Furniture Designing as a Career Option in India: Everything You Need to Know

Furniture Designing

Furniture designing could be referred as the art of combining form and function that reflects your personality, taste, and style.

Furniture that is build to enhance and beautify the design of a space is fascinating since it forms an integral part of your architecture.

There is a lot to learn from the art of consuming space and yet leave some room for breathing the freshness of your surroundings. Furniture designing helps beautify your home, office, or any other area.

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Furniture Designing?
  3. What does a Furniture Designer Do?
    • Required Skill Sets
  4. How to become a Furniture Designer?
    • Course and Curriculum
    • Eligibility
    • Top 5 Colleges
  5. Industries to Enter for a Furniture Designer
    • Furniture Manufacturing Companies
    • Interior Designer Firms
    • Entrepreneurship
  6. Job Profiles
    • Furniture and Crafts Designer
    • Product Designer
    • Product Researcher and Innovator
    • Interior Designer and Decorator
    • Furniture Conservator/ Restorer
    • Textile Designer
    • Ceramics Designer
  7. Indian Furniture Industry
    • Indian Companies
    • Multinational Companies
  8. Summary

1. Introduction of Furniture Designing

From the earliest cave dwellers to those enjoying glorious gilded mansions, man has needed furniture. For as long as humanity has existed we have had furniture to serve a myriad of purposes. Historical artifacts reveal that several types of furniture that prevailed throughout history held a lot of symbolism culturally and religiously.

 It is through the artifacts that we owe our understanding of how people lived hundreds of years ago. It accentuates the ambiance of any space, and it serves as an accessory for interiors of any establishment. 

Gone are the days, that furnishings only serve a specific purpose, chairs were only made for sitting, bed for sleeping, etc, Now many people are concerned with not just the furniture in their space but also how they interact and look together.

Today, Furniture makers design for the masses, creating designs for the manufacture of mass-produced items of domestic, commercial, and industrial furniture. They combine art, business, and engineering to make products that people use every day.

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2. What is Furniture Designing?

What is Furniture Designing

Furniture Designing is a specialized field where function and fashion collide. It deals with the creation and evolution of objects, structures, and systems at par with the human scale that aims to improve the quality of life in the immediate living and working environment.  

While keeping in mind the sustainable and innovative use of a variety of materials and processes, furniture designing believes in a broad and interdisciplinary attitude drawn from the experiences of Industrial and Environmental Design professions. 

Several interior designers believe that furniture is one of the most important aspects of interior space. Furniture segments do not just add function and practicality to space, but also add style and elegance.

Furniture designers confer with design, production, and sales personnel to produce orders, design detailed drawings of fixtures, and tools, prepare blueprints of specifications of the particular design among other things.

3. What does a Furniture Designer Do?

What does a Furniture Designer Do

Furniture Designers are proficient in designing and fabricating furnishings, considering both functionality and fashion. They design exterior and interior furnishings keeping in mind customer preferences, and practicality.

Their role involves:

  • Working with clients
  • Producing new and unique designs
  • Improving the existing designs
  • Forecasting and budgeting of newly formed designs
  • Formulating space plans
  • Testing new designs using prototypes or models
  • Creating detailed final designs after reconsidering alterations or improvements

Every new furnishing design is initiated through a basic idea. The designer then formulates a drawing of the idea with the use of prevailing traditional or modern methods. First, they often sketch their designs on paper, for instance. There is also an alternative where they could also use Computer software for a more intricate and detailed design.

A software formed design usually help consider all different aspects of furniture design, including how the piece is put together and what materials can be used to manufacture it. Once, the designer has completed the virtual design, they then try to create the original prototype of the piece. 

Required Skill Sets of Furniture Designer

Several skill sets are required to become a successful furniture designer, it isn’t as easy as it looks. This profession might allow improving the existing designs but it is hard to form such prototypes for different kinds of furnishings. 

People need creativity, once the design is out there, it can’t be repeated, even if it’s up to modification, it must not look similar. Several other dimensions shroud the concept of furniture designing.  The designer is required to be extremely attentive towards these dimensions. The few skills that are required to become a successful furniture designer include:

  • Creativity & Practicality
  • Excellent drawing skills
  • Ability to draw and conceptualize three-dimensional objects
  • Thorough knowledge of Computer Design Software
  • An eye for detail- Visualisation abilities
  • Prowess in working with a variety of different materials such as wood, metal, fabric, etc.
  • Product Research and innovation skills
  • Client Handling 

4. How To Become A Furniture Designer?

How To Become A Furniture Designer

Furniture Makers can choose different educational paths to achieve the objective of becoming a furniture designer. Education will help assist with the knowledge associated with furniture designing.  The wide range of skills required to become a furniture designer is better acquired at a Bachelor of Design (B.Des)/ Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Interior and Furniture Design.

a) Courses & Curriculum

The Course and Curriculum taught during these courses is as follows:

B.Des/B.Sc in Interior and Furniture Designing

  • Design Drawing
  • Freehand Design Drawing
  • Introduction to Design Tools
  • Fundamentals of Design in Colour, Geometry, Materials, Form Space and Structure
  • Fundamentals of Design in 3D form.
  • Digital Methods, Auto CAD
  • Analysis of space and furniture
  • Furniture Technology- SOM and JOINERIES
  • Designing of outdoor space/ furniture, Multifunctional space, Moldable and foldable furniture.
  • Sketching and rendering 
  • Furnishings and fittings

The additional syllabus included in M.Des along with B.Des curriculum is as follows:

  • Fundamentals of Design in Design of Simple Furniture and Ergonomics
  • Estimation costing and specifications
  • Interior expressions and technology
  • Essentials of Marketing
  • History of Design
  • Building materials and construction studio

b) Eligibility of Furniture Designer

An undergraduate course in Furniture Design is open to all students who successfully graduated High School or Grade 12 examinations irrelevant to the stream of study from a recognized Board of Education or University with not less than 50% marks in aggregate.

The applicant must have a valid design entrance exam score accepted by the concerned colleges. An age restriction might vary according to the degree or the institute.

c) Top 5 Colleges for Furniture Designing

Top 5 Colleges for Furniture Designing

1. Indian Institute of Craft and Design, Jaipur, Rajasthan

Indian Institute of Craft and Design, Jaipur, offers Bachelor’s and Masters in Design along with an Integrated Course in Design with a specialization in Hard Material Design. It refers to a furniture designing course that exposes the students to several materials including wood, metal, and stone. The course exposes them to techniques, production, processes, traditional knowledge, skills, conceptual and design development to evolve a contemporary Indian craft repertoire. The Fee Structure for all courses counts for without Hostel: INR 1,64,200, With Hostel: INR 2,19,200


1. Bachelors in Design (B.Des)

Specialization: Hard Material Design, Duration: 4 Years, Number of Seats: 120, Eligibility for Admission: Grade 12 complete, IICD Entrance Exam Clearance, General Awareness, Creativity & Perception Test- 35% Weightage, Material, Colour, & Conceptual Test- 45% Weightage, Personal Interview- 20%

2. Masters in Design (M.Des)

Specialization: Hard Material Design, Duration: 2 years/ 3 years (3 years for Graduates from Non-Design Background), Number of Seats: 45, Eligibility for Admission:Grade 12 qualified, Graduates from Design and Architecture Background

3. Integrated Masters Program (B.Voc)

Specialization: Hard Material Design , Duration: 5 years, Number of Seats: 25, Eligibility: Same as B.Des

2) National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad offers a bachelor’s and masters in Design with a specialization in Furniture and Interior Designing that encourages the students to develop a strong foundation of basics, which facilitates anticipation of the future.

The program aims to educate designers to handle all aspects of furniture design as one integrated user-centric area of study. It has been observed that special emphasis is placed on the ability to develop self-made prototypes to test human and functional factors.

Courses Offered

1. Bachelors in Design (B.Des)

Specialization: Furniture and Interior Design, Duration: 4 years, Number of Seats: 13 seats, Eligibility: Grade 12 qualified, Submission of Thematic Reflective Presentation and Sample of Work on the website.National Institute of Design Aptitude Test Clearance(Shortlisting based on NIT DAT Prelims- 70% Weightage, NID DAT Mains- 30% (Online Interaction). The Fee Structure for B.Des  is- Without Hostel: Sem-III, Sem-V, Sem-VII- INR 1,51,050 each, Sem-II, Sem-IV, Sem-VI – INR 1,49,650 each, Sem VIII- INR 1,54,650, Hostel Charges- INR 15000

2. Masters in Design (M.Des)

Specialization: Furniture and Interior Design, Duration: 2 years,Number of Seats: 15 seats.Eligibility: Grade 12 qualified, Graduate from any stream, NID Entrance Exam- Same criteria as B.Des. The Fee Structure for M.Des is as follows: Without Hostel:Sem-I, Sem-III- INR 1,75,580 each,Sem-II, Sem-IV- INR 1,74,180 each, Sem-V- INR 1,78,180, Hostel Charges: INR 15000

3) Unitedworld Institute of Design

The B.Des in Interior and Furniture Design Program is offered as a part of the School of Interior Design, it teaches students to create imaginative spaces and meaningful interior products that help enrich the experience of modern life.

The School of Interior Design at UID views design as a cultural practice that fosters thinking and situates concerning the contemporary profession within the global text. The courses offered under the School of Interior Designing are focused on promoting a deeper understanding of the potential  

Course Offered:

  1. Bachelors in Design

Specialization: Interior and Furniture Design (Specialisation offered in Furniture and Lighting Designing) . Duration: 4 years. Eligibility: Grade 12 qualified, Design Aptitude Test Clearance 

2. Masters in Design

Specialization: Interior and Experience Design (Specialisation offered in Furniture and Lighting Designing), Duration: 2 years, Eligibility: Grade 12 qualified, Graduate in any discipline with more 50% marks in aggregate, Design Aptitude Test Clearance

4) MIT Institute of Design, Pune

The courses offered by the institute within Interior Space and Furniture Design discipline focus on designing and planning of interior spaces for all kinds of human needs. The designers concentrate on designing spaces- interior and exterior in accordance with their functional hierarchies and interrelationships.

Course Name

1. Bachelors in Design (B.Des)

Specialization: Interior Space and Furniture Design, Duration: 4 years, Number of Seats: 200 seats , Eligibility: Grade 12 qualified, Design Aptitude Test Clearance, Studio Test Clearance, Personal Interview Clearance, Fee Structure All Semesters (With Hostel- Optional)- INR 5,64,500, Without Hostel: INR 3,92,000

2. Masters in Design (M.Des)

Specialization: Interior Space and Furniture Design, Duration: 2 years, Number of Seats: 150 seats, Eligibility: Grade 12 qualified, Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Architecture, Science or Industrial Design, Design Aptitude Test Clearance, Studio Test Clearance, Personal Interview Clearance, Fee Structure for All Semesters (With Hostel)- INR 5,65,500, Without Hostel- INR 3,93,000

5) Lovely Professional University

Lovely Professional University offers B.Sc and B.Des with specialization in Interior and Furniture along with M.Des in Interior and Furniture that provides a comprehensive technical background in woodworking, while also allowing students to investigate a range of creative topics such as studio art, interior design, or drawing.

1. B.Des in Interior and Furniture

2. Bachelors in Science (B.Sc)

Specialization: Interior & Furniture. Duration: 3 years, Eligibility: Grade 12 qualified, LPUNEST Clearance, Fees Per Semester- INR 90000, Examination Fees– INR 2500 per semester. Scholarship- LPUNEST score more than Category I/ 90% and above marks in High School (12th)- 45% off on Programme Fee(INR 90000), LPUNEST score more than Category II/ 80% and above marks in High School- 35% off on Programme Fee. LPUNEST score more than Category III/ 70% and above marks in High School- 25% off on Programme Fee

3. Bachelor of Design (B.Des)

Specialization: Interior and Furniture, Duration: 4 years, Eligibility: Same as B.Sc, Fees Per Semester- INR 98000, Examination Fees– INR 2500 per semester, Scholarship- Same as B.Sc

4. Masters of Design

Specialization: Interior and Furniture, Duration: 2 years, Eligibility:Graduate with at least 50% marks in aggregate in B.Des/B.Sc/B.Arch/B.Tech, LPUNEST Clearance. Fees Per Semester- INR 78000, Examination Fees– INR 2500 per semester, Scholarship- Same as B.Sc

5. Industries to Enter for a Furniture Designer

Industries to Enter for a Furniture Designer

a) Furniture Manufacturing Companies

Furniture Manufacturing Companies involve manufacturing of furniture that is produced with  strong use of  wood, and other types of furniture such as:

  • Hardwood Furniture
  • Handicraft Furniture
  • Vintage Furniture 
  • Dining Tables
  • Leather Furniture
  • Office Furniture

b) Interior Design Companies

Interior Design Companies offer architecture, interior design, construction management, and program management. They serve a diverse portfolio of projects across sectors. They offer a comprehensive and fully developed project documentation after forming a digital image. Some interior designers or design firms will also confer with furniture designers in order to develop custom pieces of furniture to enhance the function and aesthetic qualities of interior space.

c) Entrepreneurship

There are a significant number of people who choose to produce furniture as an independent contractor. In these cases, they open an apprenticeship to begin a career in this field. Apprenticeships can teach beginning professionals the specifics of running a small business, the basics of customer service, how to track orders, produce work with a deadline, multiple multiple projects at once, etc.

6. Job Profiles

a) Furniture and Crafts Designer

As a furniture designer, the individual is required to use their skills for designing hard material products for home furnishing, offices, party lounges. The designers are responsible for bringing together tools and technology, CAD work, woodworking, sculptures, interior decorating to develop basic furnishing. The starting salary for this profile is estimated to be INR 3,50,000.

b) Product Designer

As a product designer, they are responsible for defining the specifications of the product and create print or digital drawings of the kind of furniture in mind. They are also responsible for analyzing the scope of the product in the market whether hoe furnishing or commercial. The starting salary of this job profile counts up to INR 4,73,000 on average.

c) Product Researcher and Innovator

A Product researcher and innovator explores, analyses, designs, and works on redevelopment of high-end home furnishings, official furniture, etc through performing scientific research and market trends. The starting salary for product researcher and innovator is INR 2,30,000 as an average.

d) Interior Design and Decorator

Interior Designers are responsible for decorating interior spaces at home and workplaces. They work towards designing interiors of offices and manufacturing them, ready to occupy buildings, resorts, and other commercial establishments among others. The starting salary after becoming an interior designer goes up to an average of INR 2,50,000 on average.

e) Furniture Conservator/ Restorer

The Furniture Conservator or Restorer is involved in protecting vintage furniture. They are supposed to implement their up to date knowledge, skills, and techniques for the preservation of old and antique furniture. In addition to that, they also spread awareness among people about the prevailing antique furniture through public education in furniture conservation. The salary prospect is estimated as INR 2,40,000 on average.

f) Textile Designer

Textile Designers also work well with furniture designers since a unique form of furniture that was introduced a long time ago was Textile Furniture Designing that involved several designs that are eligible for home decor that was made with textiles. It presented a distinct look that attracted a lot of attention and ever since it has created a separate job profile. The average salary package given is INR 3,00,000.

g) Ceramics Designer

Ceramic Designers create designs for a range of pottery objects that are made by shaping and firing clay. The Designers are responsible for creating designs, liaising with clients, and overseeing production to ensure the demands are met. The average salary for a ceramic designer is INR 2,60,000.

7. Indian Furniture Industry

Indian Furniture Industry

The Indian Furniture Industry is estimated at around Rs 32000 crore and 85% of it falls under the unorganized sector. The market of wooden furniture solely owns the share by nearly Rs 60 crore.

The market is further expected to garner Rs 60,000 crores by 2023. The use of digital shopping has boosted the e-retail sector and provides an ease to the customer to buy furniture through online channels.

The wooden furniture is expected to continue its dominance during the forecast period in the Indian Furniture Market and expected to grow with a CAGR of 11.32% during 2018-23.

The famous companies and Recruiters for Furniture Designers are as follows:

Indian companies

  • Pepperfry
  • Durian
  • Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
  • Featherlite
  • Millennium Lifestyle
  • Nilkamal
  • Style Spa

Multinational Companies

  • IKEA
  • Florence
  • Henredon
  • Restoration Hardware

8. Summary

Becoming a Furniture Designer in India comes with great satisfaction and pleasure since the job requires high amounts of creativity. The job also rewards a handsome amount of salary, in fact, the industry is growing at an extraordinary pace. Although the profession does not guarantee much growth in India, the designer might encounter tough variants of clients to deal with since everybody requires expertise and for the newcomers, it’s hard to mark the essence in the industry.

But, it is needless to mention that the furniture retail industry is the one with u unlimited opportunities for talented and creative minds. It’s a field that only the ones with passion are allowed to enter. The designers who prove their mettle get popular worldwide for their USP’s after they introduce creative and innovative products.

Also Read – How to build a career in Footwear Designing

Written by Bishakha Nihalani

Bishakha has a passion for writing about clean beauty and wellness. She believes in the Indian Science of Ayurveda and including it in our daily lives through food and skincare.

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