A Career in Interior Decorating

Imagine having a career that lets you use your creativity to make homes and businesses more beautiful and comfortable. Welcome to the world of interior decorating!

There are few careers that offer so many benefits. As an interior decorator you will have the satisfaction of making your vision a reality. You will meet interesting people, and because many people who hire interior decorators are wealthy, you will likely spend time in many beautiful homes and businesses. If you start your own decorating business you can enjoy the freedom of being your own boss. And perhaps most importantly, your “work” will be fun, interesting, and rewarding.

As long as you have the desire, you can become an interior decorator. No special education or experience is necessary to break into this career and succeed. (Unlike becoming a certified interior designer which has strict requirements including two to five years of post-secondary education in interior design.) You can become an interior decorator immediately.

If interior decorating sounds like the career of your dreams, here are 10 steps to breaking into this fabulous job, based on the FabJob Guide to Become an Interior Decorator published by FabJob.com:

1. Train your eye

Since you are interested in a career as a interior decorator, chances are you already have a “good eye” for design. In other words, when you look at a room you can see what looks good, and what could be improved. But no matter how naturally talented you are, you can continually “train your eye” by studying what people consider to be good design.

Seek out beautifully decorated interiors to look at. You can find numerous examples of beautiful interiors in design magazines or in your own community by visiting show homes, open houses for sale in wealthy neighborhoods, furniture showrooms, historic homes, art galleries, and offices of professionals such as interior decorators and corporate lawyers.

2. Educate yourself

Interior decorators are expected to know about the various elements involved in decorating such as: space planning (how to arrange furniture and other items within a particular space), use of color and light, furniture and decorating styles (for example, Colonial or Southwestern), floorings, wall coverings, window treatments, and use of accessories such as pillows and art. You can learn decorating basics through courses, books, web sites, and even by speaking with retailers of products used in home decorating (paint, carpet, lighting, hardware stores, etc.)

3. Practice at home

Most interior decorators get their first decorating experience working on their own homes. Even if you have just one small room to experiment with, you can get “hands-on” experience with a variety of decorating techniques. For example, you can make a dramatic change to any room, quickly and inexpensively, simply by rearranging the furniture or painting the walls a new color. Give it a try! Experiment with techniques you wouldn’t ordinarily use. Consider this room your “research lab” where you can try things out before recommending them to a client.

4. Volunteer your services

Your friends and family members may already have asked for your advice about decorating, but if they haven’t yet asked you to actually decorate their homes or businesses, why not offer?

Some occasions your family or friends may want to redecorate are when they experiencing transitions in life, such as: marriage or co-habitation (help them merge two households into one), moving into a new home, childbirth (offer to decorate the baby’s room), hosting a special event such as a wedding or dinner party, starting a home business (you could decorate their new office), and selling a home (explain how a well decorated home can attract buyers).

5. Prepare a portfolio

A portfolio is a collection of samples of your work, plus any other documents that can help show why someone should hire you. The most important part of an interior decorator’s portfolio is photographs of interiors you have decorated, so make sure you take “before” and “after” photos of every space you decorate. Choose 15-20 photographs of work you are proud of, and arrange them in a photo album or portfolio case.

Your portfolio can also include letters of recommendation and “design boards” (poster boards onto which you have pasted pictures and samples of materials such as fabrics, flooring, wallpaper, etc.) to show clients what you recommend to decorate a particular room.

6. Get a job

Even if you plan to start your own interior decorating business, you can learn about the business and meet potential clients by starting with a job in the industry. Companies that hire people with decorating talent include home builders, manufacturers of furniture and housewares, hotel and restaurant chains, retailers (furniture stores, home improvement stores, antiques dealers, housewares stores, etc.), plus interior design and decorating firms.

To get a job, you will need to prepare a resume that emphasizes your experience with decorating plus any other skills the employer is looking for, such as customer service or organizational ability.

7. Start your own business

Many interior decorators dream of being their own boss. If that’s your goal, you’ll need to decide on business matters such as your company’s name and whether to incorporate or not. Free basic business advice is available from organizations such as the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Many interior decorators choose to work from home when they start their businesses because it saves on the cost of an office and, unlike many other types of businesses, you won’t be expecting clients to come to you – you will usually be going to their homes or offices.

8. Establish relationships with suppliers

Suppliers are companies that supply the products and services you need to decorate. They include manufacturers of furniture, wall coverings, flooring, fabrics, etc. as well as contractors who do painting, carpentry, installation, etc. When you go shopping as a professional interior decorator, you are entitled to “designer discounts” of up to 50% off the regular retail price which you can pass on to clients.

While some decorators charge an hourly rate or a flat fee, others charge “cost-plus.” For example, if your cost for a product is 40% percent below the regular retail price, you could charge the client your cost plus 20%, thereby saving the client the other 20% they would pay to buy the same item at a retail store. This opportunity to save money on decorating may convince clients to hire you.

9. Get clients

Your potential clients could include home builders, new home buyers, wealthy home owners, professional couples, advertising agencies, art galleries, bed and breakfasts, boutique stores, corporate head offices, hotels, law firms, restaurants, spas, and many other types of businesses.

One way to market your services is by networking with professionals who can refer business to you, such as real estate agents, architects, antiques dealers, art dealers, home renovators, and owners of businesses that sell home furnishings. Other marketing techniques include putting up a web page with photos of interiors you have decorated and getting publicity in the homes section of your local newspaper.

10. Grow as a professional

Successful interior decorators continue to learn new decorating techniques. Once you have started a business you can continue to develop your skills by attending trade shows, reading decorating magazines and books, and joining professional associations. You can also impress clients and have an advantage over your competition by becoming certified as a professional interior decorator.

Interior Decorating FAQs

Though both interior designers and decorators focus on the aesthetic value of an interior space, it is a common mistake to assume interior designers are synonymous with interior decorators. The main difference between the two is that an interior designer is a licensed professional who has undergone rigorous training in dealing with certain technicalities such as building codes, fire hazards, and other specifics. An interior decorator, on the other hand, does not need to be licensed and specializes only on the surface materials such as paint, fabrics, and materials.

Q. Should I even consider hiring a professional interior decorator?

A. Yes, people may make costly mistakes when it comes to deciding how their rooms should look. By hiring a professional interior decorator, you can save time and money by receiving tips and ideas on what you can do for renovations or for redecorating a room in your house.

Q. What if all I need are ideas and I do not really need to hire one?

A. There are interior decorators who offer consultation services, so take advantage of this so that you can get more ideas on what you can do with your free space. The rates of these consultations will differ accordingly.

Q. Is there anything I should do before I even hire one?

A. Yes, it is advisable that you have done some research before consulting or hiring a professional interior decorator. This includes setting a budget for your renovation, deciding what you want to keep and remove from your home, and consulting various interior design magazines in order to get ideas on what you want to do with your rooms or and how you want them renovated. This will make it easier for you to deal with your professional interior decorator.

Interior Decorating Schools – A Remarkable Career Occasion

If you desire to be a professional interior designer you must take into account any of the existing interior decorator schools. Their courses have shown that interior decorating schools are interested in creativity exploration. The programs offered will assist you become the decorator that everybody wishes. The interior decoration it ‘s very important these days and this is why it ‘s useful to attend courses at any of the interior decorating schools. Their trainees must turn into qualified interior decorators, able to materialize their artistic vision in relaxing and friendly environments. To get this title, they attended interior decorating schools for specialized teaching.

Even if we are not very demanding, the space in which we work and reside it ‘s incredibly important. A somber place of work is certainly an energy consuming environment. There are variety of factors that influence our mood and are associated with interior decorating, such as: color of the walls, the correct pieces of furniture and so forth. When you consider that you need a change, you can employ an interior designer which will make a difference in the way your environment seems to be. They combine their information and creative spirit with their clients demands.

If you assume that these are just tips and tricks, they attended interior decorating schools to become expert interior designers. You desire to specialize in interior design? First, you should evaluate your artistic sense and select one of nowadays interior decorating schools. Here are a few basic guidance courses you should check on.

* increase your graphic capabilities

Your drawing talent might necessitate a polish. As for graphics, it may necessitate qualified guidance. Specialized interior decorators have declared that graphics is key component in their profession. The technological development will come to your support with dedicated computer applications.

* interior design history

You will learn interior design trends’ evolution along the years. In order to be capable to set up your own style, you need to understand how things have progressed in this area.

* select your topic of interest: commercial or residential

If you think that one of these approaches is appropriate to your future career, try to get specialized since the very first lessons. Commercial decoration suits you best if you desire to be implicated in initiatives with high visibility. On the other hand, if you love to assist people improve their life, select the residential approach, you will bring a smile on their faces.

* ergonomics

Ergonomics it ‘s extremely important for all of us. If you will attend the courses of any of the existing interior decorating schools, you will study all about ergonomics. We all confront with the lack of space. Through efficiency and improved allocation of space, these shortcomings must be eliminated.

* study of materials

It ‘s not an easy mission to pick the suitable supplies for your projects You need to know everything associated to the supplies that you use.

Don ‘t think that study is enough. Interior decorating schools offer many options, but you also have to work hard. Try to be more empathetic and improve those skills essential to identify your client ‘s profile, anticipate his tastes in terms of interior decoration. Everything is related to how the clients feel after the project is ready.

Now that you have taken a look at how interior decorating schools train their apprentices, you can set your expectations for a career in interior decoration. You must take into account the possibilities that are presented by the interior decorating schools and take advantage of them.