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 Design Ideas – How to Make Corridors and Landings Look Elegant

By the judicious selection of wall colors you can visually change the proportions of a corridor. To push out the side walls select colors that recede, and for a corridor to appear shorter add an advancing color to the end wall.

Mirrors fixed to side walls will magically open up the space and make it appear much wider and lighter. These can be in the form of sheets made into a wall of mirror or in panels placed between doors. Cut to shape, mirrors can be used to back recesses/niches, and framed sections can be hung at intervals.

The placement of an item of interest at the end of the corridor will have the effect providing a focal point as well as stopping the eye. You may choose to display a piece of sculpture, a stone urn or perhaps a decorative vase on a plinth. A stunning framed painting, stenciled walls or a trompe l’oeil painted effect will serve a similar purpose, as will an item of exquisite furniture.

Floor coverings that emphasize the horizontal will also help to break up the space. A continuous carpet that has a trellis pattern or is divided into panels will be effective, as will individual area rugs placed at intervals on to either a hard floor or fitted carpet.

Interest can also be created on side walls by hanging pictures. Not only will they make your passage through the space more pleasurable, but the reflective surface of their glass fronts will help to bounce around whatever natural light is available. A decorator’s tip to stabilize pictures hanging in a traffic area is to fix each picture at two points (that is, with two hooks) instead of one.

Structurally breaking up the space may involve only slightly more work. The creation of arches along your corridor will not only break the ‘journey’ but will also provide an attractive frame through which to view the scene beyond.

The key to a winning scheme may well lie with some existing possession. A tribal runner carpet, a particularly dominant painting, an exotic screen or a gorgeous piece of painted furniture – any of these items could be used as a trigger for a successful scheme. By picking out and repeating a color element from your furnishings, you will instantly draw attention to them and give them a sense of belonging.

On the matter of safety it is important for sufficient light to be provided to signal any changes of floor level, and that lights can be switched on and off at either end of a corridor (that is, two-way switched). It also is essential that loose floor coverings be well attached to the underfloor (special webbings are available for loose carpers placed on either hard or soft floorings), and for hard floor surfaces to be non-slip, especially where there are children or elderly people in residence.

Online Bachelor Degree in Art and Design

A career in art and design is ideal if you have artistic talent and a flair for its practical applications. Nowadays, there has been an ever increasing demand for graphic artists and designers thanks to the computing, entertainment and related industries that have contributed to it. Also you need to be creative and have good visual and aesthetic sense. An online bachelor’s degree in art and design can give a perfect boost to your career prospects while you continue to work or pursue other interests.

Some of the topics that are covered in the course include: fashion designing, animation and multimedia, interior designing, web designing, graphic designing, game designing etc. With the advancements in the technological field, these fields are becoming highly specialized. The successful completion of an online bachelor’s degree in arts and design ensures that you get highly paid than the high school pass outs. It is very important that you have:

  • A knack for color, design, tones, and a visual sense.
  • A knack for creativity, and also certain conceptual skills.

An online bachelor’s degree in arts and design provides you with technical training and the practical skills required for meeting the challenges in the workplace. Some of the popular courses in arts and design include:

  • BSc. in Animation
  • BSc. in Web Design and Multimedia
  • BS in Visual Communications
  • BS in Interior Design
  • BS in Game Art and Design
  • BS in Fashion and Retail Management
  • BS in Media Arts and Animation
  • BS in Multimedia and Animation
  • BS in Web Development
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communications
  • Bachelor’s in Web Design and Digital Design

After successfully completing your online bachelor’s degree in arts and design you could find suitable work as:

  • Graphic artists
  • Artists
  • Art directors
  • Fine artists
  • Illustrators
  • Medical and scientific illustrators
  • Cartoonists
  • Sketch artists
  • Sculptors
  • Printmakers
  • Painting restorers
  • Multimedia artists and design animators

List of Universities and Colleges Offering Online Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Design

  • Capella University
  • Kaplan University
  • Westwood College Online
  • AIU Online
  • Art Institute Online, Pittsburgh
  • University of Phoenix
  • University of Liverpool
  • American Sentinel University
  • Ashford University
  • Baker College Online
  • Ellis College
  • Penn Foster Schools
  • American Intercontinental University Online