is where you spotlight your most impressive work. Remember, first impressions are the strongest. So, wow them with your strongest “card”.

After selecting a template we can start customizing rows & columns, adding content, and editing it to our liking.

Interior design portfolio created with Visual Composer
Interior design portfolio created with Visual Composer

In this section, we have already switched the background image (for this example we are using the 'Unsplash Stock Images' addon), changed the row arrangement (using the 'Custom Row Layout'), and added the 'Sidebar Menu' element. Plus, we updated content in the text block and adjusted the 'Social Profile Icons' links to represent our brand.

Note: If you need help creating a menu, check out this step-by-step guide.

Demonstrate Your Most Proud Work

In our case, the template we chose already has an element to display art in ('Image Masonry Gallery With ScaleUp' element). All that's left to do is switch the pre-set images with our own.

Interior design portfolio gallery created with Visual Composer
Interior design portfolio gallery created with Visual Composer

Tip: Use the white spaces to your advantage - it creates an elegant look and accents your work!

Showcase Your Recognition

From testimonials with 5-star reviews, to experiences with awards - these types of elements prove to users the legitimacy of your work!

Testimonials for improving recognition
Testimonials created with Visual Composer

Now you know how to create an interior design portfolio in 3 simple steps! Besides that, you can create not only pages but a full website using the editor. With the same drag-and-drop, right-click, and selecting elements from the Hub.

Optimizing Your Website For Google (and not only)

Last but not least, adjusting your site for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) helps ranking higher in searches, such as “experienced interior designers” or “high-level portfolios” in our case.

After you are done customizing your portfolio, put the finishing touches on the design and added content - look for the 💡 icon in the sidebar.

Visual Composer Insights Tool for website performance and SEO improvement
Visual Composer Insights Tool

This is called the 'Insights Tool' that represents how Google “understands” your page. It will recommend it in relevant search results if it recognizes quality content, good loading speed, and a user-friendly experience.

Image optimization is one of the most important steps in SEO, which many of us make simple mistakes with. But no worries - we'll explain everything in this guided video:

Note: The icons should at least be yellow (watch out for red - bad sign) and optimally aim for green.

Ending Thoughts

Creating a portfolio requires creativity, but at the end of the day, creating your own portfolio site isn’t as hard as it looks.
Simply pay attention to all the tips given in this article and you will be leagues ahead of your competition. And remember, once you’re online, the world is watching! Keep it professional, and you’ll do just fine.

If you enjoyed reading this article about creating an interior design portfolio, download Visual Composer for free to build your own!