But how does a decorator or a person get to this point? There are a few key points that can help you understand how to become a decorator and what it takes to be a successful one. However, good decorators know that decorating is a wonderful journey and a lifelong pursuit of knowledge!
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Designers specializing in this field have the opportunity to work with a wide spectrum of historic spaces. While one day it could be a museum, the next day it could be a historic home or place of significance. Those working in this field must be knowledgeable of preservation protocols and special measures to maintain the integrity of historic designations.
Of course you can! Design with your brain and dream with your heart and soul. There are lots of online programs you can use to help you draw, or you could hire someone to bring your visions to life.
Spread the word. You will want to advertise your services to potential customers. Paid advertising on local television or the local newspaper can be effective. Also, make sure you take the necessary steps to promote your business online, as a majority of people who need interior design help will probably turn to the internet to find someone.
Finally, your business will rely heavily on word of mouth advertisement. People who see your work will get your name from friends, family and acquaintances and seek you out.
Yes! In this field, practical and proven experience is the best way to impress prospective clients. Clients want to see a portfolio of past design work. It’s a better gauge of your skills than any degree or certificate. Read on for another quiz question.
Hire help. You may find that your business expands to a point that you can’t possibly handle all of the work yourself. If this happens, you will need to hire some help. Be sure that the person or people you hire have the same sensibility and attitude towards decorating that you do.
You want your interior design company to have its own style.
As we round the corner into a new year, you may be thinking about finally starting your professional career or even making a total career change. You’re ready for something new, and you’re ready for something fun!
According to the BLS, in 2014 the median annual wage for interior designers nationally was $48,400. Professionals in the 90th percentile can expect to earn just shy of $90,000. Like other industries, experience, geographical factors and the type of interior design being completed also influence annual salaries. Interior designers in the architecture and engineering industry have the highest median wage.
Not sure you’re ready to take the leap to become an interior decorator? Find out what clients look for in a professional decorator!
These designers implement the latest environmentally friendly fixtures, which could offer modern appeal while going easy on the utility bill. Designers guide clients on significant decisions surrounding color, lighting, fabrics, and hardware.
For interior designers just starting their careers, building a portfolio is crucial. One valuable way to do this is to undertake internships and other real-world learning opportunities. Many online programs work with students and their local communities to identify design firms where interns can practice their craft and create meaningful designs that can be used to garner future clients.
Examines various drawing techniques and how to translate an idea into a reality by hand or using digital drawing practices and tools.
Top 10 states projected to grow the most between 2012 and 2022 (BLS):
Curious about growth in your state for this career? Select a state below for more information about employment and job growth for interior designers.
On a basic level, interior designers design and create living and working spaces for a variety of clients, either as freelancers or as part of a design firm. Designers often specialize in a particular area, such as green spaces, home design or corporate workspaces. Anyone considering interior design as a profession will have numerous questions, including: Is a degree in design necessary to break in? Will I have to work for an agency or can I strike out on my own? Should I specialize in a specific area of design?
Salaries and Job Outlook for Interior Designers Interior Designer Salary Data
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Technically, you do not need a degree to become an interior decorator. However, knowledge never hurt anyone. Plus, clients and firms are usually more receptive to hiring someone who has taken the time to secure a degree.
Whether the applicant desires to work as an assistant designer or serve as a postsecondary faculty member, interior design schools have programs to meet these needs. The following section reviews the different types of degrees and what students can hope to gain from each.
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C. West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming
You can get through it with a lot of effort and don’t slack one bit. Commit yourself myself to do your 110%. In this way, you’ll become a successful decorate with a job you very much love. The thing you need to understand is that if you love your career, and you love what you do and what it will help you become, then those hard steps aren’t so hard anymore.
You learn how to draw eventually, because talent is indeed just 1 percent of the mix and effort is the last ninety nine percent. If you love it and work hard, you’ll be fine.
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Español: convertirse en un decorador de interiores, Português: se Tornar um Designer de Interiores, Italiano: Diventare un Arredatore di Interni, Русский: стать декоратором интерьеров, Deutsch: Innenausstatter werden, Français: devenir décorateur (décoratrice) d’intérieur
An interior designer focuses on decorations and modifications to the structure itself: floors, windows, electrical systems, etc. It’s a much more inclusive job that goes beyond just decorating the house.
While all faculty members have a baseline of interior design experience and qualifications, students looking to specialize should see if the department has a faculty member focused on that area. For instance, if a student wants to specialize in historic preservation, he or she should find out if the school has professors who are experts in that area.
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Experts in commercial design have many different paths they can follow, including corporate offices, restaurants, hotels, banks, and libraries. In addition to understanding design theories, those working in this field need knowledge on topics such as ergonomics, spatial development, and accessibility regulations.
Build a portfolio. Just like decorators, designers need to keep a record of the jobs they have completed and have evidence of the quality of their work. You can populate your portfolio more quickly if you are initially willing to work for free or take on design projects for friends or charitable organizations with small budgets.
Make sure you take high quality photographs of your work to include in your portfolio.
Faculty With Experience and Education Relevant to Your Goals
Get training. You won’t have to have a degree to work as an interior decorator, but some classes or certifications can give you greater credibility. Many community colleges offer associates degrees, and colleges often have certification programs or short courses on interior design.
Online programs and classes in home staging or organizing can be helpful as well. Besides all of that, you can begin teaching yourself immediately. Learn the fundamentals, such as types of materials, decorating history and popular decorating styles.
Find out what professional home decorators do, and learn which professional qualities you should have to succeed in this field. Explore the various elements and principles of design, which will provide the building blocks for your interior decorating jobs. Learn how to structure the design process with examples of goal statements, client profiles and written proposals. You’ll also learn how to provide clients with an estimate and convert a proposal into a contract.
Get your license. Depending on what state you live in, the licensing requirements and guidelines are different. Some states don’t require any licensing for interior designers while other states will not allow you to work in interior design without a license.
Whether your state requires licensing or not, you really need a license to be viewed as a legitimate and employable interior designer.
I’m an Interior Design teacher. I’m always surprised about the difficulties my students face in understanding drawing in scale. This is math we all study in primary school (at 7/8 years old) and it is fundamental to design in the right proportions, otherwise you can’t deal with the concept of space.
So the answer is: yes, BASIC math is important.
But starting a new journey can be scary. What if you’re not cut out for the job? What if you hate it? To make sure you head down the path that is best for you, see if any of these top signs of whether you’re destined to become an interior decorator apply to you!
How may I start up a contract without any guidance and how to decide about the costing, estimation and all things which is required in this field to do?
I am 15 and now I am in 11th standard and I have opted for commerce without maths. Is history or math important for interior design?
Not all states require the licensure of interior designers. There are several, however, prohibiting unlicensed designers from doing interior design work. Others permit both licensed and unlicensed designers to practice design, but only allow licensed professionals to use the title of âinterior designer.â
Graphic Design, Photography, Interior Design, Furniture History (Purpose, Mood Creators, Manufacturing), Home Structural Design, Introduction to Art: History, Color Education, Medium uses, Marketing (if you want to be self employed), and Interpersonal Relations.
Brand Popularity and History is another good choice.
Interior designers may also consider voluntary certification in a specific area. Specialty certifications are independent of the NCIDQ and are commonly available through professional and trade associations.
I suggest you look for a good course. That will give you the fundamental artistic and technical skills and help you figure out if it is right for you.
States/areas with the highest yearly mean wages for interior designers are as follows:
Designers in this field work on a variety of buildings falling under the umbrella of local, state, or federal government. Projects could include libraries, schools, courtrooms, fire stations, police departments, or public transportation vestibules.
Interior designers, particularly those starting out, may find it difficult to get hired without existing work experience. The trouble is, of course, that it is impossible to gain experience without doing work. Many new interior designers start out by practicing their craft for free. Designers can offer their services to friends and family, or volunteer to help local non-profit services or organizations, or even small business unable to pay a professional designer. New designers can even work on their own homes. The important thing is to develop the skills needed when real paying jobs come along.
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Did you always take the lead on group projects in school? Do you like to give direction but also know how to listen to others’ ideas?
Licensure requires passing a state-approved exam, typically the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam. To qualify for taking the NCIDQ exam students must have a combination of education and experience, typically the minimum of a bachelorâs degree and two years on-the-job training. California residents must take the California Council for Interior Design Certification (CCIDC) exam.
Many organizations also offer specialty designations in areas such as healthcare, residential kitchen and bath, remodeling and green building.
Interior decorators must have a passion for home décor and what it stands for. It can make a room beautiful, but it can also say a lot about the person who owns the space. If the idea of capturing people’s personalities and styles in your designs intrigues you, you’re one step closer to realizing your dream!
Nice! Even if you’re the sole employee at your business, you may be required to get a Business Occupancy License. Fortunately, they are relatively simple to get, don’t require on-site inspections, and are inexpensive. There’s no excuse not to get it done! Read on for another quiz question.
Interior decorators are constantly asked by clients to design something unique that will make their home stand out, so being able to come up with new ideas and deliver what your clients want is essential. Knowing the hottest trends, but also being able to set new ones, is a must for successful interior decorators!
Not exactly! A certification course is a good way to get some design practice and burnish your resume. However, it isn’t a requirement for becoming an interior decorator. If you have a lot of experience already, a certificate isn’t necessary. Try another answer…
Do you have any suggestions for websites that train people to become interior decorators?
Some of the more common courses associate degree students may expect are listed below, along with the job-related skills and knowledge they could pick up in each.
How to Become an Interior Decorator Tips for Entering the Wonderful World of Design
Do you enjoy getting feedback on your work from your peers? Being able to take constructive criticism, and even encouraging it, is crucial. Learning from your mistakes is essential to your growth and refusing to acknowledge that your work might not always be perfect does not a successful decorator make!
Get a business license. Even if you plan to keep your business small and the overhead costs low, you will need a business license from the township, city or municipality where you intend to operate the business.
Getting the proper licenses can help you get discounts on materials and increases your legitimacy in the eyes of potential customers.
Interior decorating degrees are available at various levels, and some certification programs take very little time. If you are interested in or able to pursue an education, look for programs that have been accredited by Certified Interior Decorators International (CID) and/or the Interior Design Society (IDS).
Find a job. Look for a job in interior decorating or visual merchandising. Competition is high, so a high paying, professional job may not be easy to find. However, you can get started by working in a furniture store, design center, or local department store.
A job that offers a chance to do some decorating and visual merchandising–arranging items that attract buyers’ attention and are pleasing to the eye–will add to your experience and portfolio.
In many states, interior designers must pass a certification exam administered by the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) before being fully qualified. Students should speak to faculty members and alumni, if possible, to determine if the online program provides a curriculum that prepares graduates for this examination.
You need to network with a lot of people in this business. I think you will find that if you are prepared, educated, hard-working, and have a natural talent for this, you will do well.
Interior design is a fascinating field, allowing professionals working within the industry to combine their creative skills with business acumen as they design functional spaces and interact with a variety of clients. With the industry projected to continue growing, the time is right to consider a career as an interior designer. The guide below provides an overview of things for prospective students interested in this field to contemplate, including how to become an interior designer, types of schools and training programs, the skills theyâll need to succeed and in-depth look at related careers, job prospects and growth outlooks.
Provides an overview of the practical skills needed to succeed, including project management, research and problem solving, client interviewing, presentations for potential clients, and negotiating contracts.
You don’t need to build a portfolio before getting good design jobs.
What materials are needed for interior decoration/interior design?
Interior Design vs. Similar Professions Related Careers: Facts & Figures
The two main organizations for decorators are the IDS and the CID. Joining is not mandatory, but these societies offer great ways to keep a finger on the pulse of the design industry. Plus, they offer opportunities for further education, networking, and more.
Use the map below to compare interior design salary estimates by state:
Students considering a career related to interior design should carefully examine the overlapping features and decide which one may be the best combination of their skills and interests. Below you will find a few related occupations to contemplate.
Examines the use of both hard and soft materials in developing spaces, creating partitions and changing environments. Reviews their historical applications and invites students to develop their own aesthetics for implementation.
Being able to work well with others, and actually enjoying it, is vital for an interior decorator’s career. If you bring energy, enthusiasm, and genuine friendliness to every project you work on, you’ll make a great interior decorator!
There are many professional certifications designers can undertake as well as staying abreast of trends and changes through attending interior design conferences. A number of institutions have certificates in specialty areas, including: sustainable design, spatial theory, corporate interior design and designing historic spaces. Furthermore, lots of conferences, workshops and summits are offered by many organizations throughout the year. The International Interior Design Association regularly hosts events, as do the American Society of Interior Designers and the Interior Design Society.
The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) is the most recognized certification of interior designers. Operating in a similar fashion as the legal professionâs bar exam, in many states this qualification is required before students can begin practicing interior design. Students considering this career should research their stateâs regulations fully.
Definitely not! Interior designers are required to have design degrees and certificates. Interior decorates, on the other hand, are not. Try another answer…
If you’re thinking about becoming an interior decorator and running your own business, working hard and wanting to do well should be of no stranger to you. You’ll be responsible for your own success, so you’ll need to be determined about your business duties and marketing strategies, like upkeeping a professional website, blogging, running your social media pages, etc. Self-discipline, driven by the will to succeed, is required!
Surveys the historical production and use of fabrics throughout significant decorative arts periods and teaches students how various types of fabric are produced.
Those considering interior design as a career can take heart knowing the industry is robust, with projections of 13 percent growth between 2012 and 2022. Those specializing in environmental design will be on the forefront of this growth, with interest in sustainability expected to lead the charge towards further developing the field. Another important area will be accessibility design, a field emphasizing the importance of creating spaces that can be easily navigated.
There is a wide range of career opportunities in the design field. The majority of decorators are residential designers, but many work in the commercial field, such as the hotel or restaurant industry. If you would like to specialize in these industries, additional education or experience may be required.
Designers who work with individuals on their historic homes often own a firm or specialize in this area within a larger agency. While these projects may not have the same stringent guidelines as properties managed by preservation organizations, designers must still be aware of regulations and follow these while meeting the needs of their clients.
Decorators often work in the interior sales industry, touting wares to local home stores for a commission. More experienced salespeople often garner a salary also. If you would rather work from home and set your own hours, consider starting a home-based home decor business. This can also be a great way to network!
What if I am not good at drawing, but I love designing and I want to be an interior designer some day? Should I pursue this course in life, or should I find another course that is more suited to my skills?
Clients might not always love the design proposal you come up with and might have some concerns and suggestions. Maybe that blue color scheme you picked out will make the room a little too dark or they’re not loving those patterned throw pillows you chose? Being open to feedback and ready to make adjustments to satisfy your client will help you to go far as an interior decorator.
Looks at designs of the last two centuries, highlighting the emergence of specific design theory and stylistic elements. Traces modernization of style back to origins.
Many people wonder if they need artistic talent to be a decorator. Again, it’s not necessary but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Many clients aren’t great at visualizing a final outcome. It’s important to be able to show your clients a potential floor plan or room colors in three dimensions—whether in a drawing or on a computer—before you begin the actual work.
A bachelorâs degree provides a more robust body of courses relating to the aesthetic, technical, and business talents needed to be a well-rounded interior designer. For those with an associate degree, the program builds on the skills gained at that level. Students are immersed in topics such as drafting, design, 3D imaging, and space planning while delving into practical skills such as project management, marketing, sales, and business development. Graduates of a four-year degree program can apply for entry-level roles at design firms.
Increasingly, technology plays a significant role in the process of creating and designing. Anyone seriously interested in pursuing interior design should have a computer able to run various pieces of design software. Some applications include:
Take courses. The main difference between a designer and a decorator is education. To become an interior designer, you need to enroll in courses on interior design at a university, community college, or design school.
These courses help you learn about interior design in order to pass licensing and certification exams, while also helping you learn the technical aspects of design, such as working within the guidelines laid out in local and municipal building ordinances.
Programs in interior design can be found at many major colleges and universities, as well as specialized art and design institutes. The National Association of Schools of Art and Design accredit approximately 300 post-secondary institutions with art and design programs. Additionally, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation recognizes more than 150 professional-level interior design programs nationwide, and the National Kitchen & Bath Association accredits design specialty programs at 45 colleges and universities.
Other bodies offering designation include the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and Certified Interior Designers (CID). While prestigious, these do not meet the same regulatory requirements as the NCIDQ.
No matter the level of education you are seeking, there are many quality institutions providing innovative and engaging degrees in interior design. The search tool below can help you sort through available programs to identify ones that best match your needs and future career goals.
Put together a portfolio. Make sure to take photographs of all projects that you complete. Keep hard copies as well as showing off your work online. Groups on Flickr, HGTV and other design sites as well as decorating blogs all offer opportunities to show off your work as well as network with others who share your interest and can give you more information about how to become an interior decorator.
This is a small sampling of a decorator’s daily duties. As you can see, they need vast knowledge to perform the various skills required, and lots of experience doesn’t hurt either!
There are a number of bachelorâs degree courses common to many interior design schools, such as the following:
Get materials. Find sources for materials and supplies. Without a license, you may not be entitled to designer discounts. However, you can begin to negotiate with suppliers if you are buying in bulk. You can also learn to find inexpensive sources for materials like overstock stores and thrift shops.
Not quite! While it can’t hurt to take some design courses, they aren’t a requirement to work in the field. Having proof of experience is the best way to impress prospective clients. Pick another answer!
This industry is constantly changing and you need to know what is going on in the trade. If you enjoy decorating, this will be easy and fun for you. Follow color trends, read trade magazines and attend market and home shows. After all, learning never stops!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, students who specialize in a particular area of interior design have the benefit of becoming an expert in their field, yielding more awareness of their work and potentially a higher income.
This is a competitive field, but it’s rare to meet a designer who isn’t willing to share information, advice, and tools of the trade. Overall, it’s a friendly bunch and people want to help others in the field as much as possible. Of course, always be willing to pay forward or back any kindness shown to you.
These degrees can open many doors for burgeoning interior designers. Reflecting students’ diverse short-term goals, schools may offer three different paths. For example, an Associate of Applied Science is intended for those looking to move directly into the professional world as an assistant. The Associate of Arts, on the other hand, is well suited for those seeking to continue their education in interior design. Meanwhile, the Associate of Science is suited for those intending to move toward further education in architecture or industrial design.
What is the difference in between an interior designer and interior decorator?
First of all, it’s good to understand that an interior decorator is not an interior designer. These are two different fields requiring different degrees and certification.
Career Goal and/or educational needs Associate Bachelorâs Masterâs Doctorate Online Iâm intrigued by creative pursuits and interior design in particular. Iâm not sure if this is my ultimate career, but Iâm interested in learning about design fundamentals to see if I want to know more.
If I decide to continue my education, this program should allow me to do so. I want to be an interior designer but I also wish to keep my options open and experience a few different areas of the industry before specializing.
I would like to be competitive for an entry-level role upon graduation. Having worked in the industry for a couple years, Iâve identified an area of interior design that really suits me and I want to deepen my knowledge on that topic.
Iâm looking to take on a higher-level role, either at my current agency or by starting my own firm. Iâve had great jobs at private interior design companies and Iâm at the point in my career where Iâm ready for something new.
I love the idea of consulting but am also drawn to teaching. I also really enjoy design theory and would like to do independent research. I am passionate about interior design and want to further my education.
However, I am employed and wish to keep working while completing my degree. I am motivated and looking forward to reaching out to the local design community for opportunities to learn via internships and networking.
Know the difference. An interior designer is not an interior decorator. These are two different jobs, that require slightly different skill sets and have different educational and certification requirements.
As a general rule, interior designers are far more employable and tend to make more money than interior decorators.
Measuring tools, flooring samples, wall covering samples, a computer software for showing rooms and different ideas of décor. A well strong knowledge of what is popular, what is coming back in style, what is not, a great caring attitude, and great business ethics are also important.
Other software helps manage projects and the business side of design. These include:
A business card is great; a website is a huge bonus. But one thing you absolutely need is a portfolio. Your website can be your portfolio—and if you have a website, it probably should be—but people want to see your work, even if it is limited. If you haven’t had much hands-on experience, start with your own home or family members. Most people will be happy to chip in some money for supplies if you are willing to redo a room for free.
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 39 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. Together, they cited 15 references.
In this Article:Article SummaryGaining ExperienceStarting an Interior Decoration BusinessBecoming an Interior DesignerCommunity Q&A15 References
The range of buildings and spaces devoted to healthcare is ever growing, and designers for this field are in demand. Projects could include hospitals, long-term care facilities, hospices, waiting rooms, and similar environments. The emphasis is on creating warm and comforting spaces that allow the needed medical fixtures to coexist with design elements.
Quality degree and certificate programs in the field may also be found online but interested students should always check a programâs accreditation before enrolling.
Acquire startup capital. You’ll need some money to get things started, mostly to cover the cost of materials. Your startup costs for an interior design business can be low, but you will need a business license.
You might also need to rent office or storage space, depending on how large you want your business to be.
If you have a love of decorating and a knack for arranging furniture and choosing décor and color, a career as an interior decorator may be perfect for you. To become a “decorator” you don’t need an extensive education or a fancy degree, just a good eye and a passion for the job. However, if you are interested in interior design, you will need to take specialized courses and gain the proper licensing from the state, depending on which state you are in.
While a formal education is not an absolute must, most interior design firms require designers to hold at least a bachelorâs degree. A degree in the specific field is preferred, but one in another area is generally acceptable as long as it is accompanied by coursework in interior design, such as drawing and computer-aided design (CAD). Degrees on the associate, masterâs and doctoral levels are also available.
Get work. Interior designers are needed for residential and commercial jobs. They are also far more employable than decorators, making finding a job easier. Look on any popular job search site (like Monster, Indeed, or Careerbuilder) for work in interior design.
Working with both new builds and renovations, those specializing in kitchen design create modern and intuitive cooking and dining areas that maximize the space and use appropriate appliances. Special attention is placed on providing appropriate lighting and color to make the areas attractive and useful.
Reviews cultural, social, and psychological implications of color use, and the effects of color, including productivity and tranquility. Examines varied theories, optical illusions, the Bezold Effect, and contrasts.
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 39 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.
Together, they cited 15 references.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has over 363,381 views, and 16 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status.
Examines the literature and portfolios of leading designers of the past including William Morris, Claude Perault, and more. Analyzes how these theories informed contemporary designs and how they can be used in modern interior design.
Draft a business plan. The first step in starting any business is drafting a usable business plan. You can find some help with this process here. A good business plan consists of many things. You are trying to outline some basic concepts, like how your business will generate money and customers, how much it will cost to operate the business, and how you intend to expand or grow your business.
Some things to address are:
So what do you say? Is a career in interior decorating for you? If you’re ready to take the next step, QC Design School can help! We’ll work with you to take your love of home décor to the next level with our Interior Decorating online course.
The decorating industry is constantly evolving, so being able to adapt and grow alongside it is essential to your career. Being open to learning new techniques and trends will keep your clients coming back and continue to open doors for you. Interior decorators who aren’t willing to invest in their education won’t be given the same opportunities that adaptable, well-rounded decorators are.
Working specifically with clients who have special needs when it comes to outfitting their personal living areas, these designers stay abreast of the latest trends in making homes accessible without compromising comfort or style.
Not necessarily! You don’t need to go to a 4-year school to become an interior designer, though it can be helpful. Practical experience is more important than formal education in this field. Try again…
Nothing really, just as long as you have passion for it, an eye for decorating, and continue to learn different decorating styles and trends. You could consider taking a short course to get a certificate if you really want some kind of proof that you’re qualified.
To become an interior decorator, help your friends decorate their houses to gain experience. You should also consider taking interior design classes to expose yourself to different styles of decorating. Try to master each style they teach you so you will know how to give each client exactly what they want. While you’re learning, pay attention to which fabrics and materials are being used to inspire your own creativity as you continue working with others. Keep reading to learn how to expand your business, and to learn how to become an interior designer!
In the first year of associate degree programs, students generally learn the fundamentals of design and basic skills in hand drawing and digital drafting. The second year tackles more specialized topics such as architectural lighting, color theory, and furniture history in addition to introductory business and marketing concepts.
The biggest question you may have is where to start. It’s one that comes with lots of answers. The best advice is to start slow and be patient. The tips below may help you to get going in the field of decorating and open up jobs and opportunities to you. Always remember, you and your work are your best tools for advertising.
Pass the National Council for Interior Design qualification exam
Those in the field must possess creativity, technical proficiency, and business acumen to be truly successful. Thankfully, myriad interior design programs exist and instill these skills at every degree level. Interior design programs are offered at the associate to doctoral level and professional certificates are also available for continuing education. Many degree programs provide an array of concentrations, allowing students to hone their skills on a specific area, such as kitchen design or environmentally sustainable materials.
Interior decorators interact with people every day, either in person, on the phone, or online, and clients want someone who is outgoing, can make them feel comfortable, and is excited about working with them. If you tend to be more reserved when meeting new people, then you’ll want to break out of that comfort zone before making any drastic decisions about your career.
States/areas wage Washington, D.C. $79,710 Massachusetts $67,550 Utah $64,880 Connecticut $64,090 New York $63,630
Not quite! Even if you don’t hire employees, you may be required to get a Business Occupancy License. Luckily, they aren’t very difficult or expensive to get. Make sure to get all your licenses and permits squared away before opening your business. Try another answer…
Practice interior decorating. Volunteer to help friends and family with decorating projects. Look for volunteer projects with local organizations. Look for service organizations like Habitat for Humanity and local shelters.
Even decorating spaces for special events is good experience.
Be sure to take quality photographs of all of your work and compile them into a professional portfolio. A high-quality, comprehensive portfolio is the most crucial tool for interior designers seeking clients. It not only allows potential clients to view your best work, but it will also show off your ability to present yourself in a professional and well-organized manner. In addition to photos, include a selection of your designs and sketches, and donât be afraid to present examples from a wide variety of projects. Additionally, many interior designers today maintain online versions of their portfolios.
Do you obsess over the beautiful decorating blogs online? Are you subscribed to all the best home décor magazines? Do you lose track of time scrolling through Instagram and pinning your favorite room designs on Pinterest? Maybe the universe is trying to tell you something!
However, the decorating field goes beyond being a designer. Many decorators enter the retail industry or work in sales. Furniture stores, home stores, fabric stores, window and blind stores, and home supply centers are only a few examples of industries that often employ decorators.
Often, degrees in interior design offer students an array of choices for specializing their knowledge. Given the vast nature of the industry, students can take this opportunity to hone their understanding of a niche area in order to make themselves stand out in the job market. A few popular examples of specialty areas, along with careers in that field, are discussed below.
Provides overview of how specific purpose-built spaces have evolved over time. Could include studies on corporate spaces, museums, hotels, or government buildings.
A successful decorator does much more than pick out pretty fabrics and rearrange furniture. In a typical day, they may deal with cabinet spacing, steer a homeowner away from a budget-blowing item, track down a missing tile installer, work on a seasonal installation for a business storefront, make a presentation in front of an architectural review board…and the list goes on.
Retail home stores are great places to hold a day job until you build up your clientele but don’t discount the general laborers. You may learn more and meet more potential clients by working for a local painter than you ever will by clocking time at Pottery Barn.
Designers can advise museums on maintaining the historical accuracy of interior spaces presented to the public. Such expertise allows them to provide vital knowledge about domestic environments throughout history. Whether for collections of home goods or vintage textiles, these consultants advise on the usage during a specific time period.
Prospective students need to check that the Council for Interior Design Accreditation (CIDA) accredits the programs they are considering. While a school can choose not to apply for accreditation from this specific organization, but it should be accredited by an agency that is recognized by the US Department of Education to ensure that it meets quality standards. In addition, students should ensure that institutions as a whole have appropriate regional or national accreditation.
Interior Design Education Academic Paths for Interior Designers
In addition to an innate sense of style and creativity when selecting design elements for clients, the most important skill interior designers can possess is the ability to communicate and listen well. At the core of their role, designers must be able to understand their clientsâ desires and translate those to design teams, engineers and other professionals working on the project. Designers should be able to look at any space and visualize how different components will come together. The free flow of ideas is essential, as they may need to pitch numerous designs before landing on the winner. Strong problem-solving skills go a long way when keeping projects within the stated budget and timeline.
What are the basic qualifications needed to become an interior decorator?
Graduates of interior design also pursue a variety of careers utilizing similar skill sets. Some of the more popular interior design-related fields are given below, alongside a salary comparison.
Yup! In addition to getting higher paid jobs, interior designers are more in-demand for residential and commercial jobs. That’s because interior designers have an expanded skill-set and larger base of technical knowledge than interior decorators. Read on for another quiz question.
There are many renowned interior design programs offering online learning options for students seeking a nontraditional education. Still, anyone interested in obtaining a degree online should do some research before enrolling at an institution. Review the list below for a few things to look for in a potential distance program.
There is also a growing field of crossover careers. For example, a number of designers find a voice as a writer and editor, offering advice using their design knowledge. This is fast becoming known as “interior design journalism.” Many decorators also work in the specialized service industry and become decorative painters, window covering designers, and more.
Tools frequently used by interior designers include many of those common to architects: drafting scales, triangles, measuring devices and various drawing instruments. A quality camera is also a valuable resource for designers, both to photograph the original space and to document their designs for adding to a portfolio.
Often working with governmental or nonprofit organizations, either in-house or as consultants, designers focus on preserving the interiors of landmarks. They must be knowledgeable about laws and regulations pertaining to materials usage, zoning and steps necessary to honor historical accuracy.
Taking interior design jobs to build your portfolio, even if they’re unpaid.
Consider virtual decorating. You can work remotely in interior decorating. Essentially, people take pictures of the space they need decorated, send them to you, and you, for a fee, can draft a decorating plan for the client without ever stepping foot in their home or business.
This can be a really effective way to work in interior decorating without maintaining a brick and mortar business.
Components of a Successful Interior Design Career: Skills, Credentials, Tools and Technology
If you are interested in becoming an interior decorator, it’s important to know what the career path entails. You’re probably wondering how to get started as well.
If you think you have some design sense, but little experience, you might be wondering if there’s a way to tell if you’ll be a good interior decorator. The great news is that there is! Just ask yourself a few questions:
The chart below can help potential students understand which degree best matches their career goals.
Not necessarily! Yes, interior designers can demonstrate their qualifications with a degree and certifications. However, that doesn’t mean portfolios are any less important. A good portfolio is vital for getting good design jobs. There’s a better option out there!
At the most basic level, interior designers specializing in residential projects work with a variety of clients to improve their homes. Whether remodeling a bathroom or updating a kitchen, residential designers are well versed in theories surrounding interior home design and understand the unique needs and requirements of designing safe, warm, and inviting domestic spaces.
Becoming a professional interior designer takes more than creativity. A successful career also requires formal education and training, discipline, determination and strong business and marketing skills. Each level of an academic degree opens new and different doors to aspiring designers and this guide provides aspiring interior designers with pertinent information.
I am currently in school and want to be an interior decorator. What subjects should I take?
This includes carriers and manufacturers of furniture, wall coverings, tile, flooring, fabrics, etc. Don’t forget about contractors and subcontractors who build or do painting, brickwork, electrical, plumbing, etc.
Network with your friends, relatives, neighbors, civic organizations, neighborhood associations, your church, or other local businesses and organizations. Local trade shows can be wonderful ways to meet people in the industry. Word of mouth is a huge tool in the life of a decorator.
Should you join? These organizations provide a service—at a cost—so it is up to you to decide if either (or both) of these programs would be beneficial to you.
Are you always updating your accessories or rearranging your furniture to reflect the latest design trends? Do your friends and family always look to your own home for new ideas in home décor? Perhaps you’re destined to be an interior decorator!
Successful interior decorators have the ability to read situations well, knowing when to take the lead and when to step back. You’ll encounter many different kinds of clients as a decorator, each with their own individual needs. Some clients may give hardly any direction for the design style they’re looking for, while others will be very particular. Being able to take control of the situation and making the big decisions, but also knowing when to let someone else take the reins, are excellent skills for an interior decorator to have!
Office designers are called upon to create spaces that make employees enjoy coming to work but also help to increase productivity through innovative ergonomic designs. All areas of the workplace come under their purveyance, including offices, break rooms, conference areas, common spaces, and lobbies.
Quite a decent amount, but it really depends on your location, how good your work is, and how much experience you have.
Evaluate your skills, strengths and weaknesses. If people regularly compliment your decorating skills and turn to you for advice, that’s a good sign that you have the natural talent to be an interior decorator.
However, when working for others, you’ll be exposed to a variety of different tastes and styles. You’ll have to be able to show an extensive knowledge of space planning, fabrics and materials and you’ll also have to be able to work with different personalities.
List areas that may be challenging, and start working on them.